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The South Beach Diet Plan: Restaurant and Party Tips for South Beach Dieters

Aug 18, 2007
I don't know about you, but when I'm dieting I don't want the whole world to know it. I'd rather take my time, lose the weight and have everyone notice my body slimming down without them noticing what I'm eating (or not eating).

Having people watch every morsel that goes into your mouth during a diet can be frustrating. "Should you be eating that?" they ask. Or, worse yet, "Oh, a few bites won't hurt." Who are they kidding?

That's one of the great things I found about the South Beach Diet. It allowed me to go out to eat, head to a party and even make dinner for friends at my home without concentrating on all the things I couldn't eat, or worrying about breaking my diet just to have fun. The South Beach eating plan is so natural and versatile, no one even has to know you're on it, unless you tell them.

I will be honest though, I wouldn't recommend going out to eat or heading to a social gathering during the first two weeks on the plan. Since this is the most restrictive part of the South Beach Diet, it really is just easier to stay home during Phase I in order to stay away from temptation. But once you get through those first couple of weeks, and your sugar and carb addiction has been broken, there's no reason why you can't go out with your family and friends and enjoy a great meal together.

There are a few things to remember though when eating out to help keep you on track:

Go Lean: Remember to stick with lean meats and fish. Stay away from fried foods and those prepared with sauces. Check the menu for baked and grilled entrees.

Order Extra Veggies: Unfortunately, many restaurants want you to fill up on breads and potatoes in order to make you crave (and buy) more food. Substitute your potato with an extra side of vegetables, a salad or a fresh fruit cup instead. And, if you want a baked potato, either cut it in half when it comes, or only eat what satisfies you.

Pass on the Bread Basket: While bread is not restricted during phase II and III of the South Beach Diet plan, it is discouraged. Substitute a few wheat crackers, or cut veggies and dip instead.

Share a Dessert: You've always loved the desserts at your favorite restaurant and can't imagine having a great meal without it. Well, don't. But that doesn't mean you have to eat an entire dessert yourself. Most people feel overly stuffed after eating a big meal and dessert anyway. Forgo that bloated feeling by sharing dessert with someone else who wants to enjoy the flavor and texture of the dessert without stuffing themselves.

Eat Until You're Satisfied - Then Stop: Today's restaurant portions are out of control. Most people find it difficult to finish an entire restaurant meal without feeling too full. The trick to eating more sensibly is eating until you are satisfied and then stopping. If you can't stand the idea of paying for meal that is only half eaten, take the rest home for yourself or someone else to finish the following day.

Party Tips

Maybe eating at a restaurant isn't difficult for you, but eating your way through a family gathering, holiday meal, picnic or party is. Here are a few tips to get you through your next big bash:

Avoid Nibbling: It may seem like a bite here, and a bite there won't do your diet any harm. But all of those empty carbs and sugars can add up fast. Plus they will set your blood sugars on a roller coaster ride of ups and downs that can make you feel hungry even when you're not, forcing you to continue eating.

When you feel hungry, get a plate and sit down and eat. Other than that, stay away form the nibbling table.

Choose Your Foods Carefully: Just because your Grandma made her special apple pie just for you doesn't mean you have to eat the whole thing - or any for that matter. If you want a few bites, or even small slice, go ahead and have it. Just don't let anyone guilt you into eating something you don't want just because they think you should have it.

When it comes to other foods at the party, go straight for the veggie tray, lean meats and salads. Eat them until your satisfied in order to prevent you from gorging on other less nutritious foods.

Offer to Bring a Side Dish or Dessert: Worried that there won't be a single thing at the party that you can eat (which, by the way is virtually impossible)? Then offer to bring a side dish or dessert. There's no need to tell the host or hostess that you're on a diet, just politely offer to bring some chocolate covered strawberries, a veggie tray and assorted dips or your newest, most fabulous recipe that you can't wait for everyone to try. Chances are they will be thrilled to have some help making the food.

Whether you're planning a romantic dinner out with your spouse, or a birthday party for a friend, there are plenty of great foods to enjoy, even when you're dieting. Just take a few minutes to peruse the menu or food table and make your choices carefully and wisely. You'll be surprised at how much is available for you to eat on the South Beach Diet plan.
About the Author
There are three sites you MUST see for more South Beach Diet Tips: The South Beach Diet plan section of Hubpages; the South Beach Diet plan page on Rate-Diets.com; and this South Beach Diet plan page on Squidoo.
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