Party of 12: A Real Women's Weight-Loss Group

Twelve over-40 women start a weight-loss group to encourage each other to diet and exercise.

By Louisa Kasdon

Weight-Loss Tips: Winning at the Losing Game

Members of Down@Up pooled their top tips for eating out without blowing a calorie count.

  • Don’t let the bread basket even touch the table. Ask the server to bring a bowl of crudites instead.
  • Order an Aunt Bess: sparkling water, bitters, and lime. It looks and tastes festive.
  • Before you get your entree, ask the server to put half in a to-go box.
  • For your entree, ask for a sampler plate of all the vegetable side dishes on the menu.
  • Drink two glasses of water or a large glass of skim milk before you go out so you’re not starving.
  • Pick a restaurant that serves tapas or a tasting menu, or order a salad and an appetizer instead of a main course.
  • Go vegetarian. Often those beautiful vegetarian entrees (but not pasta or risotto) are terrific and have fewer calories than the protein entrees.
  • There’s no reason not to taste the salad dressing or the entree sauce. Just ask for it to be served on the side, and dip your fork before every bite.
  • Call the restaurant ahead of time to ask for a special meal — something very low calorie, poached, steamed. Most chefs like the challenge and will happily oblige.
  • Order nonfat cappuccino after a meal and put two packets (40 calories) of Sugar in the Raw on the foam to form a crust. Sweet and satisfying, it will make you feel as though you are having dessert.

Originally published in MORE magazine, March 2007.

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