How to Eat Out and Still Lose Weight


  1. Ask for the waiter to bring a box with your meal. Before you begin to eat, put food into your box until your plate looks like a sensible amount of food.


restaurant photo

  1. When at a restaurant, ask the server to hold the bread, snack mix, or chips and salsa that might come before the meal. If you’re hungry, you’ll be tempted to eat too much.
  2. If you have a few favorite restaurants, research the calories in the foods at the restaurant and pick the best choices. Have a list of the foods you can eat when you go to your favorite restaurant.
  3. Choose grilled or baked foods on the menu instead of fried.
  4. Ask for the plate to be removed as soon as possible.
  5. Choose white meat items off of the menu.
  6. Stop spending money going out to eat or eating fast food or take out. Instead put the money towards pre-packaged healthy meals or frozen foods.
  7. Share an entree with a friend or family member.
  8. Stop eating when you are full and focus on other pleasures like the setting, your family, and your friends. (See the Mindful Eating Step by step guide)
  9. Ask for water. Refills of drinks can be a HUGE amount of calories.
  10. Ask for dressings and sauces on the side. Dip your fork into the dressing or dip and then add your food to the fork. If you dip your food into the sauces, be sure you are dipping instead of scooping the sauce with your food.
  11. Let your friends and family know what you are doing and ask them to encourage you instead of pressuring you to eat more. Tell them to help you by keeping the appetizers or breadbasket to the side
  12. When eating out, choose the small portion.

take out photo

  1. Choose fast food options like smaller burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches or salads with low-calorie dressings, cups or bags of fresh fruit, low-fat milk, 100% fruit juice and bottled water.
  2. Try a main dish salad for lunch. Go light on the salad dressing or use light dressing. Do this when you eat out often. You can eat something else on splurge days.
  3. Try a green salad or vegetable sides instead of fries.
  4. Limit eating out to only once or twice a week.
  5. At fast food restaurants, ask for the nutrition facts and look for the healthiest choice.
  6. Before going to a restaurant or getting fast food, look online or at apps like myfitnesspal for the calories. Pick your food before you go to the restaurant. That way looking at the menu while you are at the restaurant won’t tempt you. You will already know what you are getting.
  7. Ask the server to recommend lighter meals. You could do this without even looking at the menu.
  8. Ask the waiter for appetizer or lunch portions (even at night) with extra side of veggies.
  9. Ask the waiter to wrap half the meal before bringing it to the table or ask the waiter to bring a box when he brings the meal, and you wrap up half the meal before you start eating.
  10. Order before everyone else so you won’t crave what everyone else is having.
  11. Ask for less cheese or no cheese.
  12. Limit or avoid the added condiments like ranch, honey mustard, or mayo.
  13. Leave the mayo and cheese off of your sandwiches. This can take out around 250 calories.
  14. When eating out, ask your server to point out the low calorie options. Only look at those foods on the menu.
  15. Ask for the kids menu or a child’s size portion. An example would be a child’s drink or child’s popcorn at the movie theater, or child’s chicken plate.
  16. Don’t feel like you have to clean your plate; instead think of it as an accomplishment if you didn’t clean your plate. Plus now you have leftovers for the next day.

    leftovers photo
    Photo by freddie boy
  17. Make sure you have vegetables on your plate even when eating out.
  18. Get tomato-based foods instead of cream based foods.

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