You can still lose weight when dining out

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to lead a healthier lifestyle. That's always a challenge, especially with more people eating out than ever before.

New numbers show that most people spend more than half of their monthly food budget on dining out. That means learning how to eat healthy at restaurants has become a big part of any weight loss plan.

Like many restaurants today, Back Bay in Gulfport offers a wide variety of foods, and Owner Rob Stinson says healthful choices are always available.

"We prepare anything grilled to order. Anything that comes fried, can be grilled. We are very aware of people's health needs as they become more health conscious," Stinson said.

Debbie Colby is a registered dietitian and the Director of Gulf Coast Health Educators. She said it's important to know what to look for on the menu.

"Review the menu and look for entrees that are baked, broiled, roasted, grilled,; Colby said. "And look for steamed vegetables as your side, rather than fries or something high carb or fatty."

She said it's also a good idea to drink a full glass of water before dining. And always order your dressing for salad on the side. She offers this tip for that salad dressing on the side.

"When you eat your salad, just dip you fork into the dressing first and then into the salad, that way you get a small taste of the dressing in every bite."

She said you might also want to consider taking half of your meal home, or sharing an entree with someone. She said there are no forbidden foods, as long as you practice moderation.

"If you feel you want a dessert, go ahead and order one. But share it with everyone at the table. Ask for extra forks."

Colby said if you keep these tips in mind, you can eat out and still lose weight.

"It's all about learning to make healthier choices and about moderation."

Gulf Coast Health Educators offers a program called Healthy Lifestyles. The next ten week Weight Loss session begins January 11th at Cedar Lake Christian Assembly in Biloxi. Classes meet weekly for one hour and the cost for the entire program is just $10. For more information about the classes, call (228) 860-7530.

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