Dining Out Tips from the Trainer

by Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies

It’s not too hard to know what to choose when dining out and ordering the main meal. We all know that lean protein and vegetables are our best bets, and to be cautious about added sauces and cooking in lots of oil. It goes without saying that we should try to avoid dishes that are fried or heavy on pasta and bread. However, appetizers, salads, drinks, and of course desserts can wreak havoc on the overall calorie content of our meal.


*If you have to have bread, dip it in olive oil rather than butter. It’s been proven to help reduce appetite, and olive oil is anti-inflammatory. Stick to one piece, and ask for whole grain bread.

*Shrimp cocktail is a great choice.

*Veggies dipped in hummus is a stellar choice as well.

*Edamame is protein and fiber packed.

*Don’t be afraid to ask if there are any lighter appetizers—there might be options not listed on the menu.

*Broth based soups make a great appetizer and is proven to help you naturally eat less when your meal comes


*Always always get dressing on the side and just dip your fork into it to get a little of the taste.

*If you can live without it, ask for no cheese and no croutons.

*Nuts are ok as long as there aren’t too many, because they contain good fats and great health benefits. The fiber also fills you up.


*Wine, although it has sugar, is not a bad choice. If you find your appetite running out of control, don’t order the wine before your meal arrives.

*Ask for sugar free beverages when ordering a drink, such as diet soda, diet tonic water (regular tonic water has sugar) or club soda. Add a lemon or lime slice for some zest. Desserts.

*Even if it’s not on the menu, most restaurants will give you berries with a dab of whipped cream for a low calorie vitamin packed dessert.

*Order one dessert and a bunch of spoons and share.

*Hot cocoa is lower in calories than most desserts and puts a nice cap on the meal. Better yet, enjoy a flavored coffee which is lower in sugar yet still flavorful.

*Decide whether you want alcohol or dessert, but try not to have both in one meal. This will naturally but a break on your total number of calories.

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