Tips for diet-conscious eating out

Eating out can be particularly challenging when you are trying to watch your weight. But if you plan carefully, you can still accept dinner invitations with a clear conscience.

  • Don’t turn up with an empty stomach, as it is particularly difficult to resist temptation if you are already hungry.
  • Eat a well-balanced, low-fat meal at lunchtime, containing a high proportion of vegetables and salad to leave you feeling full.
  • Take only a few sips of any alcoholic drink offered. Slake any real thirst with copious water chasers.
  • Eat slowly, while literally making a meal of your enjoyment of the food. This will also help you feel full. Remember that your host or hostess is more likely to serve you another helping if you leave an empty plate.
  • If you can choose your starter, go for salad – and leave out the bread and butter during the meal.
  • If you do eat a heavy main course, choose a light dessert such as sorbet or fruit salad. If you are still attracted by the idea of a rich dessert, make sure you choose a lighter main course, rather than ploughing on regardless through whatever is on offer.
  • And if, despite everything, you still end up eating too much, go for a long walk or indulge in some sporting activity the following day.
  • Plan on going back to well-balanced, vegetable-rich meals the following day, so that you feel full without taking in too many calories. Fasting for a day after a heavy meal is not very recommendable, as too much self-denial often results in excessive hunger pangs.

Recipe for “the day after”: vegetable soup with chicken and rice (for 1 person)

1 carrot, 1 small leek, 100 g fresh celery, 3 mushrooms, 2 tbsp. rice, 120 g chicken breast, root ginger, soy sauce, fat-free vegetable bouillon.

Finely slice the vegetables and mushrooms and sweat for a few minutes in about a teaspoon full of olive oil, then stir in about 400 ml of vegetable bouillon, along with the rice. Bring to the boil, and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes. Cut the chicken into small cubes, add to the soup and continue cooking on a low heat for about ten more minutes. Add grated root ginger and soy sauce to taste.

The term “balanced meal” refers to one that includes at least salad and/or vegetables, and sources of starch and protein respectively.

For example:

  • Mixed vegetables
  • Risotto (= source of starch)
  • Grated cheese or curd-cheese dessert (= source of protein)