Calorie-counting Tips for Dining Out

Part of Calorie Counter For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Dining out can be an enjoyable experience, but it can also be a high-calorie one. Even if you’re counting calories, though, you can enjoy your dining experience without the worry of eating too many calories or sacrificing health with a bit of planning ahead.

Use the tips in the following list to save calories the next time you dine out:

Ask for dressings or sauces on the side, or skip the mayo. Include as many vegetable toppings as possible on your
sandwich, in your omelet, or on your pizza.
Consider an appetizer or side dish as an entrée, or
choose the regular, small, or kid-sized portion. (Skip anything
that’s extra-large or supersized.)
Skip the butter on breakfast items such as waffles or pancakes
and use smaller amounts of syrup.
Choose nonfat or lowfat milk and coffee drinks (pick the small
or “tall” size for the latter).
Enjoy your eggs with toast, but skip the extra meat item.
Select grilled or oven-roasted items and skip the deep-fried
foods.
Skip the extra cheese on anything whatsoever.
Drink more water with your meals. Choose pastas with marinara or olive oil–based sauces
rather than cream or Alfredo-type ones.
Review beverage sizes and calories. You can rack up several
hundred calories a day in liquid if you don’t monitor your
intake.
Consider splitting an item with a friend and ordering a side
salad to round out your meal (unless of course you’re
splitting dessert).
Watch out for salads; they aren’t always the low-calorie
choice.

If you currently eat out daily, consider cutting back to eating no more than three meals per week away from home (not counting packed lunches). Ideally, you should limit dining out to two or fewer times a week.