Today eating out at restaurants or food joints or dhaba's has become part of our life style. However high calorie food can be a trouble to those who are trying to lose weight. It is possible to eat out and lose weight. Here are some tips, some dos and don'ts:

1. Budget - Set a budget on how much you are willing to spend and eat before looking at the menu card.

2. Make special requests. Don’t be shy. You’re paying good money for that meal, so you’re entitled to make special requests or slight modifications. Why not say: Can I have paranthas or rotis with no butter? if not then may be butter on the side please?

3. Always ask for Salads as starter. If u like dressings go for low fat or non fat dressings on the side.

4. Why not order small items like burger? Watch out for extras. Do not order extra cheese slices, or large fries or double-pattie burgers and extra hash browns mashed potatoes or extra pieces of bread. The average burger with ketchup, lettuce and tomato isn’t so bad. But one with “the works” is usually a caloric nightmare.

5. Dont super-size your drink or fries or add extra cheese to pizzas or burgers. Downsize the super-size. Super-sized fast food meal options can be loaded with calories. Practice portion control.

6. Ask about a dish, or read from menu and try to calculate how much calories/fat it must be containing.

7. Avoid drinking beverages like alcohol or sodas or colas or sparkling water. Select soup instead and keep your appetite under control.

8. We are taught not to waste food but, its alright if you want to leave some part.... Just think of the exercise, health and emotional costs of those extra calories ? Therefore, push your plate away when you’re beginning to feel full. And remember to eat slowly. Do not spend more than 20 minutes eating.

Abridged from Weight