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Dining out with friends, a holiday lunch or dinner, traveling for the week?  Eating away from home can be part of any successful nutrition program as long as you know which foods to avoid and which to enjoy.  A little bit of preparation will take you a long way so follow Real Nutrition NYC’s simple suggestions below to ensure a fulfilling meal without the extra calories.
Spoil your appetite – Never show up to any meal starving.  Instead, enjoy a 150 calorie snack (a handful of almonds or a small apple and a glass of water) 30 minutes before hand to help control your appetite and to prevent you from overindulging and making poor decisions.
Pre-read the menu – If you know where you’ll be dining ahead of time, read the menu and decide what you will order before you even arrive.  This will help you avoid temptation and impulse ordering.
Avoid the Breadbasket – This is where many people do the most damage.  Just because the bread is warm and it’s free doesn’t mean you have to eat it.  By dipping one roll into olive oil or spreading on butter you can easily consume 300 calories before you even order your meal!  Either keep the breadbasket on the opposite end of the table or ask for it to be removed completely in order to avoid temptation.
Order an appetizer – Start your meal with a simple salad or a tomato or broth based soup to fill you up without filling you out.  These foods are high in water and fiber content, satisfying your hunger with the fewest calories and helping you to eat less of your main course.
Order another appetizer – No one ever said you MUST get an entree for your main course.  I’ll often order an appetizer for an appetizer and then another one for my main.  All the flavor but just a smaller serving!
Avoid fried food – The healthiest food preparations include items that are broiled, baked or grilled.  Look for items on the menu prepared these ways in order to prevent consuming high fat and unhealthy options.
Quit the clean plate club – Just because it is on your plate doesn’t mean you have to finish it.  Always try to leave at least ¼ of your meal over since restaurant portions are usually six times larger than recommended.
Enjoy dessert – Yes dessert is decadent but it is fattening too.  So allow yourself a bite or two and then pass it on.  You’ll enjoy all the flavor and satisfy your cravings without going overboard.  Order a skim cappuccino (decaf if it’s late) or a cup of tea so you have something to do with your mouth besides consuming more cake!