How to Eat out on the Volumetrics Diet

Four Methods:Ask Important QuestionsMake Smart Choices for Each CourseMake Good Choices in a Variety of RestaurantsMaking Good Choices While Traveling

Chefs at most restaurants feel that patrons should have the ability to decide how much of their dinner you plan to eat. That leaves the responsibility for portion control to you. Think strategically before you eat at a restaurant or before you travel so that you can continue healthy Volumetrics habits on the road.

Method 1
Ask Important Questions

Don’t be afraid to be assertive at a restaurant. Too often, restaurants do not reveal added fats or calorie counts, even for their low-calorie menu items.

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    Ask how the dish is prepared. You can sometimes ask the chef to prepare your dish in a more healthful way, such as grilling the dish with a small amount of butter or oil instead of pan-frying.
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    Find out which soups are broth-based rather than cream-based. Chicken noodle, minestrone, vegetable and beef barley are common choices that are broth-based, which means that you can have larger portions.
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    Ask for low-fat dressing options with salads.
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    Request the lunch portion of a dish or an appetizer portion. Many dishes are available in smaller portions that will still make you feel full.
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    Ask for vegetables in place of other side dishes. Make sure that vegetables aren’t covered with oil or sauce and request steamed vegetables when possible.
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    Inquire whether the restaurant charges for an extra plate to split the dish with a friend.
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    Ask the waiter to nix the cheese, sour cream, sauce, gravy or butter on top of dishes. If the chef is unwilling to accommodate you, then ask the server to recommend lighter dishes.
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    Ask to substitute fat-free milk for cream in coffee.
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    Ask for a to-go bag. Inquire whether your server can split the meal and wrap half of it before it comes to your table.

Method 2
Make Smart Choices for Each Course

Breakfast, lunch and dinner each have their own associated temptations. Remember to fill up on very low and low CD foods instead of having large portions of meat, full-fat cheese or other fats and sugars.

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    Choose a healthful breakfast. Whole grain cereals, fruit and low-fat dairy are all good choices for a healthy breakfast.
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    Ask for whole-grain rolls with the bread basket. Alternatively, you can ask the waiter or waitress not to bring the bread course at all.
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    Build smart salads. Avoid mayonnaise-drenched pasta salads at a salad bar and build a healthful salad with plenty of greens, colorful vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dressing.
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    Avoid fried appetizers. Choose low-CD alternatives like seafood, grilled vegetables or melon with prosciutto.
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    Ask for changes to your main course. Find out if a dish can be grilled or broiled or served with sauce on the side. Order veggie pizza and ask for less cheese.
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    Ask for side dishes prepared without added fat. Add salsa to baked potatoes instead of butter or sour cream. Have brown rice instead of white rice.

Method 3
Make Good Choices in a Variety of Restaurants

Different types of restaurants present different challenges when you are trying to order healthy foods. Follow these tips to make the best food choices in a variety of different settings.

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    Order intelligently at an Asian restaurant. Asian restaurants often have a variety of flavorful broth-based soups that you can choose as a first course. Choose chicken breast strips that are not breaded and fried. Add steamed vegetables to your main course, and ask for brown rice instead of white rice.
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    Request changes at Italian restaurants. Ask for a pasta dish to be served with an appetizer portion size, and select extra vegetable side dishes. Choose sauces like marinara, cacciatore, pomodoro or arrabiata.
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    Make good choices at a Mexican restaurant. Go with corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas, use salsa as salad dressing and request smaller portions of guacamole, sour cream or cheese.
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    Make the best selections at a steakhouse. Order leaner cuts like strip steak, sirloin and filet mignon. Also, order smaller portions (an appropriate portion size is 3 ounces) and choose a baked potato instead of potatoes that are mashed, scalloped, French-fried or au gratin.
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    Order wisely at sandwich shops. Choose a half sandwich paired with a broth-based soup. Skip the mayonnaise and high-calorie spreads and go for mustard or barbecue sauce. Also, pile vegetables onto your sandwich.
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    Navigate the fast food menu. Order salads with grilled rather than crispy chicken, and use as little dressing as possible. Switch to the smallest available burger or veggie patty, skipping mayonnaise and any “special sauce.” Additionally, when ordering breakfast, choose a yogurt parfait rather than high CD dishes.
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    Make smart choices in the company cafeteria. Choose a lean deli meat sandwich, an entrée salad or a bowl of chili.

Method 4
Making Good Choices While Traveling

Picking up unhealthy snacks at convenience stores can wreck your weight loss progress. Make smart selections when you are on-the-road, at the airport or at your hotel.

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    Stock a small cooler. For breakfast, stock yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruit and a muffin or roll. For lunch and dinner, bring a sandwich with hummus and vegetables. Also, keep fresh veggies and fruit for snacking, and use frozen gel packs to keep your food cool.
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    Eat before you board the plane. You can usually find healthy choices in the terminal to satisfy your hunger as opposed to the high-CD choices on board the airplane.
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    Stock your hotel refrigerator with healthy foods.
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    Pick smart choices at breakfast meetings. Cereal with low-fat milk or high-fiber muffins with fresh fruit are good options for a healthy breakfast.
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    Eat plenty of dairy products. Include a coffee beverage with fat-free milk, and eat yogurt whenever possible.

Tips

  • Stock your desk at work with healthy, low-CD snacks.
  • Make sticking to Volumetrics easy by choosing restaurants that offer low CD options.
  • Eat before you go to a restaurant. Have a healthy soup or salad at home to curb your appetite for unhealthy dishes from the menu.
  • Take activity breaks even when you are traveling. Work out in the hotel fitness center, go for a swim or walk laps around the parking lot.
  • Many restaurants offer online menus, and you can also find a great deal of nutrition information for a variety of restaurants online.

Warnings

  • Don’t completely avoid eating out or enjoying a few off-limits foods once in a while. If you do, you are more likely to over-indulge, which will sabotage your weight loss.

Things You'll Need

  • Small cooler
  • Snacks for hotel refrigerators
  • Snacks for your desk at work

Article Info

Categories: Diet & Lifestyle | Maintaining Diets