Restaurants – Don’s Tips Just for You

So you say restaurants are your downfall?  You’ve been bringing your weight down, or maintaining it, according to plan.  Shopping, cooking, eating healthy, in control, doing fine.  And then you find yourself eating out with your spouse or a friend, or maybe traveling.
Automatic setback?  Will you pay the check, then pay by cutting back the next two days?  Here are Don’s Tips, just for you.

Go for the Good

Promise yourself that from now on, you are only going to eat food that is delicious.  Put quality ahead of quantity – way ahead.  Order food that is going to taste wonderful, and eat it slowly, … savoring … every … single … bite.

Share an Entrée

Entrées tend to be large  these days, in most restaurants.  Why?  Because they are in the business of selling you food, and the more the better – for them.  Why sell you a small or moderate portion for $12, when they can sell you a whole lot for $18?

So if you and your companion can agree on what to order, ask for an extra plate and share!  If half an entrée is not enough, share a salad too, or share the entrée and each of you order a cup of soup.  (Also see What if It’s Not Enough, below.)

Do NOT Clean Your Plate!

When you start to feel full, stop!  You don’t have to clean your plate – your mother was wrong about this – get over that.  Yes, you did pay for it, but anything more you eat is going to make you feel worse, not better.  You didn’t pay to feel worse, now, did you?

Box it Up

The entrée was huge; you ate half of it, started feeling full and you stopped.  Good for you!  But you and your companion are sitting there and talking, for another half-hour maybe, and you’re afraid you’re going to nibble at it, until it’s gone.  So call the waiter over right now and ask for a box.  This will taste great for lunch tomorrow, and it’s just the right amount.

Some people ask for the box when they order – also a good idea. What a deal! – two meals for the price of one.


You’re ordering eggs for breakfast; you see on the menu that it comes with potatoes.  Or you’re ordering lunch and the sandwich comes with fries. Now some people love potatoes.  I myself can take them or leave them.  Generally I leave them – if I’m going to eat those kind of calories I’d rather eat chocolate.  Even if you prefer potatoes to chocolate (What, are you crazy?), this may not be the time – you’re planning on coming down two pounds this week.

So you ask the waiter, “Is there anything I can substitute for the potatoes?”  Usually they will let you replace them with something else, a salad, vegetables, or fruit.  Much better.

Order Appetizers Instead

The entrées look like a lot of food, plus they are expensive.  So instead, order an appetizer or two.  The quesadilla or the mussels appetizer will probably make a meal, maybe with the addition of a small salad.  A soup and a salad may be more than enough.  Some restaurants offer a soup and half-sandwich combo for lunch. “That may not be enough,” you worry?  Read on.

What if it’s Not Enough?

My rule is, “err on the light side – you can always order more.”  If you order too much, you may feel obliged to eat it (but see above), “waste” it (also see above), or carry part of it home.
So you order the mussels appetizer, you finish it, and you’re still hungry.  Okay, now order some soup.  Order the crab cake appetizer, the seaweed, the stuffed mushrooms, or (notice I said or) the watercress salad.  You’re satisfied, happy, and oh, it’s so good!

Chips and Salsa

In a Mexican restaurant, when they serve you chips and salsa, break the tortilla chips into smaller pieces (thirds, say), so you’re eating a little piece of chip and a lot of salsa.  Saves you eating a lot of carbs, salt, and oil.


Usually I don’t order them, unless of course I’m a few pounds under and don’t mind a little gain.

This article is excerpted from my ebook Hypnosis and Weight.

If you must, however (a special occasion?  Somebody’s birthday and you don’t want to be impolite?), a bite or two of that rich chocolate will be just as satisfying as the whole thing (really!).  So order one and split it two, three, or even four ways.  Or again, box part of it.

Comments: 0