Friday, August 15, 2008

10 Ways To Maintain Your Diet When Dining Out


I've seen it time and time again; a diligent dieter eating clean all week long, then friday night comes along and one restaurant meal throws all their efforts out the window. All the delicious sounding menu options, not to mention the yummy dishes your tablemates are ordering, can really tempt you and lead you astray. A bit of planning can help you avoid diet disasters at restaurants.


Here are ten ways to stay on track when eating out.


1 – Order ½ meals – you can either ask for ½ your meal to be wrapped before you even get it, or you can ask for a to-go container as soon as your meal comes and immediately pack up half your meal. (Bonus: you have lunch for the next day)

2 – Ask questions – speak up! Don’t be embarrassed or shy about asking for clarification about the menu. Your waiter will gladly answer any questions regarding ingredients or food preparation.

3 – Find the "good guys" – baked, grilled, steamed… search for the key words that let you know a dish is on the healthier side

4 – Avoid the "bad guys" – au gratin, (deep) fried, breaded, creamed, buttered …. Need I say more?

5 - Dressing on the side – a salad isn’t a ‘health food’ if it’s drenched in 800 calories of dressing. Have it on the side, dip your fork into your dressing then pick up some salad.

6 – Sauce on the side – this is a no brainer, even if you order grilled veggies, slathering it with butter sauce ruins everything. Use the same technique as you would with the salad.

7 – Don’t starve yourself – don’t go to the restaurant super hungry, you’ll be even more tempted to ‘cheat’ on your diet. Either eat a small snack before hand or order some tea with lemon when you first sit down at the table

8 – Share – this is another easy one. Split a meal with your table mates and you’ll split the calories as well! (bonus: you can also split the bill!)

9 РJust say no Рto bread before the meal. Ask the waiter not to bring it or to take it away. You may also ask to substitute crudit̩s (just be careful with the dip!)

10 – Be smart about dessert – pick a sorbet over an iced cream, or just have a coffee (with skim milk, not cream). You’ll likely be full from your meal, so ask the waiter early on not to bring the dessert menu or sample cart.

1 comment:

Elijjah said...

Also, you can usually ask the waiter to substitute seasonal vegetables for the potatoes. This is particularly effective with the lo carb diet, where you can have a steak and veggies for virtually no carbs!

And I second number 9, keep the bread away!