Sticking to a diet is hard enough when you’re cooking for yourself, let alone at a restaurant or when you’re hosting a dinner party.
But now Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert has revealed her very easy hacks for social occasions that will help you stick to your diet no matter where you are eating.
And by following her simple rules, you won’t need to feel guilty about straying from your weight loss goals.
Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert has shared her top tips for sticking to your diet while at a restaurant or hosting a dinner party
Rhiannon’s top tip for dining out is to order extra vegetables or salad with your meal (left, a salad she had while on holiday). And if you’re hosting a dinner party, she says make two healthy desserts, such as figs, yoghurt and protein waffles (right) so you can stick to your goals
Rhiannon, who shares her advice in her first book, Re-Nourish, first reminds her readers that it’s fine to make unhealthy choices as a treat if dining out or hosting friends.
But for those who don’t want to feel guilty about eating food that isn’t part of a strict diet for one evening, Rhiannon says she has some tips that will help you stay on track.
When it comes to eating out, her advice is to order a dish that features plenty of vegetables, ordering extra if need be, as well as avoiding extra salt.
She also says that anything grilled or steamed will be healthier than roasted or fried dishes, and advises readers to swap unhealthy sides such as chips for a side salad or extra veg.
Rhiannon’s handy tips come from her new book, Re-Nourish
Rhiannon advises slimmers to allow guests to dish up meals themselves at dinner parties so you can keep portions in control (pictured, a brunch salad she dishes up herself while on holiday)
When it comes to dinner parties, her tips include asking guests to bring their own drinks so you can avoid alcohol if you wish.
She also advises making two desserts – a virtuous fruit-based option and a healthy twist on an indulgent classic. That way, you can pick the guilt-free dish while those who want something more substantial can pick the other option.
Rhiannon said: ‘These days, there are loads of amazing options on menus to cater for all tastes and preferences.
‘If you’re the type of person who lets others make decisions for you, then you may need to give yourself a nudge.’
With regards to dinner parties, she added: ‘I have one client in particular who springs to mind here, who has the warmest soul and would go out of her way to ensure her guests had everything they wanted.
‘She would buy chocolates for dessert, make food she wasn’t comfortable eating and put herself through a night of raised tension, anxiety, guilt and then shame.
‘This led to a day of restriction the next day to compensate for the night before.
‘It does not have to be like that; you can make your own decisions.’
Here, she shares her top tips.
How to survive a restaurant or a dinner party on a diet
AT A RESTAURANT
Rhiannon’s main advice is to always ensure a dish has plenty of vegetables on it. Otherwise she recommends ordering extra to go on the side at a restaurant (pictured a salad made up of lentils, leaves, peppers and tomato)
Here are a few tips for making healthier choices – but if you’re out for a pizza, then just go ahead and enjoy it!
– Include plenty of vegetables or salad in your meal
– Avoid adding extra salt
– Consider going for grilled or steamed options rather than fried or roasted dishes
– Swap chips for extra vegetables or salad
– Ask for dressings and sauces to be served on the side
– Ask for less oil (they may not be using healthy oils in the kitchen)
– Reduce your intake of deep-fried food (e.g. dumplings, prawn toast or battered items)
– Limit over-sweetened dishes like sweet and sour dishes
– Consider opting for veg-based sauces rather than creamy sauces
– Opt for wholegrain over white bread
– Limit condiments like ketchup, satay sauce, mayonnaise or BBQ sauce as these contain extra sugars, salts and fats
AT A DINNER PARTY
Rhiannon recommends asking guests to bring their own drinks so you can avoid alcohol and stick to your weight loss goals
– Ask your guests to bring their own drinks – soft drinks, wine and beer – so you can stick to your choices.
– Make lots of healthy side dishes and one big main dish; you can then dish your own portion onto your plate and mix the ratio of food. If you make something like a big pastry pie you can have however much you want with extra vegetables.
– Always have two desserts; I usually prepare a healthy fruit option (which still tastes fab) and a healthy twist on an indulgent dessert. Often no one even bats an eyelid and they tend to go for the fruit too!
– Create an atmosphere: put the music on, light some candles and remember this is social time. It’s not just about the food; take time to enjoy the company you are with.
Re-Nourish: A Simple Way To Eat Well is out now, published by Yellow Kite, for £18.99 RRP.