How to Eat Out Without Busting Your Diet...or Feeling Deprived

Rania Batayneh believes that when it comes to dieting, the secret lies in one simple ratio. We love it because it's about eating wisely without sacrificing anything (including hash browns!). Check out how it works

This is the crux of the 1:1:1 plan, and it’s practically self-explanatory. Every time you eat anything, it should consist of:

  • 1 portion of protein
  • 1 portion of carbohydrate
  • 1 portion of fat

This is the primary and most important strategy. Even if you don’t follow the other suggestions and guidelines I’ll give you throughout the rest of this book…this strategy will still work. Because it naturally restricts calories without deprivation, it will ease your body back into balance painlessly.

Remember, no food is off-limits, but never, ever skip one of your 1’s. That means no carb-only snacks, no all-protein lunches, and no fat-free dinners. The days of ditching entire food categories, and the feeling of denial that accompanies that approach, are over for you.


Steakhouses have a lot of great choices. You aren’t going to have trouble in the protein department! They usually serve a variety of vegetables and salads, too, so you can bulk up your meal for free. But you might have some difficulty decoding the tempting side dishes like twice-baked potatoes (carb and fat) or macaroni and cheese (carb and fat) or creamed spinach (vegetable and fat). Here are some of my favorite steakhouse meals and ways to work in those sides, if you want them.

Option 1: Filet mignon (protein), twice-baked potato or baked potato with sour cream or butter and chives (carb and fat), steamed broccoli(free) (optional add: side salad)

Option 2: Pan-seared oysters (protein), creamed spinach (fat), Caesar salad (free), glass of white wine (carb)

Option 3: Grilled chicken breast (protein) with creamy mushroom sauce (fat), risotto (carb), tomato/onion salad (free)

Accelerated dinner option: Salmon filet or sirloin steak (protein), veggie mix or broccoli (carb), house salad with balsamic vinaigrette (fat)

Italian Restaurant

Option 1: Minestrone soup (protein from beans, carb from pasta, free vegetables) topped with Parmesan cheese (fat) (optional add: side of green beans or side salad)

Option 2: Calamari (protein) with a Caprese salad with tomatoes (free), mozzarella cheese (fat), and fresh basil (free), and a glass of Chianti (carb) (optional add: asparagus)

Option 3: Veal Parmesan (protein from veal, fat from cheese), risotto (carb), sautéed zucchini (free) (optional add: side salad)

Accelerated dinner option: Meatballs (protein) in marinara sauce (free), hold the pasta, with grilled zucchini (carb) and a side salad with Italian dressing (fat).

Mexican Restaurant

Option 1: Chicken taco salad (protein) with guacamole (fat); skip the taco shell and have a margarita (carb)

Option 2: Beef, chicken, or bean (protein) burrito (hold the rice, the tortilla is your carb), with shredded cheese (fat), side of lettuce with salsa as a dressing (free)

Option 3: Fish (protein) tacos (tortillas are your carb) with avocado slices (fat)

Accelerated dinner option: Beef, chicken, or shrimp (protein) fajitas with lots of grilled veggies (carb) and guacamole (fat). Hold the tortillas— just eat with a fork — delicious!

Indian Restaurant

Option 1: Chicken biryani (chicken is protein, sauce is the fat) with basmati rice (carb)

Option 2: Saag paneer (cheese is the protein, spinach is free) with buttered naan (fat and carb)

Option 3: Any vegetarian dish with potatoes, like aloo gobi (potatoes are the carb, sauce is the fat) with a skewer of lamb or chicken (protein)

Accelerated dinner option: Tandoori chicken (protein) with a cucumber salad (carb) and yogurt dressing (fat), or any curry (sauce is the fat) with meat (protein) and vegetables (carb), hold the rice and the naan

Chinese Restaurant

Option 1: Chicken egg roll (chicken is your protein, wrapper is your carb) and egg drop soup (fat)

Option 2: Steamed pork dumplings (protein and carb), any stir-fry vegetable entrée (free) with your favorite sauce, like brown or Szechuan (fat)

Option 3: Sweet and sour chicken (sauce is fat, chicken is protein) with rice (carb)

Accelerated dinner option: Any stir-fried entrée with meat (protein), sauce (fat), and vegetables (carb), including nuts (fat), such as cashew chicken, or beef and broccoli or Szechuan shrimp. Hold the rice. If you want more food, add hot and sour soup.

Mediterranean Restaurant

Option 1: Gyro (the lamb or other meat is your protein, pita is your carb, yogurt sauce is your fat, and veggies are free). Add a side salad if you need more.

Option 2: Sumac chicken (protein) and fattoush salad (the Mediterranean version of Caesar salad, with pita instead of croutons for your carb) topped with feta cheese (fat)

Option 3: Tabouli salad (bulgur wheat is your carb) with hummus (protein) drizzled with a little olive oil (fat)

Option 4: Dolmades, also called stuffed grape leaves, filled with ground meat (protein) and rice (carb), tomatoes and cucumber salad (free), and topped with feta cheese (fat)

Accelerated dinner option: Kebab (use any meat for your protein, like lamb or chicken) with babaghanoush (eggplant is your carb, tahini is your fat)

Fast Food

Option 1: Chili (meat is protein, beans are carb) with shredded cheese or sour cream (fat) (if you need more, have a side salad)

Option 2: Chicken sandwich (chicken is protein, bun is carb) with mayo (fat) and a side salad

Option 3: Small fries (carb), cheeseburger (meat is protein, cheese is fat) without the bun, served with lettuce and tomato (free)

Option 4: Small milk shake (carb), grilled chicken salad with cheese (chicken is protein, cheese is fat)

Option 5: Baked potato (carb) with broccoli (free), cheese (protein), and sour cream (fat)

Option 6: A 6-inch sub sandwich (the bread is your carb) with meat (protein), cheese or mayonnaise (fat), and all the veggies you want (free).

Note: A 6-inch sub is a full meal. A 12-inch sub is two meals. If you can’t resist the 12-inch, enjoy half for lunch and save the other half for your midafternoon snack, or tomorrow’s lunch.

Breakfast option 1: Sausage patty (protein), scrambled egg (fat), hash browns (carb)

Breakfast option 2: Breakfast sandwich made with bacon or egg (protein), cheese (fat), and English muffin or croissant (carb), black coffee

Accelerated dinner option: Any fast food salad (meat is protein, vegetables are the carb, hold the croutons or tortilla strips) with dressing (fat). (If this is lunch, you can add a starchy carb like croutons, crackers, potato chips, dried fruit, or sweet potato fries.) I hope this convinces you that you’ll never have to be afraid to eat at a restaurant again. Social plans: officially back on!

Reprinted from “The One One One Diet” by Rania Batayneh. Copyright (c) 2013 by Rania Batayneh. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.


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