Q:My family wants to take me out to Red Robin for my birthday. Is there anything I can eat there and still maintain a healthy weight loss plan?


Red Robin is notorious for high calorie food. Many of their salads are even over 1000 calories. But just like any other restaurant, there are things that you can order that you will enjoy without breaking the calorie bank. First I will give you general guidelines, then a link at the bottom of the page for some better choices at Red Robin specifically.

In general, when you eat out, following the guidelines below are a good idea:

  1. Order salads with the dressing on the side. Also ordering the nuts, dried fruit, croutons, and cheese on the side is a good idea so you can control the portion of each of them. It’s not about avoiding the condiments, but it is good to be able to control your own portion.
  2. Stick with lean, grilled meats and vegetables. If your dish comes with a starchy side, ask for double vegetables instead.
  3. Avoid dishes that end in “y.” Words like cheesy, gooey, and crunchy are code words for additional calories.
  4. If you want a dish that comes with a cream sauce, just ask for it on the side and add your own. You would be surprised how many hundreds of calories you can save by doing this.
  5. If you want a burger, order it without guilt and just take off the top bun or no bun at all.
  6. If you want a cheeseburger, order it and scrape off some of the cheese to save yourself some fat and calories without sacrificing flavor.
  7. If it is a special night and you really want an indulgent dish, order it and ask for 1/2 in a take-home box. Make sure to ask the server to bring it to your table in the box so you are not tempted by having it on your plate.

For the specifics on Red Robin, LOOK HERE. Spark People did a great job listing a ton of choices with their nutritional content.

Bottom line, weight loss is not about deprivation. It is about choices and balance. It’s not about “always” and “never,” but about balancing choices so the result is what you are looking for. You can eat out and lose weight! Follow the tips above to make it easier.