By: Liz Vaccariello
Publisher: Readers Digest
Publication Date: April 2013
Reviewed by: Holly Connors
Review Date: June 21, 2013
Anybody who has ever been on a diet (that’s just about everybody!) knows that eating out can be the killer of any good diet. Unknown ingredients, fatty sauces and hidden calories are just a few of the challenges facing those who dine out. How can a person lose weight? Now, the Digest Diet series by Liz Vaccariello tackles those problems in the newest offering from the series, the Dining Out Guide.
After a brief introductory chapter in which the author goes over the intent of the book, some of the tricks restaurants use to get you to eat more, and the three phases of the digest diet (not all of which can be done by dining outside the home), it’s on to the meat of the book. Each franchise is given one to three pages, on average, to explore their offerings. While not every fast food franchise is included in this 147 page book, with 60 chains covered, you’re likely to find at least a few where you eat.
The author is very interested in “fat releasers” vs. “fat increasers” – terms that are important to the success of the Digest Diet. She analyzes foods to let you know which they are, and thus, which will work to lose weight. It is clear that the diet will take some work and careful attention, where dining out may require you to order a mix from various menu options. Servers may require a bit of patience to take your order correctly. For that reason, the author prefers chains where ordering a la carte is possible. Vaccariello notes this in her introduction, saying, “In some chains…in order to get the right balance of lean protein and fat releasing veggies, you need to do some mixing and matching of foods…these restaurants aren’t the best choices for Digest Diet dining, but we’ve included them in case you find yourself stuck.”
Sample menu items are given for each restaurant, with foods that are best for Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the diet. Some people may find this a bit confusing and frustrating, it’s not a simple “stay off carbs” type of diet.
Quill says: A good diet that works for many although it can seem a bit complicated. It is likely that you’ll need to keep this book handy when dining out rather than relying on memory to know what to eat/not to eat.