By Tanya Zuckerbrot
Americans are eating out more than ever, but going out to eat doesn’t have to be a diet disaster. You can still lose weight with healthy eating when dining out. While restaurants used to mean special occasions, now almost half of adults eat at restaurants, or order takeout every day for convenience, variety, or taste. But if dieting while eating out means choosing one from column A and one from column B, then you can face disaster for your weight loss goals.
Staying home and steaming veggies is not the only option! Whether you love Italian, or Japanese, or Mexican, or all of the above, there are plenty of healthy restaurant options that work with your desire to lose weight.
To Lose Weight, Order an Appetizer When Eating Out
When everyone is ordering mouth-watering—and fattening—appetizers, the worst thing to do is order nothing. Always start your meal with a salad (dressing on the side) or a cup of soup (broth-based)—2 nutritious, low-calorie options that keep you from attacking the bread basket and help you feel a bit fuller before your entrée arrives.
Tips for Eating Italian Food—Pasta on a Diet Is Not the Enemy!
The low-carb diet craze has made pasta the bad boy your mamma warned you not to date. We were told that to lose weight, we had to bid our beloved carbs—bread, pasta, and rice—goodbye. So, how is it that in Italy, people eat pasta daily without the same obesity rates we have in the U.S.? The secret: Italians serve pasta as a first course, or primo piatto, rather than as an entrée, as we do in America. The problem with pasta on a diet? Spaghetti as a main dish can weigh in at a whopping 1,000 calories, more than half of your daily calorie allowance! Don’t skip the pasta, just have it as an appetizer, about 300 calories. Then, order grilled fish or meat with a side of vegetables for your main course, and you’ll get a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
Secrets to Dining on Chinese without Gaining Weight
Chinese food in the U.S. caters to the American taste for fried food and meat-based entrées, rather than the healthy grain- and vegetable-based dishes traditionally found in China. While on a diet, steer clear of fried favorites like egg rolls, orange beef, and kung pao chicken, which packs an eye-popping 1,275 calories—the same amount of fat as 4 McDonald’s Quarter-Pounders! A better option while eating out: choose low-fat dishes that are stir-fried or steamed, and loaded with vegetables and lean protein. If steamed dishes seem bland, order a stir-fried dish and a steamed dish and mix them together—the stir-fry adds flavor to the steamed option, while the steamed reduces the calorie and fat content of the stir-fry.
Avoid Sushi Bar Diet Landmines & Opt for Healthy Japanese Cuisine When Eating at Restaurants
Sushi bars and restaurants are popping up more than any other type of ethnic food. Sounds like good news for your weight-loss plan, since Japanese cuisine is inherently healthy. Leave it to the American fried-food fixation to spoil the fun. Sushi rolls such as spider (fried soft-shell crab), tempura (deep-fried shrimp or vegetables), and Philadelphia (smoked salmon and cream cheese) are high in fat and can wreak havoc on your waistline. Instead, go for the miso soup (50 calories), a house salad with ginger dressing on the side (110 calories), and sushi or sashimi, both great sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Opt for lean fish and shellfish like tuna, shrimp, and scallops, and avoid fattier fish like yellowtail, salmon, and eel. If you aren’t ready for to go raw, chicken, salmon, and beef teriyaki are all good bets when eating out while on a diet.
Mexican Food Made Low-Cal: What to Skip, What to Order
Can’t resist the tortilla chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant? They may be free, but they can cost you a lot in calories—15 chips equal 200 calories. And every dip into that bowl of guacamole adds 35 more calories. That’s 675 calories for 15 chips, before you’ve even ordered dinner! For a guilt-free starter, switch out the chips and guac for a tortilla (100 calories) with salsa (10 calories for 2 tablespoons). Then, have an appetizer like black bean soup, which is flavorful and filling, with 8 grams of fiber. Avoid main-dish diet pitfalls like nachos grande (beef, guacamole, cheese, and sour cream), which can set you back 1,400 calories. Even a seemingly small quesadilla can contain 500 calories. Your best bet for diet-friendly entrées when eating out at a Mexican restaurant ? Go for grilled vegetables and lean protein, such as chicken or shrimp fajitas. But don’t add the fattening condiments—go for peppers and onions to bulk up your tortilla, not your body.
