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What to Order When Out

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing

    Mexican is my favorite! I find it very difficult to not go overboard on the chips and salsa before my meal even arrives at the table.
    Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing recently posted..38

    1. Lisa Eirene

      YES it is so hard. I really really struggle with the chips and salsa. And those can be like 700 calories and up! That’s an entire meal.

  2. Roz@weightingfor50

    I feel really lucky to have restaurants here that have so many choices and so much ethnic diversity. My favorite is Japanese, I LOVE sushi. I really love Indian food too, but just don’t go often because most of it is very calorie laden. Thanks for the tips Lisa!!!!
    Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted..Fortune cookies tell the truth

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I routinely crave Indian food. Wish I could get an accurate calorie count for a lot of those types of food. They seem all over the board!

  3. Norma

    My standard response when people ask me about how to eat in restaurants is: do it as rarely as possible.

  4. Marc

    Hi Lisa, another great informative post 🙂 I gave up 95% of all bread and sugar last year. So because pasta is a grain product, I pass on it. Which means I haven’t had Italian in sometime. Sometimes I’ll order a hamburger in a real restaurant because you can substitute cottage cheese for French fries, or something else. I’ll eat the top bun (that’s where the 5% comes in) and leave the bottom bun. Occasionally I’ll order a beer to drink, but I usually have coffee with a water chaser 🙂
    Marc recently posted..2013 – 2nd video weigh-in

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Excellent tips, Marc. A lot of places allow you to substitute things…I typically get a salad instead of fries.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. Jane

    I don’t ‘try’ to eat in places where I know there is a better than even chance I will get into the food’s that I cannot resist. I don’t go to fast food places at all. It is easier to bring a meal than it is to find what I need when the choices are dubious. I don’t go to fondue places, dessert places, pizza places or chain Italian, Mexican or Chinese restaurants.

    Sushi is our favorite restaurant food.

    I avoid the soup in Japanese restaurants because of the soy. I do not have the soup in Chinese restaurants because it always have MSG – even places that say they do not use any MSG have been found to have MSG in their soups. It is scary.
    Jane recently posted..Eat, Plug, Suck, Flush?

  6. Trevor

    I don’t get out very often, so when I do I just binge to my heart’s content. Binge baby!

    I wish you hadn’t shown the picture of the mexican food though. There is no authentic mexican food here in Vermont. I’m from Cali and was raised on the stuff. I miss it almost as much as I miss Double Western Bacon Cheeseburgers from Carl’s Jr. Almost.


    1. Lisa Eirene

      My brother moved to Philly and he said the same thing so when they visit they want Mexican food!

      For me I love In-n-out burger and there aren’t any in Oregon or Washington. When we go to Vegas we always go there!!!!

  7. Scarlet

    I always get fajitas at Mexican restaurants too. Instead of the rice, beans, sour cream, cheese and tortillas, I order a side of guacamole and ask for lots of the house salsa and pico de gallo. At Thai restaurants I usually get a meat/veggie stir fry and there are always lots of different options and veggie combinations. I don’t eat the rice that comes with it. Sometimes I also get curry, but don’t eat the rice with that either (this only turns out well if the curry stew is chunky with lots of meat and veggies, not thin and mostly liquid). If I am at an American restaurant, I usually get a big salad that features salmon or unbreaded chicken and ask for no cheese, croutons, or dressing. If the salad has a lot of different toppings, I really don’t miss the dressing and it is not dry. Sometimes I will also get a meat based dinner like grilled chicken and sub out all the sides for whatever veggies they have. If I’m at a Japanese restaurant, I get teriaki chicken or salmon with the house veggie mix instead of rice.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I love your routine. It sounds like a solid plan–still enjoying the tasty Mexican food but not going crazy.

  8. Jennifer

    I’ve been excited to notice (at least here in the Southwest) several new kinds of Mexican restaraunts, that typically serve little more than tacos. The tacos are simple, much more like street tacos-just a meat (the places I frequent have many different types of meat and preparations) and tortilla (I go for the corn tortillas), which tends to be more authentic Mexican food. But they have an amazing toppings bar; lots of salsa, pickled and fresh vegges, fresh herbs, limes etc. You may notice that I’m leaving out sour cream and shredded orange cheese… but they keep it authentic! It’s delicious and I can enjoy the foods I love, without the added guilt.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I like Mexican restaurants that have appropriate sized servings. Street carts are often more likely to do that.

  9. Jess

    My eating out tip (especially in the states where I found the portions were huge) is to order a non fried appetizer, and a side salad with dressing on the side. I always found that to be enough food. I never ordered a full meal the whole time I was in the country! I also use this trick at home. Also, ask for things to be cooked the way you want them. I ordered at a restaurant where everything was fried, but when I asked for my chicken to be grilled instead it wasn’t an issue at all.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It’s interesting to get an “outsiders” perspective on American portion sizes. I find most of them atrociously huge and I usually take half of whatever I ordered home for lunch. Isn’t it crazy how big things are here?

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