Eat To Lose - Dining Out

By CNN News Wire

Published 01/31 2014 07:45AM

Updated 01/31 2014 07:47AM

Eating out is a real treat but restaurant foods are often high in calories.  There are tips for enjoying your meal out without packing on the pounds.

Americans love to splurge when they go out to eat. 

"I love macaroni and cheese, i love grits, mash potatoes.  I love comfort food,: admits Tish Davis. 

But if you eat out 5 or 6 times a week like Davis, a business traveler, you have to make sensible choices or it's hard to keep the weight off. 

Dietitian Marisa Moore says start by looking for clues that foods are high in calories. 

"Things like crispy, creamy, um breaded, smothered.  Those are not the ones you want to order.  Do you usually choose those?"
"Yes," Tish admits.

"So you want to look for foods that are grilled or broiled or steamed instead," Moore suggests.

Try to order first so you'll be less tempted by others' choices and don't be afraid to ask the server to tailor your meal to make it healthier.  Order steamed veggies instead of fries. 
"Always order your salad dressing on the side," Moore says. 

And try not to use all of it.  You can even ask that the sauce for the entree be put on the side. 

The portion sizes of most restaurant meals can actually feed two.  

"So as soon as you order your meal, also ask the server to bring a to-go box so when your meal arrives you put half of it away, take it home with you." 

Because if it's in front of us, we tend to eat it. 

"I'm going to actually try some things tonight when I'm on the road," Davis says. 

(Holly Firfer for CNN's Health Minute)

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