Weight loss can still be achieved even when dining out and busy schedules. With a little planning ahead you and your child can make healthy choices and lose weight.

Follow these tips when dining out to ensure you are on track with your weight loss goals:

 Avoid restaurants that give huge portions, like buffets. Huge portions mean huge calories and weight gain. Ask yourself ahead of time is it really worth it? And will I really be able to resist the extra food once I am there?

 To decrease portion size, choose an appetizer as your main meal, or split an entre with another family member. This is a great way to save money too!

 Ask how the food is prepared, and whether substitutions can be made. Many restaurants offer a vegetable of the day, which can be substituted in place of extra bread or potatoes. Just make sure the vegetable is not french fries!

 Request that sauces and dressings be served on the side. A standard serving (ladle) of regular salad dressing can contain up to 250 calories and 30 grams of fat!

 If you are hungry, choose a lower-fat appetizer, side salad or soup to prevent over-eating the bread or your meal. You can even request that the bread or crackers not be brought to your table at all.

 Once you are full, request that the leftover food be removed from the table to prevent ongoing nibbling. Or even ask for the box as soon as your meal arrives and portion it right away.

Select items that are:

 Steamed

 Broiled

 Roasted

 Poached

 Cooked in tomato sauce

 Served au jus

Avoid items that are cooked in or contain large amounts of:

 Butter or cream sauces

 Gravy

 Au gratin or scalloped mixtures

 Cheese sauce

 Fried foods

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