Most dieters see dining out as an end to all the good work they've done to date. Instead of the enjoyable occasion eating out should be, anyone on a diet will inwardly groan at the prospect of dining out believing that they will have to abandon their diet because there's no way that they can stick to healthy, low-calorie foods if they're going to be eating in a restaurant. But that's not how it has to be. It's possible to make healthy choices when you eat out - ones that you not only enjoy but are good for your body, too.
It might sound obvious, but when dining out always pay particular attention to the menu. While the calorie and fat content may not be included in the menu, there are clues in the descriptions of the food items that will tell you how much, or how little, damage they will do to your diet. Anything with the word "crispy" in the title undoubtedly means that the food is deep-fried so perhaps not the wisest choice for a dieter. Always opt for foods that have had the least done to them.
For example, a chicken breast that is simply grilled is a good choice. Skip the heavy, rich sauces, too, as these are typically swimming in calories and will do very little for your waistline (apart from helping to expand it). If you remember to stick to simple, "unfussy" food then you will be making sensible choices. This also applies to vegetables and salads.
Most diners think that they are making a smart choice in selecting a salad, but unless it's non-dressed, it may not be such a wise move. Salad dressings usually contain a large number of calories. If you want just a little dressing, then ask your server for your salad dressing "on the side," as this way you can dictate how much (or rather how little) of it you use. Alcohol is one of those items that's described as having "empty calories," that's because you get little back for the number of calories you spend on it. When dining out, imagine you have, say, 900 calories to spend on the entire meal, including alcohol; this will help you stick to those foods and drinks with fewer calories.
If you want an alcoholic drink with your meal, then a general rule of thumb is to stick to drinks you can see through: white wine and Champagne typically contain less calories than, say, port and beer. But remember that a standard glass of white wine contains about 115 calories so if you want to limit the number of calories you consume during the evening, it's best to stick to the one glass - and make it last!
You don't have to skip dessert when eating out, as there are some dishes that are relatively healthy. Choosing a healthy dessert is probably the easiest part of the meal. Everyone knows that fruit is nutritional and contains fewer calories than, say, a piece of chocolate cake. But again, plain, undressed fruit is the best choice.
Don't choose fruit that's in any sort of syrup or liquor as, again, these contain unwanted calories. Cheese may seem a healthy option but unless you can limit yourself to a small piece, it's best not to choose this, as most cheeses in restaurants aren't the low fat variety!
Making healthy food choices when eating out isn't difficult. It's really just a matter of common sense. Choose simple food that's prepared and cooked in a simple, unfussy way, with little garnish or dressing, and have no more than one or two alcoholic drinks with your meal. You can then happily dine out knowing that your dieting program won't have to be abandoned for the evening.