Secrets to Low Calorie Dining Out

Secrets to Low Calorie Dining Out

With a little preparation, you can enjoy your dining out experience while remaining on your weight loss plan.
Save calories for 2 meals on the days that you are dining out, and follow the guidelines below for a pleasurable and nutritious restaurant style meal!
  • Don't arrive at the restaurant hungry - eat a piece of fruit or a serving of vegetables before you leave the house to avoid over indulging.
  • Be careful of alcoholic beverages - alcohol often stimulates your appetite, and the calories can add up quickly.
  • Decide what type of restaurant you will go to: Thai, Japanese, Greek, and Indian cuisines are often naturally lower in fat and calories than Mexican, Italian and French cuisines.
  • Look for sensible possibilities! Try replacing French fries with a baked potato. Request more veg and less pasta, or try the vegetarian option on the menu.
  • Don't be afraid to ask the waiter for suggestions. Restaurants are interested in pleasing their customers, and will most likely accommodate any requests you have.
  • Order a salad for an appetizer and fruit for dessert. Make sure to avoid the creamy salad dressings, and ask for the dressing to be served on the side so that you have control over how much is added!


Low Calorie Chinese

  • Choose steamed dishes
  • Use chopsticks as it slows your eating speed so you may end up eating less
  • Order plain rice or noodles with vegetables
  • Finish with lychees, pineapple or sorbet
Lowest Calorie Dishes
Steamed, stir fried or barbequed dishes
Steamed rice or boiled noodles
Fresh fruit or salad
High Calorie DishesDeep-fried entrees, such as spring rolls, fried dim sims, prawn crackers
Deep-fried meals such as crispy skin chicken, sweet and sour pork or fish
Fried rice or fried noodles


 Low Calorie Greek

  • Much of the oil used in salad dressings and cooking is olive oil, which is high in (good) monounsaturated fats and lower in harmful saturated fats.
  • Portions can be very large, so ask for a doggie bag, or share an entrée.
  • Béchamel sauce, a white cream sauce, is often served as a top layer on several dishes. This sauce can easily be removed and placed on the side.

Lowest Calorie Dishes
Greek Salad w/ dressing on the side
Stuffed grape leaves (dolmades)
Avgolemono soup
Roast or braised lamb
Fish platki
Baked cod
Souvlaki (shishkebob)
Rice with spinach
Stewed vegetables
Rice pudding
   High Calorie Dishes
Puff pastry or phyllo dough appetizers
Avgolemono sauce
Fried smelts, fried fish
Spanokopita (spinach feta pie in phyllo dough)
Galactoburiko (custard)


 Low Calorie Japanese

  • Japanese dishes are most often broiled, steamed, marinated, braised or simmered, resulting in low-fat dishes.
  • Many vegetable choices are available; steamed rice or plain noodles are prominent
  • Sodium content may be high, due to the use of marinades, soy sauce and pickling spices. Request that MSG not be used.
  • Smaller portions can be ordered by asking for appetizers instead of entrée portions

Lowest Calorie Dishes
Miso (fermented soy)
Clear soup (osuimono)
Noodle soup
Pickled salad
Udon (noodles)
Yakimono, yaki (broiled, grilled)
Nabe (one-pot dish)
Mushimono (steamed)
Chicken teriyaki
Steamed rice
Lite soy sauce
High Calorie Dishes
Agemono (deep fried)
Tempura (batter fried)
Katsue (fried pork cutlet)
Sukiyaki (high-fat beef dish)
Beef teriyaki

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