I love to eat out, and if it is a choice between that, and staying home slaving over a hot stove, and washing a mound of dirty dishes, it’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, if you’re watching your weight, it’s harder to practice self-control.
Here are four tips to eat out without blowing your diet:
Try Lighter Options
Restaurants are finally listening to health-conscious customers and offering lighter options with fewer calories. The Skinnylicious menu at Cheesecake Factory features favorites like Crispy Crab Bites, and Chicken Pot Stickers. Many menus now have nutritional information that you can look at before ordering.
Skip the Appetizer
You’ll do major damage to your diet if you fill up on appetizer trays that are loaded with fat. You want to save your calories for the main course. Say no to the bread basket, and skip chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant.
Sit Where It’s Quiet
A lot of restaurants have multiple television channels playing, and it’s easy to get distracted and eat more if you’re engrossed in watching a sports program. If you’re sitting near a window, people watching can be enjoyable, but can also lead to mindlessly putting more food in your mouth. Ask the hostess to seat you in a quiet area, and wait for a table if necessary.
If you order a drink while you’re waiting for your meal, it’s tempting to drink too much. You don’t have to completely eliminate a dinner drink, but stick to 150 calories or less. Lower calorie options include 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of hard liquor, or a 12 oz. light beer.