Welcome to the RESTAURANT GUIDE!
On this page you will be taught the best choices to make while you are dining out with your friends, family and co-workers.
You can always find a smart and healthy choice anywhere you dine!
We have analyzed the following 10 restaurants...
Mexican, Chinese, Italian, Sushi, Indian, Steakhouse, Seafood, BBQ, Sports Bars and Breakfast Diners
Before we get into all the restaurants, here is a quick overview of how to order when you are dining out.
1. Always ask "CAN YOU GRILL, BAKE OR STEAM THAT?"
2. Ask for any dressings on the side
3. Observe portion control. You will always be served way too much food.
- For protein, eat only the amount equivalent to the size of your open palm (minus your fingers)
-For carbs (should you choose to have them) is no bigger than the size of your clenched fist. Half that size is even better.
- For fats, about the size of your thumb.
Ok, now let's dig in!
There’s several things at a Mexican restaurant that you do need to watch out for.
The problem with many dishes at Mexican restaurants is that they contain double or triple carbohydrate sources.
You have to watch out for the rice and the beans and the flour tortillas.
Those three things alone are all carbohydrates and can kill your chances at weight loss.
As a matter of fact... if you put all three of those on a plate you’re guaranteed to gain weight
I would choose beans over the rice and the flour tortillas because beans contain fiber as well as some protein and is a better overall choice for your midsection and blood sugar
Just make sure you ask about the type of beans. If their whole beans this is a great choice but if they are refried mashed or cooked in lard don’t order it
You also have to watch out for guacamole.
Even though avocados are good for you They are higher in fats which means they are higher in total calories so you really need to watch the portion control.
Word of advice. Ask them to put the guacamole on the side for you.
If you let them dump it on the plate you’re going to eat way too many calories.
try for something high in protein like shrimp cocktail or..
Have some fresh guacamole but instead of having it with chips ask your waiter or waitress if they can bring out some cut vegetables instead.
It will save you a ton of calories and a ton of sodium.
Just remember if you’re going to have guacamole for an appetizer than you can’t have avocados in your main dish because it’s just going to add up to too many calories. You have to be mindful and make a choice. This is an either or option.
And whatever you do do not order the taco salad and think you are being healthy. Perhaps the most liberal use of the word salad ever LOL ...the taco salad at a Mexican restaurant could be close to 1000 calories and 60 g of fat. Just don’t order it
Grilled shrimp salad.
Even if it’s not on the menu you can get the waiter or waitress to make you a simple grilled shrimp salad.
The key here is to ask for dressing on the side (light balsamic vinaigrette is a good choice)
You can sprinkle some shredded cheese on the salad and this is a perfect low-calorie high-fiber high-protein meal that you can enjoy
Grilled chicken and avocado salad.
Here’s another simple dish you can ask your server to provide even if it is not on the menu. Order a normal salad and have them add grilled chicken and avocado and some light shredded cheese to it and you’re good to go. If you’re a vegetarian substitute the chicken for the beans and it’s still a great option.
Raw fish (Combination of shrimp, white fish and scallops) marinated in lime juice and herbs Is a great low calorie healthy option that is actually great for the skin
Tacos or fajitas
Chicken, shrimp or grilled fish fajitas or...
Chicken, shrimp or grilled fish tacos
Note: ask for your fish to be grilled and not fried
Note: Soft flour tortillas are lower in fat than a hardshell tortilla.
Note: If they can make your tacos with corn tortillas you can cut another 100 calories from each taco!
If your vegetarian go with a black bean burrito or taco if they have it but just make sure it’s not refried.
Just skip the cheese and the sour cream and it’ll save you another 300 calories.
And if you really want to be awesome just ask for 1 tortilla (instead of the 2 or 3 it comes with) and stuff it full with your protein source and veggies so you can save on the white flour
Don’t forget to ask for the guacamole on the side to control the portion size and if you must have sour cream... get it on the side.
If you like salsa or hot sauce ...go for it. It’s a great low-calorie choice And should be your main condiments at a Mexican restaurant
If you were going to have a drink the best choice is tequila straight up or on the rocks with lime.
