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Best Bets for Lunch and Dinner


Pizza can be a big challenge when losing weight. It's the second most popular eating-out food behind burgers and for good reason—it smells great, it's a super treat, and it's easily served at everything from office luncheons to family parties. You even get to eat it with your fingers! Plus, it's only a quick phone call away. (P.S. Make sure that the local delivery number isn't on your speed dialer!)

You'll never get away from pizza, and we don't want you to think of it as an evil food, but how you eat pizza can make a big difference in releasing fat from your body. Here are four pizza-eating tips:

First, when you get to choose the toppings, pick the meats or fish—ham, hamburger, anchovies, and Canadian bacon—and add veggies or fruits. Avoid ordering double cheese.

Second, when you eat pizza, eat with a fork. Eat the topping and leave behind the crust, no matter whether the crust is deep dish or thin and crisp. Leave it for the trashcan. This could be a challenge but give it a try.

Third, when you can, order a side salad with the pizza. You'll then have a balanced meal.

Fourth, eat slowly and make sure that you eat 0-5. Don't even think about a third piece of pizza until you've stopped and checked with your body to see what your hunger number is.

Good choices include the following:

  • Meat toppings (unfortunately pepperoni and sausage are the least desirable)
  • Other vegetable and fruit toppings
  • A side salad

Poorer choices include the following:

  • Double cheese
  • Highly-processed meat toppings such as pepperoni and sausage
  • The crust

If anyone has the insensitivity to ask you why you aren't eating the crust, just shrug your shoulders lightly and say, “The toppings are so good, I just don't want the crust.” This should end the conversation, unless the person asks for your leftover crust.

Ethnic Food


If you really love the taste of the salsa that comes with the corn chips served before your meal at Mexican restaurants, it is fine to eat the salsa with a spoon and bypass all the chips. Salsa has great veggie value and great taste. It makes a great salad dressing, too!

Yes, you can eat comfortably at ethnic restaurants and enjoy the interesting, varied, and delightful cuisines. Remember to (1) consume the types of foods that best nourish your body, and (2) eat 0-5.

Mexican Food

Olé! Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines are delicious, and if you enjoy spicy foods and hot chilies, these restaurants are hard to resist. Often high-quality complete protein comes wrapped in a starch—either corn or wheat tortillas or corn meal, as with tamales. Consequently, it's best to eat less of the wrapping and more of the filling. This is the same as our sandwich recommendations.

Good choices include the following:

  • Guacamole dip (avocados are especially healthy and good for weight loss)
  • Salsa with some corn chips
  • Tortilla soup
  • Carne adobada, or marinated long-cooked pork
  • Carnitas
  • Tamales, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, and other “wrapped” meat mixtures
  • Salads
  • Taco salad
  • Fajitas
  • Beans
  • For dessert, flan (if you have room)

Poorer choices include the following:

  • Overeating the chips before the entrée arrives
  • Eating all the rice or even most of it
  • Ordering cheese rather than meat or chicken fillings
  • Sopapillas for dessert (they're just fried bread)

You may find Mexican food so delightful that it's hard to stop eating at 5. Be sure to eat slowly so that you enjoy all the flavors; otherwise, it can seem as if 5 comes too soon.


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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