If you're following a low fat diet, either because you have a health issue that calls for it, or you're simply trying to lose weight, eating out can be a bit of a struggle. Not only does temptation lie around every corner, but you can't always be sure what ingredients are used to flavor dishes, either. To ensure you stick to your low-fat diet plan when dining out, follow these tips.
Order a meal salad -- but pay close attention to the ingredients.
A "meal salad" can be a healthy, filling, low-fat meal, as long as you don't accidentally overlook some high-fat ingredients. Steer clear of salads with cheese or nuts as toppings -- these are higher in fat than you'd think! Even sesame or sunflower seeds are bad choices, as they have a high fat content. Order a salad that is strictly vegetables and fruits, with some lean chicken or steak to fill you up. Ask for the (low fat) dressing on the side, so you can control how much you add.
If the restaurant does not seem to have a salad on the menu without fatty toppings, feel free to ask them to leave those toppings off. You may have a hard time resisting the temptation to eat them if you get the salad as listed and plan to put the fatty ingredients to the side.
Don't order anything with a sauce.
Common sense would tell you to stay away from dishes with creamy sauces. But even non-creamy sauces can be laden with butter or oil. Say no to these dishes, and instead order plain grilled chicken, steak or fish that has been seasoned with spices. You can always ask for the sauce on the side and then use just a tiny bit to flavor your dish.
Approach the bread basket with caution.
Bread is okay on a low-fat diet -- you're not on a low-carb diet, after all! However, reaching for the bread basket at a restaurant can get you in trouble if the bread being offering is biscuits or rolls. These often contain a lot of fat. Say "no" to the bread basket unless classic Italian-style bread is being offered, since you can be confident this is low in fat. Ask for some balsamic vinegar to dip your bread in rather than slathering it with oil or butter.
With more people trying to eat healthier these days, it is becoming easier to find restaurants that offer low-fat menu options. Contact local restaurants, like Stardust Restaurant, to see what low-fat options they offer. If you can't find a restaurant with low-fat choices, however, you can rely on these tactics to help you have a delicious meal and still stick to your diet.