A Nutritionist’s Guide to Dining Out

May 25, 2016Health Focus, Health Matters for Women

Restaurants used to be a place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. But now, dining out is a regular activity for many—and we can’t afford to treat every meal as if it’s a special, diet-free occasion. Follow these expert tips from Shawna Durbin, a registered dietitian at Bingham Memorial Hospital, to navigate your next meal out.

Practice Calorie Counting

Dining at a local restaurant where nutritional information isn’t available doesn’t equal a free pass. For an estimate, review menus in advance, comparing entrees with their national counterparts.

And learn how to spot a serving size. “Nobody wants to do this because we find out the portion is generally a lot smaller than what our eyes think it should be,” says Shawna.

Ask Questions

Enlist your server in a quest to make healthy choices. Ask how the dish is prepared, which vegetable comes as a side dish and whether you can order sauce and dressing on the side.

“Many restaurants will take your dietary needs into consideration so you’ll be happy and return. Don’t hesitate to ask for anything on the menu to be prepared in a more diet-friendly way,” says Shawna.

Resist Temptation

That small plate served with the bread or tortilla chips? Eat from that, not from the basket. And remember your priorities: You didn’t go out to eat to fill up on bread, right? “I’d rather use my calories and carbohydrates for foods I really love,” Shawna says.

Need Help with Your Weight Management?
If you’ve been unhappy with your weight for a while and are looking for a positive solution, the Weight Loss Center at Bingham Memorial might be right for you.

Tammy Fouse, DO, general surgeon and fellowship-trained bariatric surgeon at Bingham Memorial’s Weight Loss Center, helps people take the first step on their weight-loss journey. She has seen patients return to a healthy weight so they can finally stop taking high blood pressure medications, put diabetes into remission, and even have a knee or hip replacement they were not able to have before.

Dr. Fouse will help you choose a nonsurgical or surgical weight loss solution. She sees patients in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, and Pocatello. To schedule an appointment, please call (208) 782-3993.

The first step to weight loss and a new you is having all of your questions answered, which is why we hold FREE informational seminars every month throughout Eastern Idaho. At the seminars, our weight-loss experts explain all the details of our program and former surgical weight-loss patients and other members of our program attend to provide insights and answer questions.

To find out when the next seminar is in your area, please call (208) 782-3993, or visit:

Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

About Bingham Memorial Hospital

Bingham Memorial Hospital, a proud member of Bingham Healthcare, is a state-of-the art, 501(c)3 non-profit critical access hospital located in Blackfoot, Idaho. We also have a diverse network of healthcare facilities in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and Shelley, Idaho.

(208) 785-4100
98 Poplar Street, Blackfoot, ID 83221