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Just because you're trying to lose weight or improve your nutrition doesn't mean you have to avoid eating out. It also doesn't mean you're limited to the salad bar or some broiled chicken breast. Eating out is fun and if you follow some simple guidelines you can still zip your jeans the next day!
Just as your diet requires planning for your meals at home, eating out takes even more. When you look over that menu look for the danger words like breaded, fried, smothered, or cream sauce. Instead look for broiled or grilled selections.
Restaurant portions are also a major diet pitfall. If possible, split a meal with your dining partner or if that isn't feasible, ask for a take home container as soon as you are served and put half your meal into it for the next day. Not only do you save money, you don't have to plan the next day's meal!
Watch for hidden diet-busters. Avoid the chips in the Mexican restaurants- they're fried and loaded with fat. Even the virtuous salad can harbor diet saboteurs like croutons, bacon bits and dressing.
Often soup and an appetizer can make a meal. Stay away from the fried veggies and cheese- instead try something grilled or a shrimp cocktail.
If you've been concientious about your meal selection, there's nothing wrong with swiping a mouthful of your partner's dessert or even ordering a small sorbet or fruit plate for yourself. A taste of something sweet can head off the mad munchies later and make you feel less deprived on your diet.
Remember, a successful diet mirrors a successful life- the key is all things in moderation!