All the delicious sounding menu options, not to mention the yummy dishes your tablemates are ordering, can really tempt you and lead you astray.
A bit of planning can help you avoid diet disasters at restaurants.
Here are ten ways to stay on track when eating out.
1 - Order 1/2 meals - you can either ask for 1/2 your meal to be wrapped before you even get it, or you can ask for a to-go container as soon as your meal comes and immediately pack up half your meal.
(Bonus: you have lunch for the next day) 2 - Ask questions - speak up! Don't be embarrassed or shy about asking for clarification about the menu.
Your waiter will gladly answer any questions regarding ingredients or food preparation.
3 - Find the "good guys" - baked, grilled, steamed...
search for the key words that let you know a dish is on the healthier side 4 - Avoid the "bad guys" - Au gratin, (deep) fried, breaded, creamed, buttered..
Need I say more? 5 - Dressing on the side - a salad isn't a 'health food' if it's drenched in 800 calories of dressing.
Have it on the side, dip your fork into your dressing then pick up some salad.
6 - Sauce on the side - this is a no brainer, even if you order grilled veggies, slathering it with butter sauce ruins everything.
Use the same technique as you would with the salad.
7 - Don't starve yourself - don't go to the restaurant super hungry, you'll be even more tempted to 'cheat' on your diet.
Either eat a small snack before hand or order some tea with lemon when you first sit down at the table 8 - Share - this is another easy one.
Split a meal with your table mates and you'll split the calories as well! (bonus: you can also split the bill!) 9 - Just say no - to bread before the meal.
Ask the waiter not to bring it or to take it away.
You may also ask to substitute crudites (just be careful with the dip!) 10 - Be smart about dessert - pick a sorbet over an iced cream, or just have a coffee (with skim milk, not cream).
You'll likely be full from your meal, so ask the waiter early on not to bring the dessert menu or sample cart.