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Strategies for eating out a lot for work and staying healthy?

If you have to eat at a lot of upscale restaurants for lunch and/or dinner for work, do you have any specific strategies so that you aren't tempted to overeat or always order the more decadent dishes?
Examples would be saving half for later, customizing with dressing on the side, etc. or making rules like always ordering soup to start.

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  1. I used to travel a lot for business- and oftentimes, I would order an appetizer and a salad. Would satisfy my hunger,and allow me to save my calories for any free time I may have on the trip- when I could explore the local joints and enjoy.ALso tried to eat a protein in the am ( boiled egg), This usually satisfied me until lunchtime. CArbs in the am always left me hungry before noon.

    1. Ask for half-size portions. Portion control is much more effective than interdicting foods.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        And it is much classier than asking for a doggy bag in the presence of a client or colleague!

      2. depends on how often "often" really is.
        -- don't go to dinner (or lunch) ravenous
        -- i don't eat the bread
        -- i don't doggy bag
        -- i usually will order two apps, the entrees are always too big anyway
        -- i don't special order, sos, etc., because the food is never quite right that way, and you're just pissing off the kitchen anyway
        -- try to order a side of something green like asparagus or broccoli, because salads are usually quite fattening in restaurants
        -- i don't clean my plate
        -- i drink alot of water
        -- not a big meat-eater, so usually will have fish
        -- i don't order anything fried

        1. I do this a lot and my general strategy is to order some kind of fresh salad and an appetizer. I don't drink alcohol and never order dessert. While I'm travelling on business I usually skip breakfast and look for something light for lunch - sushi or a salad (except in San Francisco where I have to eat a massive dim sum lunch at least once).

          1. People make fun of the ubiquitous seared ahi but the day it falls out of fashion will be a sad one for me. Often it is the only really diet-friendly thing on a menu. Other fish often comes loaded with oil and sauce.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bibi rose

              Agree that often a simply prepared tuna (or even scallops or shrimp in an interesting sauce) can be the lower-calorie choice. It depends on the sauce on how much butter/oil is in there.

              Some restaurants sabotage this by including a Mt Fuji-sized "wasabi mashed potato" or "parmesan risotto" or similar butter or cream-infused starch.

              When I was consulting, Going out for sushi was my favorite technique for a healthier dinner choice.