It’s clean, refreshing, lower in calories and Free of sugar packed additives
It is a much better choice then a margarita with a sugar rim that is loaded with extra calories.
If you must have a margarita ask your bartender for what is called a “skinny margarita” - It’s tequila with a lot of lime juice and a little bit of simple syrup.
It’ll save you hundreds of calories and a lot of sugar that is contained in a regular margarita mix.
You could also go with a light Mexican beer.
The optimal word on the Chinese food menu is “steamed.”
Best dishes to order are:
steamed shrimp or
They all generally come with mixed vegetables. If you want rice , ask for brown rice instead of white.
There may also be a portion of the menu that’s dedicated towards dieters. It may say something like diet friendly or low sodium or low calorie.
Most of those are probably fine just make sure and remember you always order protein along with your vegetables.
Tip: Noodles is not a meal and choices such as “lo mein” may seem innocent but they are generally fried in oil and have more calories than we think.
Tip: Any kind of sauce that they may be cooking with kindly ask for it on the side.
You most likely don’t have to worry about that as long as you order “steamed”dishes
I’m not a huge fan of soup because it makes me bloated but if you wanted to have soup as an appetizer, It’s a good choice because it’s low in calories.
For example...either egg drop or hot and sour soup has only 70 calories per cup and would help you feel full before the meal even gets there.
Stay away from words like sesame, sweet and sour, orange , or general Tso’s. These dishes can set you back anywhere from 1,000 to 1500 calories
And don’t worry about eating the fortune cookie. It only has 30-40 calories!
P.S. They also likely have a section of the menu called "Dieters Choice" are something similar.
They are all pretty good as they should all be steamed, with little to no sauce and little to no sodium. Just make sure you add a protein source (chicken, beef, steak, shrimp, tofu or fish)
This cuisine has the most tempting carbohydrate selections and it can ruin your weight loss/fat loss goals fast.
Between the pizza, the bread and the pastas - you really need to stay focused and remember what your goals are!
First, if you wanna order a drink, have a glass of red wine and immediately order (and possibly share) a salad. LEAVE THE BREAD, BREADSTICKS AND THE BUTTER ALONE.
Avoid heavy, creamy salad dressings. Top your salads with low-calorie and low-fat dressings, like a splash of olive oil and vinegar, instead of heavy ones like Caesar salad dressing or Creamy Italian.
Smart appetizer to split with the table - Mussels in White Wine!
Main Dish: Order fish. Many Italian dishes have good-for-you, low-calorie seafood like shrimp, clams, salmon or branzini.
Another Main Dish Option: Order grilled meats, not breaded ones. Order grilled chicken (with the tomato sauce) instead of the Parmesan cheese topping. You’ll savor the flavor and save calories from the cheese at the same time.
Order hot and spicy! Rev up your appetite and your metabolism with Italian entrées served “fra diavolo.” The term, which is Italian for “devil” refers to foods that have a fire-y taste, typically from spicy red peppers.
Another tasty and spicy choice? Foods served “arrabbiata,” the Italian word for angry. That means the dish has good heat.
Say Bye-Bye to carbonara. This fattening style of food prep involves cooking the pasta with pork fat, cheese and eggs.
Say no to fettuccine Alfredo. It’s not the pasta that’s so rich in this recipe; it’s the heavy Alfredo sauce made of butter, Parmesan cheese and sometimes eggs or starch. Stick with tomato sauce
Stay away from lunchmeats in your meal. Italian lunchmeats like prosciutto and mortadella are loaded with fat and sodium are high in calories, too.
Don’t order dishes that are “frito,” a.k.a fried. Keep extra calories off your plate by not ordering any “frito” foods.
Order an espresso instead of a dessert. Sipping on an espresso after a well-enjoyed Italian meal is a great way to save calories. Don't add sugar. "Equal" or something similar is fine!
4 Great Appetizers/Starters
Starter 1: Start with edamame! High in protein and fiber and low in calories. Ask for it saltless and add it yourself
Starter 2: Garden Salad or Seaweed Salad.
