If you are on a diet and are trying to lose weight then eating out for a party or birthday celebration may fill you with dread.
It is understandable with most restaurant dishes found to contain more than your average amount of salt, sugar and refined carbs.
So how can you enjoy the occasion without ruining your diet? Is it possible to eat out while on a diet?
Here are some of our top tips for eating out while on a diet.
#1: Stick to your diet throughout the day
If you are planning on going out in the night it can be tempting to starve yourself during the day, but this is a mistake.
What will happen is that you will arrive at the restaurant famished, so will not be able to resist any of those foods you know you should really try to avoid.
By eating your usual meals throughout the day you will arrive satisfied and more likely to order something that wont ruin your diet.
#2: Make sure you read the menu thoroughly
While it may not be possible to eat as healthily as you would at home, there are certainly going to be certain items available on the menu that are less healthy than others.
The trick is to choose the item that is most healthy so that you don’t ruin your diet.
It is best to avoid meals that are described as “creamy, rich, fried or cheesy”. These meals are likely to be full of calories.
Instead look for descriptions that suggest that the meal is lower in calories, for example those that contain the following words “light, grilled, steamed or poached”.
#3: Eat a balanced meal
It makes sense that you should try to eat out as you would at home. That means that you should try to eat a balanced meal that contains a mixture of vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.
Foods like broccoli, spinach, fish, beans, olive oil, avocado, whole grains and nuts are all good options.
#4: Don’t be shy when asking for modifications
Of course you are allowed the occasional treat, but it maybe a better idea to at least try and modify the meals a little to make it that little bit healthier.
For pasta dishes for example you could ask to swap white pasta for a whole wheat variety, which can make a big difference to the overall calorie intake.
#5: Watch your portion sizes
Just because you are eating out does not mean that you have to clear your plate.
Eat for your appetite, and stop when you are satisfied. Otherwise you will regret your over-indulgence.
Remember, eating out wont ruin your diet so even if you do overindulge, just move on. Dwelling on the odd indulgence will wear you down and you will soon end up quitting your efforts entirely, which is something you wont want to happen.