When dieting eating out can be a stressful situation, you don’t want to ruin your diet but also want to enjoy yourself. Well know this, you can eat out, stress free and enjoy yourself, just apply a few simple steps.

Plan ahead. If you know you are going out for something to eat, browse the menu in advance and plug it into myfitnesspal. For example if I knew I was going to have a burger, I would add this to myfitnesspal with separate ingredients. I would log the bun, the burger, the cheese, the mayo all separately, although not perfect, it gives you a rough estimate of how many calories you have to play with for the rest of the day. In some situations, places like Nando’s, or chain restaurants have the macros on myfitnesspal, or on the website, so you can just add these straight in. But use your sensible head, if you go to log a cheese burger and its claiming its 200 calories, it’s pretty obvious this is wrong.

Eat smart. Lets be honest we all know the bacon Mac and cheese is going to loaded with way more calories than the seafood pasta with tomato sauce. Again, its about using a degree of sensibility, cheesy, creamy and fried foods are going to be the most calorific options. Try opting for leaner meats, and instead of chips, swap for some seasonal vegetables, if something has a dressing, ask for it on the side, so you are in control of how much you have.

Eat to your appetite. Going out for a meal doesn’t mean you have to eat to the point of bursting, you know, like Christmas Day where you have to un do a few buttons…Eat till you’re satisfied.

Don’t drink your calories. Liquid calories are the silent killer, nobody really takes them into consideration, obviously the healthiest choice is to stick with water, but if you do enjoy a glass of wine or a beer with your meal, keep it at that, a glass or a pint.

Now, I’m going to go against everything I just said and say as long as its one day, you don’t go mad, just eat out and enjoy it. All the above are tips for those of you who know you are better off controlling what you have otherwise you will just over indulge.

Social occasions are there to enjoy, 1 evening out isn’t going to ruin all your hard work, just like 1 day of dieting isn’t going to get you instant results. Yes, if its something that happens regularly throughout the week then you will need to control it. But a couple of times a month, enjoy it, don’t stress about it.