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by Liz Bowen

Dieting doesn’t have to mean losing time with friends or family by skipping dinners out. For the majority of dieters, remaining healthy when you aren’t in control of cooking can be a challenge. Rather than staying home to avoid falling off your diet, arm yourself with knowledge and a plan to eat smart. Follow these tips to help you stick to your diet while dining out without wrecking your progress.

1.Huge Portions? Half It

At most restaurants, the serving sizes are huge. Most entrees can easily be split between two people or for multiple meals. If you are dining at a restaurant with oversized portions, ask your server for a to-go box to be brought out with your meal. This way, as your food arrives, you can portion your meal and box away the extra for your next meal or two.

2. Substitutes for Vegetables

While most entrees come with a baked potato or fries, don’t be afraid to ask for a substitution of vegetables instead. If you order vegetables, be sure you are getting the healthiest option available. Request that they don’t cook them in butter. Most restaurants won’t have a problem preparing your food to your request.

Healthy Dining Out


3. Skip out on the Free Offerings
Remember, snacking counts and quickly adds up! Don’t let the breadbasket or tortilla chips be your downfall. Instead of nibbling on these not-so-nutritious snacks, simply inform your server ahead of time that you’re not interested in these freebies. This will help you stay on track and keep unnecessary calories out of reach.



4. Drink Responsibly

Be aware of the calories intake from your drink, they will add up faster than your realize. Instead of ordering a soda or sugary drink, opt for water or unsweetened tea. Save your calories for your main course, rather than blowing them on liquids.

5. Personalize the Preparation

Don’t let your healthy eating habits drop just because you are at a restaurant. Avoid foods that are deep fried or cooked in butter and make healthier choices. Restaurants tend to be pretty good at offering healthier cooking options. Grilled, roasted or baked meats are much better for you and have just as much flavor as fried foods. Don’t be afraid to ask the server to hold the sauce, skip the butter and bypass the oils.

6. Plan Ahead

Your best bet is to plan what you will order ahead of time. Thanks to the Internet, you can scroll through the menu before you even step foot in the restaurant. Looking through the menu beforehand gives you the chance to see any healthy items available or plan ahead for any substitutions, so you really know the right thing to order.


Following these tips for sticking to your diet while dining out should help you stay on track. Just because you are focusing on eating healthy, doesn’t mean you should pass on a nice night out. You may be surprised at how accommodating and health- conscious many restaurants have become.

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