Ordering in a restaurant and keeping it sensible is tough, but remember you cannot work out a bad diet!

The days of eating out for special occasions are pretty much gone…eating out for many is a regular thing, for some multiple nights a week. The average American eats out four meals a week! Scarier we consume a third of our TOTAL calories at those meals.

Here are some steps to take to not that are not too painful and will let you eat out without sabotaging your hard work!

Tip 1 – Skip the Bread

In almost every restaurant they drop a basket of bread in front of you while you wait to order and receive your meal. Refuse the bread, but wait you are starving…solve that problem, eat a piece of fruit, some nuts or other small snack before you leave home.

Calories you save: 150 (1 slice bread + butter) to 500 (basket of chips)

Tip 2 – Water

Cocktails, wine, soda and lemonade are full of useless calories and sugar. Instead, drink unsweetened iced tea, plain water or mineral water with a slice of lemon.

Calories you save: 100 (glass of wine) to 400 (large soda + 1 refill)

Tip 3 – Salad

Starting your meal with a salad is a great way to start your meal, just don’t load it up with fatty ingredients and calorie filled dressings. Instead get plenty of fresh greens and vegetables and use an oil and vinegar dressing, served on the side.  Dip your fork in the dressing, then pick up some of the salad with your fork.  You’ll get the taste of dressing with each bite, but not the calories.

Calories you save: 200+ (75 calories per tablespoon – 4 tablespoons of dressing is the norm on a typical restaurant salad)

Tip 4 – Split

Restaurant portions can be huge, so split your meal with your dining companion or get a to go container and split your meal before you start eating.

Calories you save: Hundreds & Hundreds.  Restaurant entrees can run 800-1000 calories.