If you have made the decision to lose a few pounds then you have no doubt decided to eat a little healthier.
Of course this is not so much of a problem when at home, as you have control over what you can choose as well as the portion sizes.
What can be difficult however is when you have to dine out.
Many restaurants are a minefield, with many foods available not containing the nutrients your body requires, but instead full of additives that cause weight gain. The portion sizes can also lead to numerous issues.
If this sound familiar then you need to read on. We have compiled a list of rules that will help your diet survive a night out at a restaurant.
Rule #1: Eat normally
If you know that you are going out for a meal it can be tempting to cut back on the rest of your meals in an attempt to save up calories.
The problem with this though is that when it comes time to your meal you will be so hungry that you will be unable to make good decisions, leading to many more calories being consumed than need be.
A better option would be to eat as you would normally throughout the day, and then allow yourself a moderate portion of the restaurant food later, even if this food is not the healthiest.
This method will ensure you do not miss out on the tempting food, but it will not ruin your diet.
Rule #2: Be prepared
Chances are you know which restaurant you are going to eat at. If so you can probably look at the menu beforehand to ensure you make the healthiest choice available.
If you choose while at the restaurant chances are you will be tempted to choose a food that you know you should be avoiding. Perhaps due to peer pressure.
Rule #3: Eat a balanced meal
Whether you are eating at home or at a restaurant, if you want to succeed at your diet then you need to be eating a balanced diet.
That means that each meal should contain non-starchy vegetables, as well as lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
It is this combination of foods that ensure you are satisfied for a long time.
Certain foods are quickly digested, which will lead to further cravings, but the above combination of nutrients will keep you feeling fuller between meals.
Rule #4: Ask for modifications
Many restaurants are accommodating for your needs, so if there is something you fancy on the menu you can ask to see if it can be modified to become a more healthy option.
For example you could ask for less cheese, or no mayo.
Rule #5: Choose first
Rather than waiting for the rest of your party to choose their meals and then going along with their choices, if you choose first you will have more control of your own food choices.
You may even influence them to opt for a healthier dish.
Rule #6: Allow yourself an indulgence
If your diet is too strict then you are unlikely to stick to it long term.
When you are dining out is the perfect time to indulge, as long as you remember that you need to use a little constraint.
Extras can soon mount up, so perhaps avoid the wine and bread if you want a dessert.
The trick is to be choosy with your indulgence, and to savour it fully.
Rule #7: Watch those portions
Of course you should allow yourself to indulge occasionally, but it has to be within reason. Otherwise you are never going to reach your weight loss goals.
Eating unhealthy foods is one thing, but overeating is another problem too.
Many restaurants serve much more than is recommended, so perhaps you could ask for half your portion to be boxed up for later.
Another tip is to push some of your food to one side for bagging at the end of your meal. You should then only consume the adequate portion.
Just because you are dieting does not mean you need to refrain from visiting restaurants. It is certainly possible to achieve your weight loss goals while allowing yourself the occasional indulgence.
Hopefully these tips have given you some advice for the future.