I try to avoid eating out while dieting. The food is too tempting and if I manage to stick to the plan while at a restaurant, I often feel deprived and that I am wasting money. But sometimes it just can’t be avoided.
My husband and I go out to eat with another couple about once a month. We have been doing this for several years and love choosing new restaurants. All four of us eat a lot at these meals! Our favorite is an evening of shared tapas; we order plate after plate until we are past stuffed – and then we get dessert. It’s fun – the food, the company, the whole experience. But it’s certainly not diet-friendly.
During my last stint on South Beach I managed to make it through more than one restaurant meal staying on program. This can be uncomfortable since it is very obvious that I am moderating my eating. No bread, no dessert – what’s gotten into her! As I lost more weight and felt more in control with my eating, I allowed myself to cheat for the one meal out, then I’d immediately get back on track and quickly take off the overnight weight gain. Off course then I started my long slippery slide of weight regain and cravings which led me back to overeating at restaurants. More fun in the moment, less fun come the morning of regret.
Our next dinner out with friends is less than a week away. I have already decided what I will eat that night. I chose the restaurant after carefully looking at the menu to ensure there was more than one palatable option that would fit within my diet. And I chose a restaurant that did NOT have too many menu items that looked purely irresistible to me. No chocolate mousse for dessert. And no shared tapas! I have already warned the female half of the couple that I am dieting again; she is understanding despite never having weight problems herself. I will enjoy my meal and the company, push the bread basket far across the table, and sit with a smile while everyone else has dessert. Not even an extra fork for me.