The real problem is going out to eat has netted massive serving sizes. If you eat the whole plate, you'd generally eaten more than a day's worth of food. Usually two. Now most of the time when I eat out, I generally cut the meal in half and take the rest home. Now I get two meals out of one (so it was more cost efficient for a broke student) but it's also healthier. Sometimes I could even eat leftovers over two meals too for things like Chinese or Mexican. It's not perfect but works pretty well.
I also dumped sweets from my diet almost exclusively (not soda but the amount is down). The thing is that I saw it as competition between sweets and alcohol in terms of empty calories and I wasn't planning giving up booze. If I did, I'd probably see even more weight loss.