3-Course Meal Weight Loss While Dieting? Go for the Greek
Greek food is one of the world’s healthiest cuisines. Full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (olive oil and nuts), fish, and vegetables, it’s hard to go wrong when dining Greek. But there are a few dishes that are diet disasters. Pastitsio and mousakka are both filled with rich cream sauce. Cream sauce in any language translates as calories and fat. And while phyllo dough, which is common in Greek cuisine, might seem flaky and light, each layer is actually brushed with butter to make it crisp. Another traditional Greek food, feta cheese, is mistakenly thought of as a diet-friendly cheese. In fact, 1 ounce has 75 calories and 6g of fat. Make sure not to eat more than 2 ounces. A waist-friendly way to dine Greek—start with Greek salad (dressing on the side), then have a grilled-calamari appetizer, followed by a Greek-cuisine classic, grilled fish.
• A Celebrity Nutritionist’s Diet Plan & Personal Tips
• How to Eat Like a Kid & Still Lose Weight
• Get the Buff Body You Want with a Fitness Routine You’ll Keep
Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor
Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more of Tanya’s tips
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Cynthia Sass has done it all! She’s one of the few registered dietitians who have consistently worked in every aspect of nutrition communications – as an editor, writer, columnist, blogger, best-selling author, speaker, spokesperson, and a contributor to a national news network.
Best-Selling Author & TV’s Favorite Food Coach
Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author and columnist based in New York City. One of the most well-known and well-respected nutritionists in the country, Sass has been a guest on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Rachael Ray Show, The Dr. Oz. Show, The Biggest Loser, Nightline, CNN, ABC World News Tonight, Fox News Live and local TV stations in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. For over 8 months, Sass was a weekly guest on the nationally syndicated Morning Show with Mike & Juliet. She is now an ABC News contributor and Good Morning America’s “Food Coach.”
Cynthia has been quoted in the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Prevention, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Seventeen, Fitness, Self, Shape, Health, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Marie Claire, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, Runner’s World, US Weekly, In Style and many other national and international publications. She has also been a guest on national radio networks including Health Radio Network, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, and National Public Radio.
Co Author of Flat Belly Diet! and Cookbook and more!
Sass is the co-author of Flat Belly Diet! and the creator of its deliciously slimming eating plan. The book, which spent 24 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, was AOL’s #1 searched diet in 2008 and the Flat Belly Diet! Cookbook, which Sass co-authored, is also a New York Times best seller. Cynthia’s first book, Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life, received a glowing review in the New York Times and was a “Books for a Better Life” awards finalist. Cynthia also contributed to Today Show travel editor Peter Greenberg’s book The Traveler’s Diet: Eating Right and Staying Fit on the Road. She’s the co-author of The Ultimate Diet Log, a unique food and exercise diary that harnesses the power of journaling to help readers target and meet customized goals. Cynthia’s highly anticipated new book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches was released by Harper Collins January 1, 2011, and soared to #1 in all books on amazon.com by January 5.
Cynthia Sass; Nutritionist and Reregistered Dietitian Extraordinaire!
Cynthia is the former nutrition director and grocery guru columnist at Prevention magazine. She is now a contributing editor, blogger, and weight loss coach columnist for Shape, the food coach columnist for Remedy, sports nutrition columnist for Tennis, and a contributing editor, columnist, and the sole nutritionist for Athletes Quarterly, an exclusive publication for professional athletes. She’s also on the advisory boards of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, A Taste of Home, and Healthy Cooking magazines. An in-demand freelance writer, Cynthia’s feature articles have been published in Good Housekeeping, Shape, Self, Fitness, Women’s Health, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Reader’s Digest, More, Cooking Light, Eating Well, Vegetarian Times, Prevention, Parade and other magazines.
