We all love dining out, whether that’s eating great food at amazing restaurants or having a greasy burger from a fast-food chain.

However, if you’re a health hungry activist that one meal could throw your diet off balance.

Here in the UK we are eating out more and more.

According to OpenTable, ” Brits spend a quarter of their annual wage on eating out.”

The study shows that Brits eat out on average 1.5 times per week and spend up to £53 per meal.

If you’re eating calorie-laden fast food you’re bound to put on the weight but there are some tips to help eat out and keep slim.

The stronger your control over the food in front of you, the more likely you are to be able to stick to a lower-calorie eating-out plan.

  • Choose the right place to eat, choose places where they have low calorie options on their menus.
  • If you don’t eat all your food, get the waiter to take it away before you start picking at the remains again.
  • If your meal comes with potato chips, swap them for sweet potato.

The main thing is you don’t need to give up eating out, you can just choose meals that are under a calorie count.

For example, Italian restaurant Zizzis have a notice on their menus that some of their meals are under 600 calories, which is great for a meal out without the guilt.

Lee Stocks, senior head chief at True North Restaurants, in Sheffield, said: “It is difficult to create menus that include a range of dietary restrictions when the menus are larger, as the more dishes you have the more time consuming the work is.

“When we open new sites we design the menu to suit everyone’s taste so we use dishes that we class as safe options ( pies, chicken, fish and chips, burgers etc).”

Nutrition is important to the True North chef: “I think our meals are nutritional as the food is cooked fresh, it’s not processed food like you find in a lot of chain restaurants  and we have well balanced dishes with meat, fish, vegetables and salad.”

However, if counting your calories isn’t good enough, looking deeper in to your nutrition is an extra road to go down.

Matt Tagg, a personal trainer, has helped people lose weight and changed their lives. His biggest achievement is 22lbs/1.5 stone in six weeks.

Matt also said that he thinks restaurants could do more “by including all nutritional value of their meals online and on their menus to put people’s minds at ease to what they’re eating. Also having more variety could also be a positive step forward.”

Matt has the following advice for what we should be consuming when either choosing off a menu or at home: “We should be consuming a variety of foods such as complete proteins like chicken, fish and beans. Complex carbohydrates such as sweet potato, oatmeal and rice and essential fatty acids such at omega 3 and 6 from fish and a variety of nuts and seeds.”

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