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Best Bets for Lunch and Dinner

Three types of restaurants are usually quite reliable for eating out appropriately—that is, for getting enough protein, fruits, and vegetables.

Steak Houses

Steak houses abound in most cities and towns. Typically, the selection is focused on—you guessed it—steak. Sometimes seafood, too. You can easily make smart meal choices. Many offer salad bars or fabulous salads. If you make sure to eat 0-5, you can have a great meal that keeps you moving toward reaching your ideal size.

Best menu choices include the following:

  • Steak or prime rib with visible fat cut off
  • Seafood or fish
  • Vegetable of the day
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Salad bar or salad
  • Baked sweet potato with butter (these are low-glycemic)
  • Béarnaise sauce on veggies or meat
  • Dessert of cheesecake or crème brûlée

Poorer choices include the following:

  • White baked potato, especially if you plan to eat it all rather than a bite or two
  • Anything starchy on the menu such as pasta
  • Lots of bread

Since the size of the meals at steak houses can be large, they're a great place for sharing a meal. Or plan to bring leftovers home. That leftover steak makes a great and quick breakfast the next day.

Hamburgers, Ribs, and Such

These are usually low- to mid-priced, sit-down restaurants. Examples include Bennigan's, Tony Roma's, and Chili's. They offer you wonderful choices for eating to attain your ideal size.

Best menu choices include the following:

  • Burgers (hold the bun) and maybe a few fries
  • Meat entrées such as chicken, ribs, and steaks
  • Dinner salads and side salads
  • Fish and seafood
  • Sandwiches—preferably hold the bread

Poorer choices include the following:

  • Pasta dishes
  • Sandwiches if you eat the bread

As you are beginning to notice, you can eat at any restaurant. Your food selections and eating 0-5 are what make you successful at getting to your ideal size.

Fresh Fish Houses

Body of Knowledge

Because fish, especially salmon, contains essential fatty acids, you'll benefit from eating more. Fish and other seafood are excellent sources of high-quality protein.

Any time you can eat fresh fish and seafood, go for it.

Good choices include the following:

  • Fish and seafood entrées and appetizers
  • Salads and veggies
  • Butter, cocktail sauce, garlic sauce, or other condiments
  • Sourdough bread (limit your consumption to a small piece)

Poorer choices include the following:

  • Pasta dishes, which are seldom served al dente
  • Too many French fries or too much baked potato
  • Heavily breaded fish


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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