I must admit, I'm not one who eats out very often. I much prefer to dine on a healthy home-cooked meal. As a whole though, Americans love eating out and we do it a lot.

Unfortunately, people who dine out frequently tend to have higher BMIs (body mass index) than those who eat at home most of the time. This is especially true when they're in the company of friends who aren't worried about eating healthy. Let's face it, when everyone else is chowing down on a cheesy pasta dish, it's hard to order a salad with grilled chicken.

No worries. I've got you covered.

Take a minute to listen to my top 3 dining out tricks so you can continue to eat out AND stick to your healthy eating plan. Also, I have a delicious SHRIMP SCAMPI RECIPE for you. This recipe is so easy and quick (15 minutes) you might just decide to stay home and cook dinner for your friends instead of eating out.

Stick to your healthy eating plan with these 3 dining out tricks.

Know before you go. Before dining out, check the online menu. Look at the calorie value of all the dishes. Take note of the healthier options and decide ahead of time what you will order. This takes the guess work out of it and will help you avoid a dining out disaster.

Order small. For the most part, having a successful dining out experience is all about portion control. It’s not that pasta is so terrible for you; it’s the amount you eat. Let’s be honest; you are going to eat whatever you are served. If you order less you will eat less. Take advantage of the appetizer menu (or even the kids menu) for smaller portions. Order an appetizer and pair it with a side salad. There are no rules against this. You are allowed to eat what and how much you want.

Go out for lunch. If you frequently go out to eat with a group of friends who aren’t as concerned about their health and waistlines as you, suggest lunch instead of dinner. Lunch specials and lunchtime portions tend be smaller than dinner. Also, there’s typically no (or less) alcohol being ordered.

Quick and Easy Recipe.

One of the very best ways to stick to your healthy eating plan is to cook and eat at home most of the time. This Shrimp Scampi recipe is one of my favorite quick and easy recipes. It tastes so decadent yet it only takes 15 minutes to prepare. Serve yourself a moderate portion and have it with a large salad. So delicious! Click here for recipe.

Do you need more healthy eating tips and support to lose weight and improve your health? I would LOVE to help you. Let's talk! Give me a call @ 732-494-1149 or send an email.

You deserve to look and feel amazing. We can make that happen together!

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Matthews-Antosiewicz, MS RD, is a healthy eating coach and nutrition expert specializing in weight management. She is committed to empowering people through education, support, and inspiration to make real changes that lead to optimal health and lasting weight loss - without all the craziness of dieting. Receive her 7 proven strategies to JumpStart your weight loss today! http://njnutritionist.com/jumpstartnow