Lose Weight Even if You Eat Out: Study Examines Principles for Dieting


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Make healthy choices for mindful eating in dieting. Image by typofi

Interview with Dr. Gayle Timmerman… Continued

This study shows that people who are taught the skills to choose healthier options in restaurants can eat out without gaining weight. Decoded Science asked if the intervention could be applied to other people.

According to Dr. Timmerman, “Yes, this intervention could work with any group. For example, you could use it with college students and teenagers, focusing more on the types of restaurants they eat out at more often (fast food, pizza, etc…)”

Dieting While Eating Out: Tips

Eating out is a common practice for many people and can be a healthy dining option.  Dr. Timmerman shared some tips with Decoded Science about eating out.

  • “Plan ahead whenever possible. Know what are the better choices so you can decide whether it is worth the kcal. Example. Want steak? Save 180 kcal & 19 grams of fat by ordering sirloin (12 oz) instead of NY Strip. Save kcal (120kcal) by ordering the cooked black beans instead of refried beans at the Mexican restaurant (.75 c).
  • Box up ½ the meal before you start eating. This helps set visual limits and keeps you from eating more than intended.
  • Order items on the side or al a carte; this will help you control amounts to what you want…
  • Pay attention and enjoy what you are eating (eat mindfully). Slow down and savor it so you can be satisfied with less. It also gives you time to discover you feel full.”

Weight Loss Through Mindful Eating

This study highlights the importance of educating the public, and teaching dieters simple ways of incorporating health and nutrition into their daily lives. The researchers didn’t ask the participants to stop eating out; instead they gave them the resources and tools to make healthier choices.


Timmerman, G., PhD, RN, Brown, A., PhD. The Effect of a Mindful Restaurant Eating Intervention on Weight Management in Women. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 44, Issue 1 (January/February 2012). Accessed on January 9, 2012.

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