Let’s face it, one of the biggest challenges while dieting is going to a restaurant. You have worked hard all week to stay on track, so the thought of going out to eat probably strikes terror into your heart. How can you keep from blowing it in one meal?
1) Have a snack before you go out. A fresh piece of fruit or some vegetables, to take the edge off your hunger. Never arrive hungry at a restaurant, you will be tempted to make some bad choices when your order, or worse, you will eat that bread in the basket on the table.
2) Don’t drink alcohol. Have a glass of water instead and keep having it refilled to drink throughout your meal.
3) You don’t have to eat everything on your plate. If there is something you don’t like on the plate, leave it. Try to save at least half of your meal to take home. Restaurant portions are notoriously huge and you are most likely getting double the calories you should be consuming in one sitting in any event.
4) Start with a garden salad or a clear broth soup. Soup takes a long time to eat and it is filling when you consume it slowly. It helps to take the edge off your appetite so that you will have less chance of overdoing it when your meal comes. If you have a salad, choose a vinaigrette dressing instead of a creamy one. Ask for your dressing on the side and dip your fork into it rather than pouring the dressing over your salad.
Salads such as Caesar salad are very high in calories. A Greek salad with feta and dressing is around 1,000 calories, so be aware that just because it is a salad does not mean it is low-calorie. Don’t get extras on your salad such as cheese and bacon bits. Those only add extra calories and fat.
5) When you inspect the menu, avoid any dishes that are fried or creamy. Stick with tomato-based sauces. If you have a sandwich, hold the mayo and butter, and ask for mustard instead.
6) If you order a burger, take the top half of the bun off, cut the burger in half and use the other half of the bottom of the bun as the top.
7) Avoid pasta when possible. There are just too many carbs in the dish and pasta is usually covered in a creamy fattening sauce.