If you’re on an intense diet plan trying to lose weight as quickly as possible, generally speaking, the more control you can have over your food intake, the faster your results will be.
Those who aren’t constantly monitoring what they are putting into their body are not going to see as great of results as those who are, so while this does take some effort, the effort is well worth the payoff.
This means however that dining out can be quite problematic. But, if you’re someone who enjoys taking in a meal with a friend at a restaurant or your significant other wants to treat you to a special dinner, what are you to do?
Fortunately, if you learn how to navigate a restaurant menu and make the smartest choices possible, you can walk away with your diet mostly intact.
While you should try and eat out less while dieting, there isn’t any reason to avoid it entirely.
Let’s have a quick look at some important points to keep in mind as you sit down and choose your meal selection.
Be Careful With Salads
Most people when dining out will opt for a salad because they think this will be the lightest dish and the best to keep their diet in place.
Sadly, they are often mistaken. Many salads in restaurants come with more calories than traditional entrees unless you are very choosing with the ingredients they contain.
The main items that you want to avoid having sprinkled on top of your salad include bacon bits, any sort of cheese, high fat noodles, tortilla chips, candied nuts, higher amounts of dried fruit, croutons, and then off course doused in salad dressing.
Instead, focus on a salad that comes with plenty of fresh vegetables, some fresh fruit, a low fat source of protein, and then order the dressing on the side.
Non-candied nuts and dried fruit are okay in moderation, but do keep in mind the calories in these will add up so you should limit how much you are having.
Watch Your Soups
Next, also be careful with any soups you’re having as well. Broth based vegetable soups tend to be fairly diet-friendly as long as they don’t contain an over-abundance of noodles.
Be leery of any creamy soup however as these will really pack in the saturated fat and calories. Likewise for tomato cream soups. Plain tomato may be alright, but even there you do need to be careful.
Go For Grilled
On the protein front, always try and choose grilled meats whenever possible. Avoid baked as butter is often added and obviously fried should be out of the question.
Try and choose meats that are as natural as possible with no type of cheese filling, breading, or otherwise.
Good options would be grilled chicken, grilled lean beef, as well as grilled fish. When ordering fish, make sure it is grilled and not baked with cheese or butter as that is how fish is often prepared.
Watch Your Sauces
Another important thing to note about eating out is that it’s going to be critical that you are watching your sauces as well. Far too many restaurants dose their food in high calorie, high fat, high sugar sauces, which can easily add a few hundred calories to the meal total.
Keep your sauces light or request no sauce at all.
The next tip for dining out is making sure that you choose your side dish correctly as well. You’ll want to avoid high fat mashed potatoes, rice that comes loaded with butter, pasta in a cheesy or tomato sauce, as well as vegetables doused in butter.
Best choices will be a baked potato wish salsa on top if you do have a higher carb allowance or steamed vegetables without butter.
Request this from your server to keep your calorie count in check. Remember that often times you can swap out a side that’s listed for something else as well if you ask.
Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions because it could easily save you 300-500 calories on your meal.
Don’t Do Dessert
Dessert is going to be a death trap for anyone on a diet plan. It’s best just to avoid desserts entirely in a restaurant because they will easily come in at 800-1200 calories per dessert.
While some people think they are doing right by sharing with a friend, the calorie count is still simply too high for you to be eating.
If you’re craving some dessert, go home and prepare something yourself instead.
At the very least you can control what goes in it and make it as low in calories as possible.
Beware Of Beverages
Beverages are the next place where calories like to hide. You’re best off just going with water while you dine out because you can rest assured it doesn’t have any calories and will better help you stick with your diet plan.
Cocktail drinks, fruit smoothies, fruit juice, or any other fancy drink can easily pack in 200-500 calories, so this is almost like having a second meal in itself.
The Bread Basket
Finally, when you first arrive at the restaurant, ask for the server to remove the bread basket or any other type of appetizer food they may have on the table.
If it’s there, the chances are high you will indulge and this could get your meal off to a very bad start calorie-wise.
With bread especially, once most people start in on it, they have a very hard time stopping, so this could clearly set you back in a major way.
So there you have the most important points to remember about dining in and trying to stick to your fat loss diet plan. If you scour them menu and then request a few substitutions to whatever dish you select, you shouldn’t have all that hard of a time finding a dish that will keep your diet intact while allowing you to enjoy the meal as well.