One thing that many people try and combine is restaurants and dieting. Almost every diet you read will recommend that you avoid eating out as much as possible. The same can be said of good fitness routines and programs. They all advocate preparing your own food at home. In theory, this is great but it is not always possible. There are times when you simply cannot avoid eating out or do not want to. Nonetheless, the following suggestions will help you to make the smartest choices when you are in a restaurant.

One idea is to go online before you go to any restaurant and look at the Healthy Dining Finder. This site has been specifically set up to help people who are trying to lose weight make healthy choices. They list restaurants in cities all across the nation. This site claims that it consults with the restaurant and lists both entrées and appetizers that meet certain criteria. They are looking for meals that fall below a specified amount of calories. This website is adding new eating-places all the time and they range from very formal venues to the average fast food place. If you find an establishment that is in your region, and is on the list, persuade your entourage to go there.

Read the menu carefully and ask the waiter about food preparation. Your waiter is often a fountain of information and if he does not know, have him go and ask the chef.

Choose items that are grilled, steamed or baked. Fish is usually a good choice. Get dressings and sauces on the side. Avoid the bread products that are often on the table. Bread sticks and rolls are just extra calories. If you cannot help yourself, and really want to indulge, skip the butter.

There are of number of other very simple things that you can do to keep as close to your diet as possible. Do not order an appetizer or share one with another person. Select one that offers vegetables rather than deep fried or salty foods. Ask if you can have salad rather than one of the more fattening choices. Many venues are happy to make this simple switch and at no additional cost.

Trim your meat when it arrives. Cut off the fat. If you have ordered chicken, take the skin off and leave it on the side of your plate. You do not have to eat everything that is on your plate. Try to keep the portions down to what you would consume if you were at home.

If you are calorie counting, and know that you are going to be eating dinner out, try to ensure that you watch every calorie at breakfast and at lunch. If you can reduce the number of calories at these meals, you can then afford to splurge a little more at dinner.

Give yourself a break. It is almost impossible to stay on a diet 24 seven. There are times when you are going to have to eat out or attend a function where you will be eating prepared foods. Make the best decisions that you can and get back on your diet the following day.