How to enjoy a restaurant meal without getting fat!

Let's face it, we all love to go out at night and one of our favourite entertainments is to go out to a restaurant, preferably with good company. It might be very good for our morale but unfortunately it is very rarely good for our waistlines because I think it's a reasonable comment to make that preparing food that is non-fattening is very low on the average chef's priority scale! Not surprisingly, they want you to have an enjoyable evening out and to come back again and again preferably with your friends and so their ultimate objective is to give you a tasty and satisfying meal rather than one that will trim a few millimetres from your waist measurement. In addition we all like to feel we have had good value for money and if we are paying for a meal we like to have plenty of it! No chef wants a client to feel that he or she has been been ripped off with tiny portions and so many of them tend to heap the plate up; many people of course do not know the difference between quantity and quality so they put away far more food than they would normally do so if they had been eating at home. So okay, it's our health that is at stake and the person cooking the food is not likely to help us to eat sensibly so we just have to do something about it ourselves!

There's one simple tactic that we can use; and that is never to starve ourselves before a restaurant meal. If we do then the temptation is there to demolish all the contents of the breadbasket, followed by a multicourse meal filled with unhealthy fats washed down with several glasses at least of wine and followed by a high calorie liqueur coffee (or two). How much better it is to have a little light snack before we get there and instead of looking upon the evening as an Olympic eatathon, to savour just as many delicious morsels that the talented chef has lovingly prepared that we feel are necessary. The purpose of an evening in a restaurant is after all to enjoy delicious food and good company, not to stuff ourselves with as many calories as we can force down!

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A lot of very savvy restaurant owners have recognized the fact that there are a great number of overweight people in this country who wish to at least control, and preferably reduced that weight so there has been a proliferation of healthy eating restaurants in which those responsible for choosing the menus and preparing the food at actually made the effort to ensure that what is put in front of the client is as sensible a diet as possible. This is wonderful up to a point; the danger comes that people can be lulled into a false sense of security by this and not every restaurant owner is so completely scrupulous as to ensure that every single ingredient is a sensible one, rather than one which is likely to make the client's eating experience more enjoyable!

And finally, we are all supposed to be sensible people so we know the value of the word 'no'. If the menu states that your meal arrives complete with a sauce that you know to be fattening, why not ask for it to be omitted or replaced with something else? This can be a very interesting question to ask in a restaurant because if it cannot be changed then you are entitled to ask why; is the food really prepared as freshly as you have been led to assume? Like every business there are lots of tricks and dodges in the restaurant trade and not every microwave has a loud ping!

Bon appetit.

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