These 5 Menu Secrets Can Help You Lose Weight

Dine out and still lose weight with these tricks.

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Is it possible to eat your favorite restaurants and still lose weight? You betcha. With these stealthy secrets, you can navigate any menu like a weight loss pro—and still enjoy every bite.

  1. Look up the menu ahead of time. By researching the lower-calorie picks before you go, you’ll be less tempted to make unhealthy food choices later. This can also help you balance out the rest of your day, like eating a slimmer breakfast (try this green smoothie bowl) or burning some extra calories beforehand.

  1. Don’t be seduced by menu “sweet talk.” If you’re perusing the menu and come across dishes described as “crispy,” “creamy,” “buttery,” or “battered”—stay away. This usually means they’re jam-packed with calories and heart-unhealthy fats. Instead, look for eats that are labeled “grilled,” “steamed,” “baked,” or “broiled.”

  2. Pile on the produce. Filling your plate with mostly fruit or vegetables can help you fill up for less calories. Start your meal with soup or salad (stay away from the bread basket), and ask for a side of veggies instead of fries or chips.

  3. Speak up. Most restaurants will accommodate special requests, so don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. Slash calories and bad fats by asking for your meal to be baked instead of fried or cooked with olive oil instead of butter.

  4. Go halfsies. Cut portions and calories by boxing up part of your meal to eat later, or splitting your dish with a friend (and yes, that includes dessert).

By arming yourself with these tips, you can have your favorite dish and eat it too!