Summer Restaurant Tips for Weight Loss

Restaurants are infamous for disguising calorie filled ingredients in the food they serve to give it added flavor or to enhance the appearance.  If you’re avoiding restaurants this summer because you’re currently losing weight, here are some tips to help you feel more confident when dining out!

You can enjoy dining out at 5-star restaurants right down to fast food establishments, and still stay on track with your weight loss if you understand what you can order.

Here are six tips to keep in mind when eating out.

1. Add Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies automatically increase your fiber intake, which help you to stay full and satisfied.  Most restaurants offer a steamed side dish of veggies, and you can flavor it up by adding some hot sauce, freshly ground black pepper, or lemon juice.

2. Get Grilled

Choose grilled over fried! Fried foods have loads of additional calories and fat. Grilled chicken, shrimp, steak, or fish make great choices because they fall into the category of lean proteins.

3. Don’t Drink Extra Calories

Don’t let those extra calories sneak up on you this summer! Choose unsweetened iced tea, water with a lemon, sparkling water, or grab a low-calorie drink flavor packet and add it to your water. Drinking soda products, juices, and sweetened beverages pack on the calories. And don’t forget…..alcoholic beverages can contain as many calories (upwards of 800 calories per drink!) as the typical dessert does.  Say NO to those calorie filled pina coladas and opt for a vodka/soda instead.

4. Choose the Colorful Sauces

Pay attention to the color of your sauce. The whiter and creamier it is, the more likely it is butter-laden or contains high-calorie cream. If you go out for Italian cuisine, choose an option with a tomato-based sauce, like marinara, or a basil based pesto sauce.  Choosing colorful sauces helps ensure you are skipping calories found in those rich cream-based sauces. The same holds true for choosing soups: choose clear-liquid  soups instead of creamy ones. Try to avoid bisques or cheesy soups, as these are loaded with fat and calories.

5. Ask For a Lighter Side Menu

Every restaurant won’t have one, but a growing number of local and chain restaurants are providing light meals with verified calorie counts and macronutrient breakdowns. You’ll often find that light doesn’t always mean giving up flavor!

6. Half Now, Half Later.

Our dinner portions are growing, despite all of the education we’ve been given about our overconsumption as Americans.   Even if your chosen meal isn’t considered unhealthy, your portion might be too large for one meal. To avoid the temptation of overeating,  ask your waiter to serve you half the meal and box up the other half for you to eat later. 

What to Eat in a Pinch:

  • Handful of almonds or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
  • Edamame (frozen), Pop in the microwave and add a pinch of sea salt.
  • 3. 1.5 oz. of Beef or Turkey Jerky (low-sodium).
  • 3 oz. can of tuna fish or canned chicken breast with seasoning and lemon juice.
  • Pop a piece of gum or a sugar-free breath mint, it will distract your mind from the ‘taste’ part of hunger.
  • Vfinity’s V1 SMOOTHIE or V2 GREENS makes an incredible, nutritiously complete snack on the go.  Just add a scoop to your 8 oz. water bottle and shake!