Cynthia graduated with highest honors from Syracuse University where she earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in nutrition science. She completed a second master’s degree in public health at the University of South Florida, with an emphasis in community and family health education.
Sass is one of the first registered dietitians to become board certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She is the sports nutritionist for the New York Rangers NHL team and Tampa Bay Rays MLB team, and also served as the nutrition consultant to the Philadelphia Phillies from 2007 to 2009. She maintains a private practice in Manhattan where she privately counsels a wide range of clients, from professional athletes, models and CEOs to new moms, teens, and couples.
Cynthia’s gift is the ability to explain complicated science and the human body in a clear, simple and entertaining way and to make it memorable. Affectionately known as “Sass” by her clients, Cynthia has a communication style that has been described as that of a sister or friend who just happens to be one of the most trusted health experts in the country.
By Cynthia Sass, Guest Editor
4:00 a.m. The Blackberry alarm is beeping. Yikes, 4:00 a.m. already? I feel like I’ve been asleep for 5 minutes. Gotta give my kitty cat Toonces a little love before I crawl out of bed. He’s giving me that adorable look that says, “Stay!” After a little snuggle time, I start my day the usual way: coffee (with organic soy milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and Howard Stern. Howard doesn’t start until 6:00 a.m., but I’m listening to the replay of yesterday’s show, which I missed because I was doing back-to-back radio all morning. Yay! Time to shower, check email, Facebook, and Twitter, and get ready to go. Throughout, I’m nibbling on a Cinch! breakfast: quick-cooking whole oats topped with cherries (frozen, warmed up in microwave) and sliced almonds with a sprinkle of ground cloves. Just before shutting down my computer, I find out that Vogue included Cinch! in its round-up of 5 new diet and wellness books. Yipee! VOGUE!!! I feel like Carrie Bradshaw! Woke up my hubby to kiss him goodbye. Couldn’t resist sharing my Vogue news. He sleepily squeezes my hand. Aww, he’s the best.
7:00 a.m. Off to the CBS Early Show to do a fun “restaurant re-do” segment. I chose 4 restaurant meals that aren’t waistline-friendly and show how to make a healthy DIY version of each. For example, instead of onion rings, which absorb 5 tablespoons of grease, you can whip up a super crispy baked version that’s deliciously satisfying and won’t leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. Sipped some H2O in the greenroom while watching the show’s interview with the homeless man with the “golden voice”—tried not to cry my makeup off.
9:00 a.m. Off to ABC News in Times Square for my weekly “Food Coach with Cynthia Sass” segment on Good Morning America. Today’s topic: the office diet. Many of my clients eat 3–4 meals a day at work and spend more time at the office than at home. I offer tips for how to make your workplace conducive to your New Year’s resolutions, such as recruiting a lunch buddy for accountability and support; and stashing a bag of frozen broccoli in the office freezer, which you can toss with a little sundried tomato pesto from the fridge. . . . I grab more H2O and hurray! In the green room at ABC, I get to see part of my Rachael Ray segment (which was pre-taped) about my new book Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches. The food looks delicious and Selena, a Cinch! devotee, looks like a knockout on TV. She shrunk from a size 10 to a size 4 by following the plan and she’s still Cinching daily. Love her!!!
11:00 a.m. Grab a large green tea, check emails, return some phone calls. No time for a real lunch before my next gig, so I start to nibble on my “emergency back-up kit”—stuff I brought with: organic soy nuts for protein, whole grain crackers, and organic baby carrots, followed by a Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar—tastes like dessert, but it’s super clean. The only ingredients are dates, almonds, walnuts, unsweetened cocoa powder, and unsweetened coconut—that’s it! I’m officially obsessed.