Starter 3: Chicken or Shrimp or Beef Skewers to get in extra protein before those rolls come.
Starter 4: Start with a miso soup. It can actually help fill you up on the hot broth without a significant number of calories. A cup of miso soup has less than 75 calories.
Main Dishes - Ask for brown rice sushi rolls instead of regular white rice.
Choose rolls with salmon, tuna or healthy fats. The more simple, the better.
California rolls are only 300 calories for every 8 rolls and has healthy fats from avocados!
Tuna rolls, Salmon avocado rolls, Salmon Skin rolls and/or fillet mignon rolls are all good choices.
BEST CHOICE - Sashimi sushi (over maki sushi, which has the fish rolled into rice and seaweed) is the raw fish without the rice and the roll.
Steamed, Grilled or Raw are my favorite 3 words!
Things to watch for...
Soy sauce has 1,000 mg of sodium per tablespoon so if you don't wanna feel BLOATED then skip it and stick with wasabi or ask for reduced sodium soy sauce which they have.
Any roll with the word "spicy" in it contains MAYO which should be avoided. If you want spicy ask for chili sauce on the side!
Avoid the word "crunchy" in rolls as they are deep fried.
Avoid anything with a cream cheese filling.
Vegetable soup is the best bet because most appetizers here revolve around potatoes and a deep fryer.
Indian soups are broth based and packed with veggies.
You could always start with a salad with light dressing at any restaurant and that's a universal smart idea!
Stay away from the words "samosas" or "pakora"
Avoid that NAN BREAD AND THE RICE. If you must, you better be splitting it with 2 or 3 other people. It's best to avoid it. These are carbs and carbs don't get us lean!
Main Dishes: Go with anything "tandoori" which means cooked in a clay oven (like a grill).
Go with tandoori chicken, fish or shrimp!
You can also try lamb which I love but it will be slightly higher in calories.
Another good option is "chicken tikka" - which is lean chicken marinated in yogurt and spices. Don't mistake this with tikka masala. Masala means "CREAM" and that means "fat" IN ANY LANGUAGE!
Other great choices include...
Prawn Kebab (grilled prawns and spices)
Barrah Kebab (grilled lamb marinated in yogurt and spices) and Kadai Chicken (spiced chicken with onions and bell peppers)
Note - if you're vegetarian, indian chefs can do amazing things with veggies. Stick to entrees based on lentils and chickpeas and avoid the word "CREAM" and you'll be ok!
Try for a simple mixed green or tomato and onion salad with dressing on the side.
Skip the iceberg lettuce which has zero nutritional value and the blue cheese which is common in steakhouses.
Another great appetizer could be Shrimp cocktail or oysters on the half shell. Low in calories and high in protein.
Main Dishes - Go with the FILET MIGNON - it's the leanest of the steaks. Another great option is TOP SIRLOIN which is also a lean meat. If they have a "GRASS FED" option, then by all means choose that!
Avoid the porterhouse, rib-eye or dry aged meats. They are way to high in fat and in total calories.
Sides - Grilled asparagus or steamed veggies ladies! That's it.
Forget the potatoes and the creamed spinach unless you want an expanded waistline. If you must have a potato, then get it baked and plain and eat half or split it with a friend.
Shrimp cocktail is the best starter as it's low in calories and high in protein.
Mussels in a red sauce (as long as you avoid dipping bread in the sauce) and oysters are other really good options.
By the way, sometimes a salad with light dressing on the side and a few apps like that might be all you need. There is no rule that says ya gotta order a main meal.
You could also split a main dish with a friend if ya start to fill up.
I'm not a big fan of soups cuz I can bloat easily but a RED (not white) clam chowder soup would be a safe bet.
Main Dishes - Surf and Turf is a good one! Select filet mignon or sirloin as opposed to a strip or ribeye and you will save tons of extra calories.
Go with "OVEN BROILED SEAFOOD" or "grilled" Choices like shrimp, albacore tuna, salmon and catfish are great options.
Avoid shark and king mackerel as they are high in mercury.
