5 Ways to Avoid Devastating Your Diet While Eating Out

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Dining out is an enjoyable way to spend time with loved ones, experience different cuisines, and take a break from the kitchen (and the dishes). However, the habit of eating out still has the potential to destroy just about anyone’s diet. There’s a reason that restaurant food is routinely better than what you prepare at home (hint: it’s not because it was made for you, and not by you). It’s because the chefs behind the restaurants’ kitchen doors are typically liberal with their butter and salt use, and they’re also not scared to go heavy on other fattening ingredients. What do they have to lose? Most of the time they’re not eating the food they’re preparing, and they only want your taste buds’ approval.

But it’s not only the chefs’ faults, as diners typically make other mistakes at restaurants that wreak havoc on their diets — a lot of the time, they’re not even conscious they’re doing it. To make sure you’re not sabotaging your healthy eating resolution every time you go out to eat, brush up on these five traps that many diners fall into. Dining out should be an enjoyable experience, and sometimes even an indulgent one, but just in case you’re watching your food intake this season, make sure you’re not making these diet-jinxing mistakes.

1. Don’t go to a restaurant starving

Everyone knows that you shouldn’t go grocery shopping while hungry, as you’ll inevitably put half the market’s snacks into your cart if you do, but what many don’t realize is that the same rule applies for restaurant dining. It seems like common sense that you’d want to keep your belly empty before getting to your restaurant of choice, but if you’re too hungry upon arrival, you’re more likely to overeat.

Instead of getting to the restaurant starving, if you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating regimen, eat a small, healthy snack before you leave the house. That will coat your stomach, keep your hunger at bay, and minimize the chances of you going crazy on the bread basket immediately upon sitting down at the dinner table. In addition, be sure to keep your water glass full as you’re dining — many people think they are starving when they are really just thirsty.

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