Enjoy Food Dates Without Wrecking Your Diet
Try these tips to make those romantic food dates less fattening.
How to Resist Pressure to Overeat
Perhaps you and your sweetheart have a history of overeating together? Maybe
this is a rut you have found yourself in because your partner likes to eat big
restaurant meals, and misery loves company. But that was then. Now,
you're trying to shed some extra pounds (or maintain lost weight) and live a
Jean Kristeller, PhD, a researcher on mindful eating at Indiana State
University, says one good way to resist pressure to overeat is to stay aware of
your own feelings of hunger and fullness -- and to share them with your
Moaning about being on a diet or saying, "I really want that but I
shouldn’t," are just invitations to be persuaded to eat more, says
Kristeller. Instead, she suggests saying things like, "Oh, that was really
good, but I’m not hungry anymore," or "I’m too full to finish it, but
let’s take it home."
If you're very comfortable with your date, Lisa Young, PhD, RD, author of
The Portion Teller Plan and a nutrition professor at New York
University, suggests saying, "I love being able to wear my (insert a
favorite item of clothing) that you like so much, and overeating is just not
worth the calories!"
If it's a more formal food date, Young believes it's best not to dwell on
the issue. She suggests simply saying, "This meal has been so delicious.
I’m happy and completely satisfied."
Share More Than Your Heart
One of the easiest ways to make a food date easier on your diet sure is to
split your entrée with your sweetheart, especially if you're in a restaurant
that serves mammoth portions. You can both enjoy a nice cup of soup or side of
salad, and a bite of bread with that addicting dipping oil -- just split the
This isn’t going to work for every couple -- like when one member of the
pair is a big meat eater and the other prefers vegetarian dishes. But it just
might be the ticket for many.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
You want to make sure you have plenty of calories to spend on the food
during your date, so choose low- or no-calorie drinks. Try unsweetened iced
tea, hot tea, coffee, club soda with lemon or lime, diet soft drinks, or
If you must, have only one glass of wine -- or a wine spritzer. Just
enjoying two glasses (6 ounces each) of wine will add up to 250 calories.
The Dessert Doggy Bag
Restaurant desserts can be oh-so-tempting. But it may help to keep in mind
that your after-dinner romantic activities will be much more pleasing if your
stomach is comfortable, not full.
By ordering a mutually agreed upon dessert "to go," the two of you
will have a special something to share much later in the evening when your
hunger resurfaces. Not only that, but you'll still get to try of few bites of
that mesmerizing treat that caught your eye when the dessert tray passed