The recipe to dining out on a diet.

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Answered by: Gale, An Expert in the Dining Out Category
When thinking of weight loss the average person’s mind immediately skips to “I have to cut out calories.” Often times this calorie cutting involves drastic actions that forbid one’s favorite foods, and ends in a culinary isolation. In theory, this action should trim one’s appetite, but often ultimately leads to insatiable binge eating. The setting of this dietary disaster? Restaurants. After a week of pilates, 2 mile jogs and tic-tacs as meals, the innate weakness of man generally leads to a night at a restaurant where one looks at the menu and faces the brute that is titled their ideal meal.

The struggle of dining out on a diet.

Assume one’s meal is to be a double stacked cheeseburger with bacon and pickles.

The succulent, tender patty symbolizes the cumbersome gut that once nestled between the thighs that had been trimmed from green smoothies and quinoa chips.

The melting cheese panning over the patty as the billows of fat once fanned from one’s arm that had been toned by two months of curl-ups. Instead of ravenously devouring the meal, sights may be set further down the menu where the grilled steak salad with bacon bits and feta cheese beckons the diner. Though not the ideal one-hundred calorie conquest some diners may yearn for, a much better option than the two-thousand calorie beast.

Swapping meals is a craft that pre-dates the habit of dieting (once used as a mechanism for survival), but the idea of swapping meals has transitioned from searching for a better option, to waiting for the perfect option. When heading to a restaurant, many diners decide that if the meals don’t fit strictly into their dietary restrictions they won’t eat anything at all, often going an entire day without eating, which leads to even harsher consequences (i.e. gormandizing in the morning).

By limiting the dining experiences to an “all or nothing” scenario, the diner is setting herself up for failure. By compromising with one's body, and accepting meals in better forms, or healthier avenues, one is weaning their system from making poor choices that lead to an inevitably unfruitful conclusion.

When dining out, one must remember that most restaurants recycle their ingredients throughout the menu. A good tip for getting the best experience, is to pick one ingredient that one is set on; for example, bacon. Skimming through the low calorie menu check for the item that has that ingredient, and negotiate with that, but pair it with something one may have never tried before. This will make dining out on a diet much easier. By treading familiar territory, one's body will be able to accept more things, and introduce one to new things that lead to healthier options. As the popularized expression says " a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

While dining out the diner must not only apply the idea of “the best option” but must also employ “a better option.” Instead of limiting oneself, swapping down in calories, or eating food with similar ingredients but more health benefits will lead to a much more beneficial endeavor. After all, veal is veal by any other name.

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