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Eat Out And Still Lose Weight

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In The Real World, We Eat Out. And That Is Still No Excuse To Get Off Track
It's harder when you're not in control of your environment and sometimes you can't avoid eating out, nor should you have to. Many studies show that individuals eat 50% more than they normally would when they eat out with friends so make some rules for yourself when you're out to dinner and always stick with them.
I almost consistently order a salad when I go out for dinner. If I don't order a salad, I usually order an appetizer as my main entree. While they can be the most fattening things on the menu, the portion is usually 1/2 of that of an entree, which keeps me, relatively, within my calorie allotment for the day. If you're anything like me, you shouldn't even look at the other things on the menu. Stick to only looking at the salads and the appetizers, and don't bother with the rest. It's likely to be a train wreck of a calorie night if you do. If I do drink alcohol, I limit myself to 2 glasses of wine. SKIP the fruity drinks. All of that sugar gives you double the hangover anyway.
Other things that are helpful:

  • Dessert: Sometimes you just CAN'T skip dessert. The whining of your friends about NOT taking a bite of your birthday cake are actually more painful than actually eating the cake. I use the 3 bite rule; you can take three bites of the most decadent dessert and still lose weight. You'll find that after the 3 bites you're not even tasting it anymore and the first 3 are really the most satisfying.
  • The bread basket: Everyone says say no to the bread. Tell them to take away the bread basket or remind them to not bring it. But that's a challenge when the other people at your table want it. If you're stuck with the bread basket at the table, remind yourself that you just don't eat bread from the bread basket anymore. That was the old you. This is the new you. Just like you don't smoke, you don’t eat bread from the bread basket. If you're hungry and need something to snack on before dinner, ask the waiter to bring a salad right away. If it's a formal dinner and your need to keep manners and etiquette in mind, then demonstrate some discipline. Remind yourself that you are bigger than this need for the bread right now, your dinner will be there in a short while and you've made it through much harder times than this (childbirth, perhaps??!)
  • Water: Order water! Get into the habit of ordering water when asked what you'd like to drink. If you're having a glass of wine, get the glass of water too. Alcohol dehydrates you which give you the feeling of being even hungrier; if you have water alongside, you'll at least stay somewhat hydrated.
  • Split EVERYTHING. Get into the habit of splitting whatever you order. Offer bites to your companions. You'll eat less.

And finally...
If you do overeat, it's just that: ONE night of overeating. One night does not mean a gain of 5 pounds (and if you get on the scale because you like to punish yourself and you see a gain of 5 pounds it's because of the salt.) Tone it down the next day and you'll be back on track. If you can have one good day, it will set you up for your next weigh in.