If you are trying to lose weight, you might think that you can't ever dine out with your friends. While it is true that restaurants are notorious for serving large portions, it is still possible to eat out and stay on your diet. You just have to prepare ahead of time. Here are five helpful tips for dining out while on a diet:
You intended to order something healthy off the menu, but hearing your friends order juicy hamburgers and crispy fries makes you rethink your decision. If you are the first one to order your entree, you will be less tempted by your friends' less healthy dishes.
Be Careful With Salads
Not all salads are created equal. If you order a salad with croutons, cheese and tons of fattening dressing, you will consume more calories than you need. Instead, order a salad with as many veggies as possible. If you need some protein in your salad, choose a lean option, like grilled chicken or salmon. Also, do not go too crazy with the dressing. Ask for the dressing on the side an choose a healthier option, such as a vinaigrette.
Know How to Portion Control
If you are in the mood for a less healthy dish, such as a hamburger or pasta, it is very important to control your portions. For example, you could split an entree with a friend or put half of the meal in a doggie bag. Eat slowly so that your body has enough time to tell your brain that it is full. Once you feel full, stop eating.
Choose Healthy Sides
Another good way to save yourself calories at a restaurant is to pick healthy sides. Instead of ordering fries with your entree, opt for something more nutritious, such as steamed vegetables or brown rice.
Do Not Drink Your Calories
Do not underestimate the calories in certain beverages. If you order a margarita, for example, you could consume hundreds of extra calories. If you are trying to lose weight, it is best to stick to water. It doesn't contain any calories and will keep you full longer.
If you follow these helpful tips, you can still dine out on the weekends and reach your weight loss goal. When you are at a restaurant, do not be afraid to ask the server how a dish is cooked or what ingredients are in it.