10 Tips On Dining Out Without Freaking Out

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#1 Google Your Grub
Technology saves the day yet again. Most if not all restaurants have websites where their menus are regularly posted. This coupled with apps like Yelp and MenuPages there really isn’t an excuse for not Googling your grub.
#2 Think Before You Drink
Before you even think about browsing the cocktail menu gulp down a glass of good old H20 -as this will give you a moment to address your thirst first. Then, once your thirst has been quenched, avoid sugary blended concoctions such as margaritas, piña coladas and other exotic mixed drinks. Sipping your calories is such a waste, so instead opt for a glass of wine, a light beer, a vodka and tonic or a simple martini.
#3 Dress To Impress
Not only is getting dressed up fun it can also help you save a few calories. If your sexy get up is holding you in nice and tight chances are you may not have such a problem passing on that second roll- I mean really…who wants to have to suck it in all night?! So dress to impress and stay fine while you dine.
#4 Read In Between The Lines
Words such as creamy, breaded, crisp, sauced or stuffed is code word for “loaded with fat.” Other thug words to be aware of are buttery, sautéed, pan-fried and au gratin. However homie, look out for healthy diet-friendly words such as baked, steamed, grilled or broiled. Easy peasy.
#5 Divide & Conquer
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that serving sizes have grown significantly over the past 20 years. Hamburgers have expanded by 23%, a plate of Mexican food is 27% bigger and let’s not forget soft drinks– they have increased in size by 52%! So follow this rule: Sharing is caring. Next time you step out to dine out share a dish with a friend or ask for a doggy bag asap and carry out (in your hands, not your belly) the other half. Hello tomorrow’s lunch.
#6 Balance Things Out
Eating out doesn’t have to be boring and bland. If you absolutely have to get that high cal dish, then don’t wash it down with a fish bowl frozen cocktail. Or, order two appetizers instead of one thing from every course and skip out on dessert. Make sense? Basically live your life without losing your mind when you eat out and truly enjoy yourself (sans guilt).
#7 Start Strong
The best way to get some healthy fun in before your meal is to order a side salad or broth based soup. This will fill you up before the main event hits the table as well as help you get your recommended five a day in. Personally I find plain side salads to be a waste of time and money…so, if I am able, I just whip up one at home before I head out. The commute allows my garden greens to digest, that way once I plop down in a booth I am not ravishing.
#8 Sideline Side Sauces
That secret sauce is actually a secret diet wrecker. So sideline those high calorie high fat ramekins and dip (don’t dunk) in moderation. By asking for all sauces on the side you are better able to stay in control. Do. This. Always.
#9 Be Fruitful
When the waiter slams the dessert menu on the table, look for the ones made with fruit like you are trying to find Waldo asap sis. Chocolate and ice cream-enhanced desserts will set you back, however that fruit tart won’t be too off the charts…so make that your sweet treat.
#10 Chat And Chew
If you focus more on what comes out of your mouth (ie. words) as opposed to what goes in (ie. handfuls of calamari) your dining experience will instantly become “light.” The fact that the body takes at least 20 minutes to digest food is no secret, so spend some of that time telling your man how funny your spin instructor is or your girls how hot that bartender (10 feet away) is. Either way run your mouth more, fill your mouth less and enjoy the entire dining experience.

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