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Eating less while dining out

(article, James Berry)

For what seems like the umpteenth time, chain restaurants around the country are experimenting with lower-calorie menu options. In the wake of the movement to have fast-food joints post their calorie counts, the tactic may actually be paying off. 

As USA Today recently reported, lighter fare is finally catching on with consumers — at least at such chains as Applebee's, Friendly's, and Denny's:

bq. For the first two months of 2011, the top-selling entrée at Applebee’s wasn’t a gloppy burger or flashy fajita plate. It was a sirloin-and-shrimp entrée from the chain’s diet menu. This marks the first time that a low-calorie item ever ranked as the chain’s best seller for a single month — let alone two in a row.