Weight Loss: Strategies for Dining Out on a Diet
When you first begin a weight loss program, it’s best to try to avoid situations that might be too tempting; like going out to eat. But, if it cannot be avoided, here are a few strategies that may help.
1. Have a plan. The great thing about the internet is that most restaurants have a website, and those websites have menus. So figure out what you plan to order before you even leave your house. This way, when you get to the restaurant, you don’t even have to be tempted by something you see on the menu, because you will have no need to even pick it up.
2. Try not to be over hungry when you are going out. Try eating something healthy shortly before you plan to leave; this way, you will be more likely to eat less when you get there. I recently did this when I went to the movies with my son. Usually, I cannot pass up the movie theater popcorn, but I was able to because I made myself a turkey burger twenty minutes before we left. Even though I smelled the popcorn and was tempted to get some, I was able to withstand the temptation, simply because I wasn’t hungry.
3. If you are going somewhere that has large (or super-sized) portions, consider sharing a meal rather than getting your own. If you are unable to share, then at the very least, leave food on your plate. I know our moms all told us to clean our plates, but this is one of the instances where mom wasn’t right. Just think how many times you’ve finished what was on your plate even though you had already been filled – that’s a lot of calories.
4. Remember that you do not have to eat the bread and butter just because it’s on the table. I know, you want to, but if you can say no to the bread you can enjoy more of your dinner. In fact, if you are out with others who are also trying not to eat the bread, then just ask the server to take it away so it is not a temptation.
5. Of course, avoid all-you-can-eat specials and buffets at all costs. This one doesn’t really need an explanation.
6. Eat slowly and enjoy every bite of your meal. There have been studies that show that people who eat slower consume fewer calories because the brain has time to send our belly the message that it is full. So enjoy the company of your friends or family – Isn’t that why you really went out in the first place?
7. If you like to exercise, it would be easier to stay within your calorie limit by exercising. Remember, your food-tracking application also has a way to calculate the calories you burn exercising and add them to your daily limit.
8. When all else fails, give yourself a break. It’s not the end of the world if you decide you are going to throw caution to the wind, and eat the burger and fries. The important thing is to not feel guilty and to get right back on your healthy food wagon tomorrow.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful. If you have a tip that works for you, please let us know about it in comments.