Plan Ahead - Read the menu before you go. You are more likely to make unhealthy choices when you are hungry or in a hurry. Having a plan ahead of time will make you more prepared to keep your will power.
Pre-game - Have a healthy snack before you leave or on your way. If you arrive starving, you are more likely to overindulge. Try something low calorie and high in protein, like a low fat cheese stick, slice of low sodium deli meat, or a protein drink, to help hold you over and curb your cravings.
Drink water - Replace sugar sweetened drinks with water to save on liquid “empty” calories. Not only is water good for you, the digestive system depends on it!
Pay attention to preparation - Food that is fried or sauteed will generally have more calories than food that has been steamed or grilled. The way food is prepared can have a significant impact on calorie content. Also, ask to substitute butter with olive oil when necessary, or ask for it on the side. This goes for sauces and dressings as well, which are often loaded with extra fat and calories. Requesting these be placed on the side will give you control over how much, if any you consume.
Speaking of substitutions - Most dishes include a starch such as potatoes or rice. Instead, as your server to replace these items with extra veggies or a side salad.
It is possible to eat out with a little preparation and a game plan. Navigating restaurant menus can seem overwhelming at first, but with practice you will become a pro! If you aren’t sure, ask your server for recommendations. Be clear about the foods or ingredients you want to avoid. Most restaurants are willing and able to accomodate most requests.