If I had a dollar for every time one of my clients or friends asked me about what to eat when they go out to a restaurant, I could buy my own restaurant. Here is the deal, first of all do not let going out to eat intimidate you. You have many choices and making the right ones are key to maintaining your health, weight loss or muscle building goals. Here is a list of 14 choices you can make the next time you go out to eat:

1. Slow down and take smaller bites, take your time and chew your food well. Inhaling or gulping your food results in larger amounts of food entering the stomach at one time. This is bad for digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the food and can leave you feeling bloated and too full. Eating slower will help to keep you from overeating because it takes your brain about 20 minutes to register when you are full.

2. Do your best to order your food either grilled, broiled, baked or steamed. These cooking choices remove fat during the cooking process as opposed to frying or deep frying which ads tons more fat and calories.

3. Send away the free breadbasket. If it is not on the table while you are eating you won't be tempted and your belly won't have to pay for it later. If the person you’re dining with wants bread then have them take what they want and send the rest back.

4. Book your reservations early so you’re not eating late in the evening. Some experts would say that it is the total calories consumed in a day that causes weight gain and a small amount of carbs in the evening is OK, and I would agree, but restaurant dinners contain more than just a small amount of carbs. Therefore, the excess calories get stored as fat because of the spike in your insulin levels which causes fat storage while you sleep.

5. Skip the salt. Enough salt has already been added to your food during preparation. Too much salt is connected to heart and kidney disease. Bottom line; do not add salt to your food.

6. Ask your server if you can order your veggies steamed lightly or served to you raw. Cooking destroys much of the nutritional value. Restaurants typically boil the veggies, which destroys 50 to 75 percent of the vitamins and minerals.

7. When eating out for breakfast ask for oatmeal instead of the bread that typically comes with your meal. You do need the carbs for building muscle so order a carb that will not spike your insulin level and be stored as fat. You can also ask for fruit or tomato slices as a substitute for items on the menu that contain too much fat.

8. Skip the appetizers. Do you have appetizers at home before dinner? Restaurant appetizers are a great money grab for them. Enjoy a nice entree and don't get filled up and pay for food your body does not need.

9. Limit the dressings and sauces, ask that your sandwich be made with more mustard than mayo and if your meal comes with sauce, ask to have it served on the side so you can control the amount going into your meal. Or better yet, ask that they hold the sauce.

10. Never order sodas, always have water served with lemon or lime and unsweetened ice tea. Drinking sodas at mealtime, with the unlimited refills can add on 500 extra calories. This includes diet sodas too.

11. Never be afraid to customize your meal, if a restaurant will not serve your food the way you need it, get up and leave.

12. Save the alcohol for special occasions. Not only is alcohol in restaurants overpriced but it costs your waistline seven calories for every gram and impairs your thinking leading to ordering foods like extra bread, fried foods and desserts.

13. When finishing your dinner with a coffee, cappuccino, or espresso, only sweeten it with a sugar substitute. The ideal would be to avoid all sugars and artificial sweeteners, but I don't want to kill all of your fun.

14. Leave the table hungry and you will lose weight. Leave the table satisfied and you’ll maintain weight. Leave the table full and you will gain weight.



More than one-third of Americans are trying to lose weight. Thirty billion dollars are spent each year on diet programs and products that do not have lasting effects and in my opinion, simply do not work. Often people do lose some weight, but if you check back with these people in 6 months or a year, you will find that they have gained back most or all of whatever weight they lost. Commercial diet centers are like Starbucks, there is one on every corner. To their credit, some do offer counseling, exercise and other programs that may be helpful, but usually the people who buy into these centers are looking for the easy answer. Believe me, the marketing companies for these centers know that, therefore sales are great.
They still prescribe foods that have a higher fat content than is advisable and they get predictably poor results. I recommend a diet that derives about 10% of its calories from fat. Check out the fat content in these diet programs:

Lean Cuisine—25%

Diet Center—23%

Jenny Craig—20%


Weight Watchers—27%

All have one serious flaw; they contain substantial amounts of animal products and oil. The result is at least 2 times more fat than is optimal for weight control. The fat content of these plans is still below what is normal for most Americans, but too high for good and lasting results. Most of the frozen dietetic meals are high in fat too, but the manufacturers know that most consumers are not looking at the fat content; they are looking at how many calories are in each meal. The plan is to put no more than 300 calories in the box and keep the serving size small enough to stay under the required limit. This approach is ultimately useless.
Another of these types of useless fad diets is the Supplemented Fasts and High-Protein Diets. Medifast, Optifast, and other high protein formulas are designed for “supplemented starvation.” They use a high-protein liquid formula instead of real food. These types of diets can result in rapid and profound water loss and can cause various metabolic disturbances. They are so dangerous that they have to be given under a physician's supervision. I can see why some physicians don't mind prescribing these awful diets, being that they include a detailed prospectus stating that the physician can expect to pocket nearly $16,000.00 per month in profits from selling these so called supplements. If you all remember Oprah Winfrey demonstrated how useless these supplemental starvation diets are when she lost a phenomenal amount of weight and then quickly put it all back on and became completely discouraged about any possibility of lasting weight control.
Ultra Slim-Fast another bad choice. All you really need to do to understand this unhealthy choice is to read the labels. If you still have questions about it, please ask me and I will answer all of them for you.
Some other weight loss plans, such as Dr. Atkin's Diet Revolution, promotes high protein and the elimination of carbohydrates completely. There are several things wrong with this idea. First this is not a formula for permanent weight loss. High protein diets cause a rapid loss of water in the body, therefore the weight returns because the body tissues require a certain amount of water in order to function properly. High protein diets are also usually high in fat because the food choices now are meat and dairy products that are accompanied by generous amounts of fat and cholesterol. High protein diets are linked to osteoporosis and kidney disease because they cause calcium to be lost in the urine. This diet releases by-products that act as diuretics, forcing the kidneys to work much harder and weakening the kidney's filtering abilities. Don't get me wrong, we do need a certain amount of protein in our daily diet, but we now know that the dangers of too much protein are very real indeed. Grains, beans and vegetables contain more than enough protein, but not in excess. Keeping balance in your diet is key.