If you have been on diets in the past, then you know that trying to lose weight is no easy task. It can be even harder to shed pounds if you’re the type of person who eats a lot of meals away from home. More people are eating out than ever before, and obesity continues to be a growing problem. But that doesn’t mean you have to go off your diet just because you’re at a restaurant. With that in mind, here are some things you should to keep from adding extra weight when dining out.

Japanese, Thai and Chinese restaurants are usually loaded with foods you can eat without guilt, though there are some exceptions. Stay away from anything that’s fried, such as orange chicken, tempura, and egg rolls. Some noodle dishes are coated with oil to keep them from sticking, so ask if you’re not sure. Most stir fry dishes are okay as the amount of oil used is low, and they are made quickly so the food won’t absorb all that much oil. Ask for steamed rice, not fried. Most oriental dishes are based around rice and vegetables, with meat used sparingly for flavor. Sushi is also a good choice as it mad with rice, vegetables and fish. Also, have a cup or two of green tea with your meal to get even more weight loss benefits.

The food at Italian restaurants is usually either very bad for you, or very good for you. The main thing is to stay away from entrees that have cheese or cream sauces. It’s okay to sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on your food for flavor, but your meal itself shouldn’t have cheese as a main ingredient. Start your meal off with a bowl of minestrone soup and focus on dishes that have a lot of vegetables in them. Marinara sauce is a good choice, just don’t add unnecessary fat to it by getting it with meatballs or Italian sausage.

French food is usually though of as being extra rich, and it certainly can be. however, you don’t have to load up on heavy sauces and other high-fat fare. Instead, opt for the roasted chicken (stick with the white meat) with mushrooms, and have fresh asparagus on the side. You can definitely keep your diet in check when dining at French restaurants, but you will have to pay a little more attention when you order.

American food runs the gamut, and has had influences from many different countries. Start your meal off with a green salad, but have them bring you the salad dressing on your side. Then dip the tip of your fork into the dressing before eating the salad. This will give you all the flavor without drowning the salad in dressing. Seafood, as long as it isn’t fried, is a better choice than pork or most cuts of beef. The other problem is the portion sizes are much larger than they have to be.

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