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How to Survive Dinner Out When You’re on a Diet

How to Survive a Dinner Out While on a Diet

Hi Everyone!  I’m so excited for everyone starting my #10WeekPlan!  Week 1 – DONE.  Congratulations!  I’d love to hear and see your progress.

I enjoy going out to eat.  It’s my favorite thing with my family and friends.  But here are a few suggestions to keep your weight on track.  With some simple strategies, preparation and a bit of discipline, dinner out or at a friend’s house can be an enjoyable-and diet friendly- experience!  Here are a few ideas on how to strike a balance.  You can do it!

1. Pick and choose. When dinner is served, focus on veggie dishes, salads, and meats. Politely pass on anything that’s smothered in sauces, cream, or mayo. If you do decide to indulge in a rich entrée or a dessert, stick with a single, sensible portion.

2. Bring your own dish. If dinner is potluck, bring nutritious, diet‐friendly options such as a healthy vegetable dish, crudités platter, or fruit salad. This way you’ll have something “safe” to eat, and you’ll be sharing the gift of health!

3. Watch your hands. If there are munchies within your reach, be sure to have only a single small portion instead of repeatedly reaching for bowl. Hold a glass of water or carry a clutch purse with one hand so it’s harder to pig out.

4. Be careful with the cocktails. Alcoholic drinks can be loaded with calories and lower your inhibitions so you eat more. Have a glass of wine or a white wine spritzer‐ half wine, half seltzer‐ instead of a sugary cocktail.

5. Inform your friend. Sometimes we feel pressured to eat because we think friends will be insulted if we don’t. Before the dinner party, tell your host not to feel that way when you don’t try everything or ask for seconds. Let her know that you’re trying to slim down and not all your yummy dishes are on your menu.

6. Or keep quiet. Whether they do it consciously or not, some friends and relatives sabotage our best intentions to live a healthy life. And pressure from family and friends can actually work against you staying motivated and slim. If your host is that type, then don’t fill her in on your way of life. Instead think of a few things you can say, such as that you had a big or late lunch, when she pushes a fattening food on you. You can also politely take a serving and leave it on your plate. Just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

how to survive dinner out when on a diet - denise austin

7. Enjoy the company. The reason we gather with friends is to share their company and conversation, and in our go‐go‐go world spending time with loves ones is rare. Instead of focusing on food, pay extra attention to those around you. You won’t over indulge, and you’ll connect with others in a meaningful way.

8. Look before you eat. If the dinner is buffet, survey the whole spread before you choose what you’ll eat. Also, use a small plate so you don’t overdo it.

9. Offer your assistance. Helping a friend prepare, serve, and do other things at the dinner may keep you busy to munch mindlessly. Plus, you’ll get a bit of exercise getting up and down or going back and forth to the kitchen.

10. Don’t go hungry. Some people starve themselves all day so they can eat what they want at a dinner, party or special occasion. The problem? You’ll be so hungry when you arrive at your friends that you’re likely to make poor food choices and leave with an aching tummy and loads of regret. Stick with healthy meals during the day and eat a filling snack right before you go.

11. Stay focused on your goals. When others around us are pigging out, it’s all too easy to throw in the towel and follow their lead. A study done at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that, on average, women took in 696 calories when they ate with others compared with 476 when they dined alone. But that doesn’t mean you should shun social meals. Just remember that your goals are different from your friend’s. Just because a girlfriend is reaching for seconds‐ or thirds‐ doesn’t mean that you have to.

12. Think before you eat. Before diving into that decadent dessert, imagine how you’ll feel if you step on the scale and it’s gone up or hasn’t budged, or if your clothes are snug. Often the momentary pleasure is not worth the guilt you’ll feel later.

Try these out and let me know how it goes for you all.  I’d love to hear everyone’s progress throughout their 10 Week journey.  I have some special gifts for those that share their stories with me!

Love always from Your Personal Trainer,


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Denise, In the nineties I consistency worked out consistently to the 20 min fat blast
I am so glad to have you back! I feel like I am reuniting with an old friend.
Any way, I was wondering how many daily calories should I be taking in on this plan.
Thank you and happy anniversary

Hi Marcylambert! That is so awesome to hear, dining out while dieting is not always easy but you made it sound just that….EASY!!! Thank you for sharing your story with us, it’s inspiring to know that dining out is possible!

XO Team Denise

I was worried about dining out. I have been on the plan just under 3 weeks and my husband really wanted to take me out to a steakhouse. But I found a meal around the same calories as the planned dinner for the night. I first researched the menu online to know what foods I could eat without going over the allotted calories. Not only was I able to order quickly, as usually it takes me forever to decide what to order, the food was delicious! And it was so nice to be able to have a date night with my husband. Thanks for all your tips Denise!

Aloha! I used some of these suggestions at an anniversary dinner this week. It really worked to assist my hostess to keep out of the munchies and enjoy the company. I kept my glass in my hand. And put my fork down between bites. Sat up straight and thought before I ate. Thank you, pam

Thank you so much Denise for the tips! I am having dinner with some friends next week and was wondering how am I going to stay on track while eating out. I am only 3 days in and feeling great and loving the meals!

Hi Denise, I agree with you a 100%. It’s all about not what you eat but controlling your portions and keeping a conscience effort of staying on track and sticking with your goals. Fabulous!

Thank you Denise. Great tips. I seem to struggle with this, so will look to these tips for guidance.