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Dining Out

Dining out while dieting can be hard. Here are our top 10 tips on dining out, to help you resist temptation and make smart choices.


To curb temptation when dining at buffets or restaurants, have a healthy snack one to two hours beforehand.

Skip It

Why waste your carbohydrate allowance on bread, chips, and dip? Ask the waiter to take them away, or sip water or low-cal soda to occupy and distract you.


If hunger is gnawing when you sit down at your table, ask the waiter to bring a side salad right away—but remember also to ask for the dressing on the side, and then either leave it there untouched or dip your fork into it before spearing a mouthful.


Use the same principle as above for all sauces and dressings. Put yourself in charge of the fat.


Alcohol counts towards your carb allotment so choose carefully when you want to consume it. Do you really enjoy a glass of red with your steak, or would you rather sip it as an aperitif or savor a glass of port for dessert? (Although, remember that sweet alcohol contains more carbs and calories than dry drinks.)

Pay Attention to Portions

Unless you’re dining a la nouvelle cuisine, most restaurants put enough on a single plate to feed two or three! Start with a light (not creamy) soup or salad and then order an appetizer for the main course, or suggest to your dining companion that you share an entrée. Or, get value for money by eating half of a regular entrée and taking the other half home.

Start with Protein

Remember that nutrient-rich, low-fat protein is the basis of the CMWM program. Make it also the basis of your meal by ordering seafood, or grilled or broiled beef, chicken or turkey breast.

Balance with Vegetables

Once you’ve chosen the protein—a portion about the size and thickness of your hand—surround it with vegetables (and/or fruits, if appropriate). Select a side salad or grilled/steamed vegetables, not fries or other carbohydrates, if given that choice.

Avoid Fat

Ask for fat to be trimmed from meat, avoid whole-milk dairy products, and be wary of hidden saturated fats, such as egg yolks in mayonnaise or dressings. Also ask for food to be boiled, broiled, grilled, baked or steamed without oil.

Sweet Ending

Once your CMWM menu expands to include carbohydrates, ask if the restaurant serves fresh fruit and choose a small selection. A fresh berry mix makes a tasty and refreshing (and low-sugar) end to a meal.

*Disclaimer: Results are typical but not guaranteed. Your actual results may vary. Real CalMWM patients shown with permission.

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