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Eating out and Dieting

Just because you’re trying to lose weight on the Military Diet doesn’t mean you should stop having fun!

Going out to eat with friends and family will help keep you sane and sociable on your four days off the diet. But be careful about having too much fun, it’s easy to get carried away when faced with so many delicious choices at restaurants.

Here are some tips to enjoy your time out without overindulging and ruining your diet progress:

Most restaurants offer their menu online which means you can read the menu before you get there. Decide what to order ahead of time and you are more likely to make good choices instead of being influenced by hunger or your friends’ choices when you’re at the restaurant.

Don’t arrive to the restaurant starving! Eat a snack before getting to the restaurant so you won’t make rash choices or eat too much. Eat an apple in the car, maybe a few carrots.

Forget alcohol and drink lots of water before and during your meal. Bubbly water like Perrier or San Pellegrino is a treat and a way better option than soda or pop. Forgo diet sodas and their chemicals, sparkling water is the ultimate diet soda.

Pay attention to how the food is cooked. You want to order items that are steamed, grilled or roasted. Fried food or sautéed usually means added fat and more calories.

Be the first person to order in your group. If you’ve made a healthy choice, you don’t want to be influenced by those around you. You are less likely to change your mind and stick to your guns if you order first instead of hearing other people’s tempting choices.

Order appetizers instead of a main course. If you have other friends or family dieting with you, share some appys. This gives you a chance to try other flavors while still eating small amounts. If appetizers don’t appeal, order a half portion or off the children’s menu to prevent overeating. Or only eat half your meal and take the rest home.

Have a coffee instead of dessert. Boost your metabolism instead of slowing it down with sugary treats and calories.

Walk away from the buffet. For dieters, there is no greater enemy than the all you can eat buffet. If a buffet is the ONLY option available, stick to the salad section and use a small plate.

Substitute your sides. Don’t bother with fries. Forget about bread and crackers too. Swap in salad or soup instead. Even better if the restaurant offers vegetables like broccoli, peas or carrots.

Don’t worry about being labeled high maintenance, always order your dressings and sauces on the side – that way you control how many extra calories to add to your dish. Two tablespoons of ranch dressing add a generous 150 calories to a salad!

If you must drink alcohol, keep to low calorie and small servings. A glass of red wine adds about 200 calories. A vodka and soda with lime juice adds only 80 calories. Use sugar free mixers if you’re drinking hard alcohol.

Stay away from creamy or cheesy sauces. Choose tomato or no sauce dishes.