Call the restaurant before you go and check the menu. Some restaurants have their menus online. Check the website for nutritional facts if available.
Try to make your reservation before you go. This will cut down on your wait time and your hunger.
Opentable.com is a website where you can make reservations online and look up the restaurant’s menu before you go.
If possible avoid All-You-Can-Eat restaurants.
Always make breakfast and lunch your biggest meals of the day, not dinner.
Never starve yourself in anticipation of the restaurant’s big meal.
Wear something fitted. You will be less likely to overstuff yourself.
Ask how is your food prepared and what ingredients are used (Read Cooking Terminology for a glossary of cooking terms - page 11)
If available, check out the restaurant’s light, low fat, or healthy menu.
Ask your Server for half a portion and take the other half home. You can also split your portion and share it with a friend.
Skip the bread basket and always start with salad. Ask for dressing on the side.
Stay away from creamy salad dressings (Caesar, Ranch, Blue Cheese, French, Creamy Italian) and opt for olive oil and lemon juice, vinegar or vinaigrette.
To control portion size, choose an appetizer for your main dish.
Substitute fatty sides, like French fries, with fresh vegetables.
Avoid sugary drinks like soda, juices, or alcoholic drinks.
Eat slowly and drink plenty of water.
At buffets, look over all items on the buffet before loading up on the first plate.
Skip the dessert.
Get familiar with these common cooking terms and what they entail in terms of how much fat and sodium expected during the preparation process. If you must have one of the dishes that is high in sodium or fat, then consider splitting the portion in half and eat the rest later.