Dining Out with Friends: Sticking to Your Diet Plan

If you are a health buff, dining out may cause you to be overly concerned or disappointed. Because serving portions are often excessive, you could be eating more than you need. You might just end up eating all the calories you don’t need, because you’ll never know what goes into the food.

But you don’t need to stress yourself too much about it. You don’t need to exclude yourself from your friends just because of your healthy eating lifestyle. There are ways you can stick to your diet plan, while dining out with your friends.

Check the menu in advance before deciding on a place. If it’s a place you’ve never eaten in before, this will give you a better idea of what food they serve. You will discover that some restaurants have calorie counts next to an item on the menu – this is useful information. There are times you see ‘healthy’ or ‘light’ sections on menus. This tells you that that dish was prepared with the diet- or health-conscious customer in mind.

At times, you don’t know how a certain dish is prepared or what its ingredients are, but you can inquire from your server. Is it baked or fried, or is there additional ingredients like oils or creams in the recipe? You can make an informed decision about your order instead of ending up with food that is not as healthy as you think it is.

A side dish of potatoes or fries often goes along with your order. If you ask your server if they can serve you a leafy salad instead when you order, they usually agree with you. But if you want the potatoes or the rice, just have them plain.

Most of the time, if you ask nicely, restaurants will have no problem adjusting to your requests. You can ask sauces or cheese to be removed from your order, if you think it is too much, and the dish is healthy. Or you can ask them to give you a separate side dish for the sauce, so you can put just a little of it on your food as you wish. But it would be better for you to always ask for dressings and sauces on a separate side dish, as restaurants tend to splash them plenty on green salads.

Starters and desserts that go with these are less beneficial in your case. However, if you want to indulge a bit, go for the starter instead of the dessert, and look for fresh items. Avoid creamy soups, if you are going for a soup. But the best thing to have are salads, without the bacon or cheese.

And, if you can’t avoid it, have only a glass of wine.

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