12:00 p.m. Head to The Martha Stewart Show to film a segment about my new book. So excited to meet Martha and reunite with Jen, who will share her personal Cinch! success story with the audience. She’s 30 pounds lighter than when I met her and looks and feels phenomenal. Jen’s a single mother of 4, who struggled with weight her whole life. Once again, I have to fight back the tears. Lots of hugging. We have so much fun getting false eyelashes, meeting Martha—who is incredibly nice, truly, truly wonderful, wow, what an honor to be there and show her MY recipes!—and being with a fun, live studio audience.
4:00 p.m. Happy to be home, change into some comfy clothes, and get caught up on emails. But first, a healthy snack. Even though it’s a chilly day, I’m craving a tropical smoothie. I toss frozen pineapple, barley flakes, organic hemp milk, macadamia/cashew butter (Artisana organic, soooo yummy), and fresh ginger into my blender. I savor every sip as I decompress and hang out with Toonces (hubby went off to Texas today).
5:00 p.m. Time to squeeze in a walk. If I miss it, I don’t sleep as well. Plus, it invigorates me and helps me clear my head. One of my favorite things about living in Manhattan is being able to walk everywhere. I pop in my ear buds (more Howard Stern, love those replays) and decide to go whichever way the traffic allows. That’s one of my walking games. If I’m heading east and the light is red but it’s green to go north, I go north. It’s like an adventure. I always discover cute restaurants or shops and it’s less stopping and starting, so I can maintain a good stride.
6:00 p.m. Today wasn’t a client day, but I check in with a few via email and texts then talked to my hubby, who is visiting his family. Many more emails waiting for me and questions or comments on my Facebook page. I could spend hours on end connecting with people there. I feel like I have the best job in the world!
8:00 p.m. Just posted my blog at Shape.com. Time for dinner. When I’m pressed for time, my trick is what I call take out with a twist. I order steamed veggies with brown rice and tofu. After it arrives, I quickly sauté the veggies in my signature stir-fry sauce: blood orange juice, Japanese rice vinegar, fresh ginger, and crushed red pepper and sprinkle the dish with chopped cashews. This way I get all the flavor without the goopy oil/cornstarch overload. No TV tomorrow morning, so I crack open a lime seltzer (bubbles = bloating so I keep it flat on nights before I’m going on TV, no pun intended!). After dinner, back to the computer. Being out of the office all day means major catch up!
11:30 p.m. Just got off the phone with my book editor. Cinch! hit #1 in books on Amazon.com. Woo hoo!!! I’m over the moon! Take pic, send to hubs. He calls to congratulate and promises to take me to Pure Food & Wine (my favorite restaurant) to celebrate when he gets back. I call my friend, make plans to go ice skating at Bryant Park Friday, then thoroughly enjoy my Daily Dark Chocolate Escape (a mandatory part of the Cinch! plan), a few squares of Mast Brothers Madagascar 72% dark chocolate (you can use your own fave as long as it’s 70% or darker). Toonces is meowing, the signal that it’s time to catch some zzzs. Time to wash off my false eyelashes and snuggle.
Buy Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches, by Cynthia Sass, $14.29, at amazon.com
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• Food Tips to Enhance Your Beauty & Lose Weight!
• What You Don’t Know About What Not to Wear’s Carmindy, PageDaily Guest Editor
By Lindsay Hahn
You did it, didn’t you? You made your annual New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat better, and get in shape. Resolutions are so 2010. And 2009. And 2008. Stop making diet and health resolutions and do something instead. Our top 5 weight loss and wellness book picks will keep those new year, new you resolutions from making a reappearance in 2012. Whether you want to try the new cookie diet or just need some healthy eating tips, this is not your mother’s Weight Watchers. From chocolate and French fries to 3 square meals daily, you’ll find a diet plan here that will work for you.
1. The Total Health & Wellness Book:
Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!, by Kris Carr
Channel your inner crazy sexy diva-self! Kris Carr, who’s living with a rare and incurable cancer, directed the autobiographical TLC documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer in 2007 and has since turned author. Her new diet book oozes inspiration to take control of your happiness and health. Get your workout routine in sync with healthy eating, and read lifestyle advice on everything from the painful truth about sugar to being a veggie vixen. This colorful romp of a read is splashed with anecdotes and packed with fun tidbits like how to create your own juicer. You’ll be raring to tackle the 21-Day Adventure Cleanse—don’t worry, Carr waits until the end of the book!
