You just started a doctors diet and you have fully committed to the program. In fact, you are so psyched to consistently remind yourself about the things that you should and should not be doing while you are in the process of trimming down a few pounds. You are doing good and feeling good, actually. However, you’ve made a promise to your best friends that you will be joining them for dinner this week and upon checking your journal, you have completely crossed out the “dine-out” idea! So, what are you going to do? Will you bail out of BFF dinner and just come up with an excuse? Or push through with dining out with your friends and just keep your fingers crossed that you won’t ruin your weight loss diet program.
Guilt-Free Ways To Enjoy Eating Out
Although you are dedicated to your weight loss journey, enjoying food and your social life should not be sacrificed. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of all the available food out there – you just have to make the right (healthy) food choices.
So here’s how you can balance your diet and dine out with friends without feeling guilty.
Go Through The Menu
- If you’re familiar with the food that the restaurant serves, then you are aware of what you “should” order. But if you are not aware of the menu scan over it and read the ingredients carefully. Remember that you tend to make impulsive and unhealthy choices when you are hungry, especially if you got distracted by the food presentation and smell. So, try to hold your horses, dear.
Grab A Snack Before You Leave
- Coming from work you must be really hungry and that dinner date with the gang is something to look forward to. Since you’re on a diet plan for you to avoid eating more than you should at the restaurant have a healthy bite first before meeting up. You can have a yogurt or an apple before you take off and it will save you from pigging out.
Have A Glass Of Water
- This has been a proven technique by many who are also in the process of losing weight. Aside from the fact that drinking water instead of sweetened drinks are healthier, it also lessens your cravings. Consuming a glass an hour or half an hour before mealtime makes you eat less compared to those who don’t.
Be Mindful Of How The Food Is Cooked
- You may not know it, but the way a food is cooked has an impact on the calorie content of the dish. Choose a main course that is cook steamed, grilled, poached or roasted as the cooking process produces less fat and much lower calories. If a food is described as pan-fried, crispy, fried, crunchy or sautéed on the menu, it means it has more calories and fats because of the way how the food was prepared.
Enjoy The Food And The Company
Opt For The Appetizers
- Based on a study, people are more tempted to eat more when served with bigger portions. So for you to avoid it from happening, instead of ordering a main course choose two appetizers. This is the best way to avoid overeating, especially if the restaurant makes big servings.
Take Time and Do Not Rush
- Train yourself to slow down on eating and chewing. This will help you eat less and is an effective way to support your weight loss without avoiding any food. Be cautious about how you chew your food and how quickly you eat. It’s best to put your utensils down after every mouthful to allow your appetite to decide whether it still wants more or not.
Replace Dessert With Coffee
- This won’t be a problem for coffee lovers, but to those who prefer the sweeter side, this might be a challenge. Skipping that slice of chocolate cake and having a hot cup of Jo saves you from too much sugar and calories most desserts have. Also, coffee presents more health benefits, especially in controlling weight gain.
Start With A Salad Or A Soup
- This is also an effective way to avoid eating too much if you’re dining out with friends or family. A serving of soup or a salad before your main dish can ward off cravings and binge-eating. Studies show that a soup before your meal can lower your calorie count by almost 20%!
See, you do not have to sacrifice your social life over your weight loss goals. You can do them both without feeling deprived or guilty. Your commitment to your program is what will save you from cheating every time you’re eating out. Your visit to your doctors’ weight loss center can also help you track your progress and also give you more tips for a successful weight loss journey.