1. don’t drink your calories

Cutting out soda, sweet tea, and alcohol is one of the simplest strategies to reduce overall calories when dieting. If you follow this tip at home, simply carry it with you to any restaurant meal. Choose calorie-free options such as water or club soda with lemon/lime. You don’t realize how many empty calories you will consume at dinner. This is a big one!

2. Take control of your meal

I know, I know, we all hate that one person who is picky when they order. Honestly, it’s all about your approach. Know how you want your food, and then ask. Servers will do there best and that’s all we can hope for. Remember, you are paying your hard earned money for this service. It’s not that big of a deal to tweak a couple of things. Take control of your meal using these simple methods:

  1. Personalize Preparation Methods: Ask for a low-fat cooking options such as baking, roasting, or grilling, but keep in mind that simply asking for something grilled may not be enough. Ask to avoid cooking your food in butter, and ask for the sauce on the side. This allows you control of the taste and the calories.

  2. Skip the Bread/Chips: You don’t need the bread they put out. If others don’t want bread either, ask them to take it away (No need for that temptation sitting in front of you).

  3. Personalize the Menu: Not digging the twice-baked-potato casserole that comes with the grilled sirloin? Maybe your mouth is watering over the quinoa salad served with the fresh catch of the day, but you're allergic to seafood. Rather than falling back to a simple grilled chicken breast and salad, speak up and ask the server specifically for what you want: the grilled sirloin and quinoa salad.

    There's simply no reason why you shouldn't be able to order each item you want, even if what you're after isn't paired together on the menu. After all, the ingredients are sure to be on hand for both items. Take control of your meal and enjoy it.

3.Eat in Order: Proteins then Veggies then carbs

Protein is much more satiating than the other two food groups. If your goal is to be satisfied, or to stuff your face. The bigger part of ourselves know it’s the me satisfied. Don’t get caught in this trap. We eat to nourish ourselves first, and then indulge. Remember that!

4. Portion out the meal before it comes

Portions in restaurants are usually for multiple people. In the back of our mind our goal is to “clear our plate,” but this will leave us eating a days worth of calories in one sitting.

If you find yourself at a restaurant with oversized portions, request that a to-go box be brought out with your meal. This way, once your food arrives at the table, you can put away a portion for your next meal or two and focus on enjoying the amount at hand. Hey, it's like ordering two meals for the price of one!