Lighten Up: Delightful Dining Out

[Author's Note: This blog post is part of a three month blog series that is published on Wednesdays.]


Lighten Up is a Mind-Body weight loss clinic, which is offered several times a year, focused on providing interdisciplinary support to participants desiring to make a commitment to lifestyle modification.

Eating out can be a hassle when watching your weight, but not always. Often there are restaurant “food traps” that we can fall in, but if we are proactive and have food strategies, we can avoid these “traps.”

What is a restaurant food trap?

Restaurant Food Traps Example
Hidden ingredients Butter on the bun of a grilled chicken sandwich
Misleading menu symbols An apple to signify a signature dish vs. a healthier option
Mistaken identity Low carb menus that are full of high fat items and not low calorie
Not actually good deals Tack on fries & soda for just $1 more!
The “T” factor: temptation Warm buttered rolls at the table
Portion distortion 16 oz steak? Enough said.

Dining Out Strategies for Success (Yes! You Can Do It!)

Food Strategy Suggestions
Look before you leap See websites for menu and nutrition information
Eat before you eat Fruit vs. fat for appetizer
Wear your earmuffs and your blinders With temptation abound, stay focused.
Cut to the front of the line Order first so others’ choices don’t influence you
Be a cheap date Split the meal; spare the waistline
Set the stage Position yourself for success (ask for the chips bowl to be removed from the table)
It’s all in the details Dish preparation, ingredients, options
Be specific Please bring me ____, and leave off ____.
Eat mindfully, eat slowly & savor every bite Gobble, gobble…who’s the turkey? Use your senses—all five of them.
Face the facts Trade-off or trade-up (blood pressure, blood glucose, lipids & pant size that is)

For more information on the Lighten Up program, visit the Cardiac Wellness page on or call 804-287-7158.

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