By: Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN

As the country slowly reopens, you may be excited to return back to “normal life.” Gyms may be open, so you can finally get in a good workout. Restaurants and bars may be reopening, so you can go back to eating, drinking and socializing.

But what about weight loss? Does going back to “normal” mean going back to your normal body weight? If you made progress while in quarantine, could all that weight come back?

Well, yes.

Unless… you know how to lose weight effectively when the country reopens!


Keep Losing Weight – No Matter What

The key to effective, long-term weight loss is to stick to your goals, regardless of the situation.

Your weight loss plan should be sustainable so that you lose weight whether you’re quarantined away from fast food or you have 100% access to restaurants and bars.

Even though perfection is impossible, you can still follow your diet plan when you’re eating out (and keep losing weight). Here are our tips!


  1. Eat ½ of Your Restaurant Meal

One of the biggest weight loss restaurant mistakes is overeating calories. Restaurant portions are huge! In fact, one dish at most restaurants is actually too many calories for most people! So, share or eat ½ of the meal you are given.

  1. Box ½ Your Food Before it’s Served

 If you struggle to control yourself once you start eating, ask your server to box up ½ of your meal before it’s served at the table. This helps you control calories by not even giving you the option to eat the whole meal in one sitting!

  1. Choose an Appetizer

 Some appetizers are better portioned for one meal. If you can, choose a healthy appetizer and eat that (and skip the entrée or dessert). Feel like you need more? Have a glass of water before and after the meal, you may find yourself completely full!

  1. Choose one: Alcohol or Dessert

Alcohol and dessert can be some of the highest-calorie items at the restaurant. If you want to keep the weight off, consider avoiding alcohol and dessert when eating out. Otherwise, choose one or the other: alcohol or dessert. Making this compromise can save you hundreds of calories! Learn more about alcohol and weight loss here.

  1. Fill Up with Veggies

Veggies are a dieter’s best friend! Not only are veggies healthy, but they are often low in calories (if you do it right). Here are some tips to follow to do veggies right:


Foods to fill you up Ingredients to limit or avoid
·         Green leafy vegetables

·         Bell pepper

·         Mushrooms

·         Tomatoes

·         Lettuce

·         Carrots

·         Broccoli

·         Vegetable medleys

·         Cream

·         Cheese

·         Creamy soups and broths

·         Sour cream

·         Fried veggies

·         Butter

·         Lots of oil (ask for steamed veggies)


Restaurant Eating, Done Right

Restaurants are a huge part of American culture. If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to avoid eating out. But, you can make many small changes to lose weight and enjoy reopening.