Buy Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It!, by Kris Carr, $14.97, at amazon.com
2. The Diet Book to Lose Weight Fast:
Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches, by Cynthia Sass
What could be sweeter than eating chocolate on a diet?! Cinch!, from the co-author of The Flat Belly Diet!, maps out a 30-day plan full of weight loss tips based on clean, nutrient-rich food that will put you on the fast track to shedding those unwanted pounds. With shopping and fashion tips and a month of recipes, say goodbye to calorie-counting and frozen diet meals.
Buy Cinch! Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds, and Lose Inches, by Cynthia Sass, $14.29, at amazon.com Mandatory chocolate on diet?! Cynthia Sass reveals that and more in My Diet Book Cinch! Is Number 1: News & Exploits from My Day
3. The Diet Book to Keep You on a Diet:
400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New Rule for Permanent Weight Loss!, by Liz Vaccariello, Mindy Hermann, and the Editors of Prevention
Are you a diet virgin? Welcome to the easiest way to slim down we’ve ever seen—2 weeks and 1 weight-loss rule—eat a 400-calorie meal 3 times per day. There’s salad and grilled fish, but you junk foodies will love the picks from Starbucks, Chipotle, Dunkin’ Donuts . . . you can have it all! With restaurant-specific guides and mouth-watering recipes, 400 calories is the new 1,000!
Buy 400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New Rule for Permanent Weight Loss!, by Liz Vaccariello, Mindy Hermann, and the Editors of Prevention, $13.79, at amazon.com
4. The Book That Will Get You to Eat Clean:
Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes, by Terry Walters
Don’t care about gluten-free? Don’t do vegan? Don’t matter. Everyone will love Clean Start because it promotes using fresh, seasonal ingredients in 100 yummy recipes, from winter pear cake to mango chutney to cocoa brownies. Healthy-eating expert and author Terry Walters shows that you don’t need to give up great taste to eat clean, whether your clean means gluten-free, vegan, or just plain healthy eating. The mouthwatering photography will motivate you to enter—and stay—in the kitchen!
Buy Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes, by Terry Walters, $14.02, at amazon.com
5. A Health Book Full of Great Food & Recipes:
Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, by the Editors of Whole Living
Leave it to Martha Stewart and her team to produce this spectacular and enticing power-food bible. Each page features a power food, such as avocado, berries, and wild Alaskan salmon, and lists the food’s health benefits along with tips on storing, cooking, and preparing. You’ll want to splurge on these ingredients and stock your fridge, especially after checking out the recipes. A bonus—the page-turning photography helps you master healthy cooking tips in no time.
Buy Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, by the Editors of Whole Living, $14.86, at amazon.com
Reasons We Love Divya Gugnani & Her Book Sexy Women Eat
1. With chapters like “Eating Muffins Gives You A Muffin Top,” her snarky personality shines and keeps you laughing! Laughing burns a few calories, right?
2. We love her shameless self-promotion—and the PageDaily shoutout at the back of the book! Yes, she is one of our amazing contributing editors.
3. She gives us a free pass to ditch the gym! Stairs instead of the elevator, jumping jacks in the ladies’ room, dumbbells under your desk—the Divya method is definitely do-able!
4. She absolves us of guilt about loving delicious food! Satisfy cravings, and watch small, everyday changes equal big changes on the scale!
5. From how to remove a wine stain to why you shouldn’t date a “manorexic,” Divya’s your new BFF in a book.
• Cynthia Sass Shares Her Day—My Book Is Number 1 at Amazon
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Win a Package from a Celebrity Nutritionist!
Who knew losing weight and getting fiber into your diet could be so easy? You could win a consultation and full product line from celebrity nutritionist and PageDaily contributing editor Tanya Zuckerbrot. For contest details and to enter for a chance to win, click here.