6 Dine Out Do’s

dine outCommon feedback as to why people are waiting for a specific date to begin their weight loss journey is, “I can’t possibly be successful if I start today, I have one baby shower, two weddings and a friend’s birthday celebration all coming up this month! I’m waiting until I have no social obligations.” They have already determined that any dine outs will lead to the impossibility of weight loss. I always grin and respond with “surely you realize that you can’t be a hermit for the next (X amount of months) and avoid every social occasion like the plague.” Then I look at their sheepish expression and realize, oh my god they are planning on being a hermit and avoiding every social occasion like the plague.

To everyone postponing weight loss, waiting for the “perfect” window of time: fear not, there are proven strategies that can ensure a successful dine out in even the most delicious of times. Your perfect window of time can’t last forever, so you may as well dive in now and learn from day one. The more practice and experience you get under your belt, the more confident you will become. So call your closest friends and march your butt over to your most feared restaurant. I double dare you (after reading my strategies of course, let’s not get carried away).

1) Try and recommend the restaurant you feel most comfortable with in terms of menu options.

2) If you’re more of the go with the flow type of friend and are allowing others to select the restaurant, ask them to determine the destination in advance. Go online and peruse the menu in the comfort of your own home. Size up the safest healthiest pick prior to going there.

3) NEVER show up starving! Starving = game over. You’ll turn into the cookie monster and will lack the strength required to say “no thanks” to the dreaded bread basket. Have a little snack beforehand, like an apple and drink a glass of water.

4) Since you followed step 2, don’t even tempt yourself by opening the menu. Stick to your guns and order what you already decided on beforehand. Be the first person to place your order to avoid being influenced by the rich and decadent picks of your friends.

5) How to order: There are several ways to cut your caloric intake when dining out. You can order one greens appetizer (like a garden salad) and another appetizer as the main. This way the portion is controlled. You can also ask to share an entree with your friend or ask the server to only present half of the entree and pack up the remaining half in a take out container. Avoid fooling yourself into thinking you’ll only eat half if the whole entree is in front of you, enticing you more with every bite.

6) Speak up. Don’t be afraid to ask the server questions regarding different food preparations or provide specific requests. I know, who wants to be the “dressing on the side and hold the oil on everything” lady, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Especially for the sake of your waistline!

  • Marianne

    Whoa, these are good tips. Lets face it, I need all the info i can get. I usually see my venture into restaurant territory as my eating healthy downfall…