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My top tips for eating out at restaurants

We all love eating out. It's part of the fun of socializing with your family and friends, but how can you tell what is going into the food you are eating whilst out at a restaurant. They may use oils that you might not use at home or not be comfortable with using in your cooking normally and are generally larger portion sizes. Below are my top tips for when you eat out.

1. Don't have the entire bread basket - At home would you usually have a whole thing of bread in the middle of the table and eat all of it during dinner? No? Then the same should apply when you eat out. When they bring the bread tell them that you are fine and don't need any before they even put it down. Once it is on the table it is going to be harder to resist not eating all of it. If you do decide to indulge in some bread, make sure that the main that you then order is a lighter meal.

2. Be weary of portion sizes - This is when eating out can get tricky. The portion sizes are generally larger than what you would usually cook for yourself. It Depends where you are going and what you are ordering but opting for an entre and a side dish can often be better than ordering a main. Or if you are order a heavy meal such as pasta or rice or risotto I would suggest ordering a smaller/ entre size.

3. The best options are protein and vegetables - If in doubt look for a meal that consists of protein and vegetables such as a grilled piece of fish or chicken and then always opt for the garden salad or green vegetables with it.

4. Don't feel like you have to finish the meal - In continuing on about being wary of portion sizes. Don't feel like you have to finish the meal just because the food is there. Ask to take it home if you can't finish it and then you;ll have lunch ready for the next day.

5. Make sure to drink water if you are having alcohol - Having alcohol not only dehydrating but will make you hungrier which means you'll end up eating more but also make you choose the not so healthy options. Having a water glass next to your wine/ champagne/ cocktail/ beer and taking alternate sips of water in between is a sure fire way to make sure you stay hydrated and don't end up ordering the entire dessert menu.

6. Look at the menu in advance and plan what you are going to have - So this may be tricky if you're going to a friends house for dinner but if you are going to a restaurant look at their Instagram page or most have their menus online so you can plan what you are going to have. So if you do decide to have something a bit heavier you can plan to eat a big lighter the few meals leading up to it.

7. Always get dressing on the side - Salad dressings are absolutely hidden with added fats and oils and they generally put on a lot more than you need. Ask if you can have a dressing of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon and olive oil or Tahini.

Ask for the salad dressing on the side and that way you can decide how much you need.

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