It’s so hard to be disciplined while dieting, so I often find myself playing games in my head in order to reach my dieting goals. One of my favorite games is called “oops, I made a mistake.” After all, I was starving to the point of feeling sick, so I had to have a candy bar from a vending machine—I was late that morning and did not have time to pack my healthy snack from home.
Don’t try to console me and say “that could happen” because the game does not end there. Now I have ruined that whole day so I might as well have fast food for lunch and begin my diet again tomorrow…or maybe it would be better to begin again next week.

This same logic applies when life gets in the way of my diet. If my husband says, “let’s go out to eat” then I may have enough strength to say, “no, it’s not good for my diet.” However, if my girlfriend who I never get to see is in town, how can I resist? So I made up a set of rules that help me play the “stay on my diet and enjoy a meal out” game. It goes like this…

How to Make Sure You Stick to Your Diet and Still Go Out to Eat

• Pick the restaurant out ahead of time. If you meet up with your friend and wander around trying to decide where to go you are going to eat whatever looks the best, and it is usually the most fattening when you get there.

• Go online and study the menu ahead of time. You know what to pick as an entrée, something not fried or covered in too much salad dressing or mayo, but make sure it actually appeals to you. Don’t pick something that does not sound good only to get there and after a few sips of wine decide you can’t resist what it was you really wanted.

• Don’t go too hungry. Have whatever healthy and filling snack works for you before you go out. My go to is a big bowl of oatmeal as a late lunch before dining out. Another tip is to eat an apple before you head out to eat.

• Order a special beverage when you order your glass of wine. There are many zero calorie drinks to help satisfy hunger and help with the urge to consume. Water, tea, or a diet soda. What makes it special? Add a lemon or a lime and if it’s water or tea also add a no calorie sweetener. Your special drink will not only help fill you up, it will also help you nurse your glass of wine.

• Only eat half of your entrée. This is the hard part and there are several ways to go about it.

1. If you are comfortable, tell your dining companion what you are having and offer to split it.
2. Promise yourself you can eat more after you have another special water or tea, etc. It takes the brain 20 minutes after eating to tell the stomach it’s full. Hopefully by then you can have the server box it up or better yet…
3. Throw it out. Put garbage on top of your unfinished entrée and ask the server to take it away. Hopefully you are not comfortable enough with your friend to pick the garbage off and start eating again, which shamefully, I have actually done.

You could also choose to take the other half home and hope that you won’t have to play another game to keep yourself from eating it as soon as you get through the door. Good luck!

Author's Bio: 

Meagan Gordon is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including San Francisco restaurants. She writes for, a leading directory of local restaurants.