How can I control my weight when I eat out?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Eating out frequently can be a real challenge for weight control. Restaurant meals are often much higher in fat and calories than meals made at home, and portions can be enormous. Here are some tips for controlling your weight while eating out:
  • Choose restaurants wisely. Find ones that offer healthier choices and allow you to make substitutions.
  • Practice portion control. It’s easy to overeat when your plate is brimming over with food. You can ask your waiter to save half your plate (in a take-home container) even before you start eating.
  • Don’t be shy about asking for changes. If the salad comes with fried chicken, see if you can get it with grilled chicken instead. Ask your waiter to leave the croutons off the salad.
  • Try a vegetarian meal from time to time.
  • For dessert, consider fresh fruit.
If you eat out often, start thinking of the meals as a regular part of your overall eating plan, rather than as occasions for splurging.

Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Dieting For Weight Loss

Losing weight quickly is OK as long as you do it safely, not through a crash diet. You can lose three or more pounds a week by burning more calories than you eat. If you burn an extra 500 calories per day through eating less and i...

ncreasing your physical activity, you can lose about one to two pounds of fat per week. Dietitians recommend a daily minimum of 1,200 calories per day (a 200-pound person might need 1,400 calories). Anything less makes you lose muscle as well as fat, which slows your metabolism. Instead, minimize your intake of starches, added sugars like high fructose corn syrup and animal fat from dairy and meats. Focus on eating fruits and vegetables, soy products, egg whites, skinless poultry breasts, shellfish and fish, nonfat dairy foods and meat that is 95 percent lean. Drink lots of water, don't skip meals, and eat only from a plate while seated at a table.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.