Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

10 Helpful Tips for Dining Out

  1. Look at the week in advance to determine how many of your 21 meals (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 7 dinners) are going to be challenged. Investigate nutrition information from on-line resources, restaurant websites and smart phone applications to help navigate making good food choices. Having this knowledge is key, as relying on pictures and brief desciptions of menu items can be very misleading.   
  2. Track your intake – data is powerful when making decisions. 
  3. Do not skip meals; becoming too hungry may lead to overeating. 
  4. Choose fruits & vegetables as snacks, and at meals fill at least ½ of your plate with them.
  5. Limit or avoid alcohol consumption. It can lower one’s inhibitions and prevent you from making good food choices.  
  6. Do not sit near the buffet, candy bowls, or cheese & cracker platters. Enjoy the company more than the food! 
  7. Trade off: If you have appetizers, skip dessert. Or flip this! 
  8. Offer to bring a fruit or veggie platter to a gathering: Use fat-free vanilla pudding as a fruit dip & homemade fat-free humus for the veggies!
  9. Send leftovers home with others, or plate them in to individual servings, and freeze.
  10. If you slip and overeat, be fair to yourself….. forgive & move forward!

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