Going out to dinner with friends can be so much fun, that is unless you're watching your weight. Menus are full of such tempting foods, and most of the time you end up eating more than you would at home. Plus butter is often the secret ingredient. Here are some tips so you can stick to that healthy diet of yours, and enjoy eating out as well.
- Have a healthy snack before you eat - If you get to the restaurant and you're starving, you'll be more likely to order a lot of food, or devour the entire bread basket.
- Think of one entrée as two - When your dinner arrives, ask for a take-out container so you can pack half away for tomorrow's lunch. If you wait to get the container until after you eat, you'll be more likely to finish off the dish. (When food is in front of you, you're more likely to eat it.)
- Order with a friend - Sharing an entrée with someone else will cut your calories in half, so you can savor the taste, but not overeat.
- Order a big salad for your meal - Most restaurants offer humongous salads filled with fresh veggies, delicate field greens, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, and grilled chicken. A big salad will fill you up, and they're filled with healthy stuff. Oh, and be sure to ask for the dressing on the side. Request vinaigrettes rather than creamy dressings.
- Order a smaller meal - Either order an appetizer or a small entrée. They're usually big enough to fill you up.
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- Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants or buffets - If food is available, we want to eat it. Portion control is so hard to follow, so you don't need to be tempted with "bottomless" bowls of soup, salad, pasta, or bread.
- Add veggies - Whatever you do order, whether it's pizza, a stir fry, or pasta, ask your server if you can have extra veggies added.
- Drink water - Avoid ordering sodas with free-refills. You don't need all the extra calories or sugar.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages - When you drink, your self-control goes out the window and you're more likely to say "yes" to more food.
Fit's Tips: Just because you're watching your weight doesn't mean you have to miss out on the fun of dining out. Have other tips worked for you? Tell me about them below.