Sunday, January 29, 2012

8 Great Ways To Stick To Your Diet While Dinning Out

When often on a special or strict diet, dinning out could possibly throw you totally off course. I’ve been on several diets for weight management and to avoid various allergies to foods, so I’ve got some really good tricks to use while dinning out. It’s not always possible to do them all, but if you can, you won’t stray from your dietary plans… or at least not by very much. Thus, you will be less likely to feel guilty about your night out.

1) Try to get a look at the menu before you get there to see if they serve things that are on your allowed diet. If there isn’t anything on the menu, be firm and move on to another restaurant. If you are dinning with friends, do alert them to your special needs whether temporary or permanent.  If they are real friends, they will understand.  If not, you'd better save your time and money by staying in.

2) If you also might want to call ahead of time and ask about the ingredients on the menu.  Ask them if you can request healthier swaps.

3) When you arrive and are seated you should immediately ask for some bottled or carbonated water for you to drink.  It might cost extra, but you can decide if you rather it cost you money or calories.  The carbonated drink is the best option, because it will make your stomach feel full.  Add a lemon wedge, for more benefits.

4) Bravely forego any nibbling unless you are on a bread diet. Casual nibbling can add up to 300 to 700 extra calories, especially if served with butter and oil.  You may want to save those calories for the actual meal.

4)  If you have a craving for something, you might want to go with the appetizer version of the dish.  If it is not on the menu, try asking.  You never know what is possible unless you ask.  And remember that if you order an appetizer ask the waiter to bring it out at the same time your party’s entrees arrive.

5) When you order, you may not want to load up your dish with a sauce that is loaded with fat and sugars. You could also ask for the sauce to accompany the dish on the side.  And you could make a game of it to see how much of the sauce you can still have left over.

6) Eat slowly and enjoy every single bit of the meal. You'll benefit from a better digestion of the meal and believe it or not, you'll feel full faster.

7) If you get an entree, try to consume only half of the meal and have the rest wrapped to go. You must use your judgment on this because you’ll want to remember that the human stomach is no bigger than your fist and most entrees served at restaurants are twice as large. The extra meal later will help your metabolism stay revved up.  And besides, some dishes are so much better as left overs.

8) Ask for coffee, tea, or a lemon wedge to wash down your meal and give you a little pick-me-up instead of a desert. Avoid over taxing your tea or coffee with lots of milk and sugar.

Good luck and remember that if you do not stick to all of these, DON’T feel guilty about it. Having your meal will be useless if you don't actually enjoy it.

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