by Bonnie Jones
There’s no arguing about it—dining out when you’re on a strict diet can be hard, especially for people who love food.
While this may appear a sort of punishment (and not a mild one, believe me), the right approach to eating is centered on eating normally, not splurging constantly, even in a restaurant. There is no need to give up dining out. Remember that a diet is meant to boost your health not spoil it.
When you go out to eat and the fancy restaurant’s menu is threatening you with its fattening foods, be relaxed and eat enough of your favorite salad or soup before turning to the entree.
Be careful, though! Seemingly health-friendly items like soups generally tend to quell hunger and salads like Caesar salads may be overly rich in calories.
Try to enhance your appetite with a broth-based vegetable soup. Choose a salad with a dressing on the side so you don’t have to eat it all—restaurants most often provide you with more than a single serving.
Most people have guilty pleasure foods that they tend to eat when at a restaurant. This is where most dieting plans see their demise. Thankfully, many restaurants tend to people’s dieting needs, but it can still be difficult to say no to tempting orders.
Modify your meal to make it healthier. For example, order a side salad instead of the fries that usually come with your meal. If burgers are hard to avoid, order one with low fat or no cheese.
Sauces are a huge source of fat that you usually don’t even notice. A good rule of thumb is to remember that creamy sauces are worse for your diet.
Meat and chicken sauces, light salad dressings, and on-the-side cream sauces will keep your fat intake in reasonable limits. Keep everything to a minimum—you don’t have to use every single spoonful that the waiter brings!
Quantity control is very important, and restaurants bring you bigger portions in most cases. Eat less of the meal and dining out becomes as safe as your home dining table. The best way is to share part of your meal with a friend.
You can also ask for a doggie bag and take the rest of your meal home with you for the next day. Dining out doesn’t have to wreck your diet. Simply keep cool about the situation and understand the foods on the restaurant’s menu that are healthier for your diet.