These simple tips prove that dining out doesn’t have to put a dent in your diet:
Spoil your appetite:
Skipping breakfast or lunch to save calories for a big dinner is a misguided strategy that is sure to leave you tired, cranky and primed to overeat! Your best bet is to eat lighter meals during the day and even spoil your appetite a bit by having a small snack before heading to the restaurant.
Ignore the breadbasket and start with a crisp vegetable salad (dressing served on the side) or a steaming bowl of a broth-based soup. These choices are low in calories and filling, so you’ll probably feel satisfied eating less of your entree
Drinking and dieting can go together if you order wisely. Nix sugary cocktails like Cosmos and Margaritas that can pack 500 calories or more per drink and instead order wine or spirits that have about 90 calories per serving. Make yours a spritzer mixed half with club soda and your drink drops to less than 50 calories.
Split your plate:
Many restaurants serve oversize meals that amount to a double or even triple portion. To order something delicious while keeping calories in check, share your entrée or simply save half to take home. Another trick: Browse the menu for an indulgent dish available in a half portion and pair it with a healthy side salad or an order of grilled vegetables.
Keep sweets to three bites:
The most decadent dessert won’t sink your diet if you stick to three bites. The secret is to take your time and savor the taste and texture in every mouthful. Enjoy your treat while lingering over a cup of coffee or tea and you’ll finish your meal feeling indulged, not guilty.
For delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes and tips on healthy eating, drinking and losing weight, check out my latest book, The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber and The F-Factor Diet. Subscribe to Tanya’s free weekly newsletter and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,and LinkedIn