Keep the bread basket on the other side of the table, and if someone offers bread, politely decline it. If no one objects, ask the server to remove the bread basket after everyone is served. Order grilled, roasted or broiled meat, fish or chicken and a salad. For dessert, order raspberries or enjoy a bite of dessert from a dining companion just for a taste. Enjoy a glass of red wine if you are on phase two or phase three of the plan. The South Beach Diet teaches you how to eliminate the craving for bread and other carbohydrates and how to make the right choices from the menu to meet your weight loss goals.
Mexican or southwestern cuisine offers a variety of low-carbohydrate options. Ceviche, or seafood marinated in citrus juice, is a good appetizer. Enchiladas are not a good choice for the main course because they are softened tortillas filled with meat and sauce. Tacos are fine because you can simply eat the meat and vegetables and leave the fried corn tortilla shell on the plate. Mexican restaurants serve rice and beans with most entrees. Ask the server to omit the rice from your plate. Beans are fine. Fried tortilla chips with salsa are not appropriate for this diet, but you can enjoy a side dish of guacamole without the chips. Any salad is fine, too. Another sensible choice is fajitas (without tortillas) since they are grilled meat and vegetables.
Chinese food is good for the South Beach Diet if you skip the rice, noodles, oriental pancakes, dim sum and egg rolls. Stir fry dishes usually have sauce made from cornstarch or flour, so ask the restaurant for a simple stir fry without sauce. If this is not possible, a stir fry dish is still better than anything fried because the amount of sugar in the sauce will probably not be enough to raise insulin levels. Avoid the deep fried dishes for obvious reasons like the thick, sweetened batter. For soup, stick with clear broths without won-tons or dumplings, and try egg drop soup instead of sweet and sour soup. Read the menu carefully and avoid anything with bean paste, barbecued meat or red-cooked pork or chicken, which has a thick and syrupy broth poured over the meat. Do not eat the fortune cookie–just read it, laugh with your friends, and give the cookie to someone else.