Fab Friday – Tips to Eating Out on a Diet

January 7th, 2011

A friend convinced me to try the South Beach diet thing. For the last four days, I’ve been off bread, fruit, pasta and crackers. Yeah, I’ve been a real joy to be around. No sweets for the not-so-sweet, that’s me in my newly found no-sugar world. But I will say that it’s working.

I’m not trying to lose a bazillion. I just have a certain Calvin Klein number I would like to squeeze back into. As my husband says, “You’re almost there, honey.” Sweet man. He likes to fib. And to live. He fibs to live.

As I said, I was doing fine…until my first meal out today. A lunch. In. The. Real. World. Luckily it was a Turkish place (Pasha…if you’re in the neighborhood, I recommend highly), so they had a lot of what I can eat—yogurt and cheese (oh wait, those aren’t the low-fat kind, are they), chickpeas (oh wait, falafels are fried, aren’t they), beet and carrot salad (oh wait, those are high-sugar veggies, aren’t they). And to top it all off…or as the case may be…to go under it all…I ate (gasp)…a piece of flat bread. Gasp again for full effect. Now shake head in shame. Maybe add a tisk-tisk.

When I got home I figured I had ruined the entire diet, so I ate a handful of crackers. Back to the cheese board tomorrow.

Got me to thinking…when you’re watching what you eat, how can you eat out? It’s possible. Here are a few tips to make sure eating out doesn’t stop you from fitting in your own little CK number.

Share and Share Alike
At most restaurants, portions are bigger than a serving size (remember the playing cards trick…most pieces of meat should be no bigger than your palm or a deck of cards). Sharing an entrée makes sense not only in terms of cutting down the calories, but it also cuts down the expense of eating out.

To Go From the Get-Go

Want to keep the yummy to yourself you selfish bastard? When you order, ask for your entrée to be split—one half served, one half in a to-go box. If you don’t see it, you won’t eat it.

The Beginning for the End

Order an appetizer for your main dish, along with soup or a salad. Bonus: Apps are usually served on smaller plates, a visual trick that has been shown to help a person feel fuller sooner.

Ask Away

You are what you eat, so I’m pretty sure you have a right to know what you’re eating. Don’t be afraid to ask how something is prepared or what’s in a sauce. If you don’t like how something (e.g., a calorie-trap sauté), ask if you can have it another way (grilled).


Having small sips of water between bites fills you up. Just make it still or the bubble bloat will catch up to you.

Remember Sally

A girl after my own heart, Meg Ryan’s famous quirky stuck-up OCD challenge. She ordered things the way she wanted, how she wanted. So why not on-the-side that sauce or dressing? Ask if you can omit things like oil during the cooking process. See if you can substitute a salad for the potato. It can’t hurt to ask. But it could hurt not to.

And in the end, if your SO sees you finally fit into that little number…maybe you can have what Sally had.

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One Response to “Fab Friday – Tips to Eating Out on a Diet”

  1. kerry says:

    good article! I am trying to limit carbs on dinners but there is no way I could do it for breakfast and lunch. it is just too easy to toss a piece of toast in the morning or drink one of those drinkable yogurts! keep up the good work!

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