Avoid anything "fried" so you cannot have popcorn shrimp or fried oysters for example.
If you see the word "BLACKENED" - GO FOR IT! It's FIT FIGURE APPROVED! - it means covered in spices and cooked in a cast iron skillet. It's a great way to save on calories and big flavors to dishes!
One more note - tartar sauce could contain up to 10 grams of fat per tablespoon so...
opt for fat-free cocktail sauce made mostly of tomatoes and horseradish or simply ask for extra lemons!
Peel N' eat shrimp; is a great choice! As always, a mixed green salad with light dressing on the side never fails!
Other good options are baked red beans and or collard greens.
Avoid anything fried, creamed or tossed in mayo. And avoid the cornbread at all costs!
Main Dishes - Chicken is your best bet when it comes to saving calories so BBQ 1/4 or 1/2 chicken is your friend. Opt for words like "smoked" or "rotisserie" over the fried stuff.
Another great choice is "blackened" catfish or salmon. "Blackened" means a mix of spices and then its either grilled or pan seared in a cast iron skillet.
If you are going to go with ribs... avoid the Kansis city ribs, Texas style ribs, and especially the St. Louis spare ribs (the fattiest of all)
Go with the Memphis stye "BABY-BACK RIBS" - which is the leanest of all the ribs. Get them dry rubbed if possible which will save you a ton of calories from the sauce.
But try to avoid ribs all together and just get the BBQ chicken with a side of collard greens!
Salad with light dressing on the side! Fiber helps you feel full so it's always a great starter.
Main Dishes - it's less about what you order but how you order it.
If you're gonna go with a burger, make sure you ask for it with out the bun and without the mayo!
Tomato, ketchup;, mustard and onions are all ok! Also ask if they have leaner burgers like bison or buffalo meat or better yet, get a bun-less turkey or veggies burger and save even more calories.
If the bar's wings are beer-battered and fried, ask if they can be GRILLED instead and then you can have a few wings.
If you're going to go wth a pizza (not my favorite choice), order the thin-crust pizza, but request that the cook go light on the cheese and load it with veggies and chicken instead of pepperoni.
My favorite option - CHILI - high in protein and fiber, chili is most likely your best bet at a Sports Bar. Add some hot sauce and your good to go!
What to watch for: Just say "NO" to french fries, cheesy dips, nachos, fried onion rings and anything labeled "crispy" or "breaded."
Also, don't be fooled by their "chicken salad" ...if the chicken is fried and the salad is loaded with ranch dressing your'e in trouble.
Make sure the chicken is grilled and get light vinaigrette dressing on the side.
Ask for steamed veggies (my favorite side dish) or split a baked potato (if you must) with a friend for a clean, low calorie carb option to go along with your protein. Ask for hot sauce in stead of butter or sour cream.
And of course if you're gonna have a beer, make it a light beer under 100 calories and under 5 grams of carbs. Ask your waiter or use our beer guide located inside the private FB group.
Good choices - spinach and feta cheese omelette. You can ask for egg whites if you wish or for 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites!
Feel free to ad turkey bacon which is high in protein and low in fat or Canadian bacon (if they have it) which is lower in fat and higher in protein than ham.
Other good choices are...
- plain old scrambled egg white omelette with fresh fruit on the side (berries is best)
- scrambled egg white omelette with tomatoes and 1 slice of American or Swiss
- 2 poached eggs with turkey bacon or Canadian bacon
- 1/2 cantaloupe with 0% or 1% cottage cheese or 0% or 1% Greek yogurt in the middle. Sprinkle with a small handful of nuts (optional)
- if you want oatmeal, eat 1/2 of the amount that is served to you and order a 3 egg (1 yolk only) omelette with feta or American or Swiss cheese so you can add some quality protein to your breakfast.
* Remember, we want some form of protein in every meal and snack!
What to Avoid - Stay away from muffins, sticky buns, french fries, home fries, french toast, pancakes, toast (**unless you limit to one slice of rye, wheat or whole wheat bread), butter, syrup, sausage, regular bacon, their "specials of the day" which is usually loaded with extra fat and total calories.