Gayle King
Dining out doesn't have to ruin your diet, according to Erin Hobday, nutrition and diet editor at Self magazine. Gayle talks with Erin about an article in the July 2008 issue of Self, "11 Ways Dining Out Can Derail Your Diet," and about how you can make smart choices at restaurants and still enjoy the experience.

  • Have a snack an hour before your meal. Some nuts and fruits will curb your appetite and make you less likely to eat the entire bread basket once you get to the restaurant, Erin says.
  • Consult your waiter. Ask her if there's butter lurking in your pasta sauce or on those seemingly healthy steamed veggies. "They tend to be really knowledgeable about the food anyway," Erin says.
  • Think about your meal as a whole. Make smarter alcoholic beverage choices (which are loaded with calories) and try a lighter choice, such as cappuccino or sorbet, for dessert.
  • Share dishes with your dining partner. Making healthier food choices together can help too, Erin says.
  • Give yourself a break. Splurging once a week won't ruin your diet. "As long as it's not every single night, you want to give yourself those breaks," she says.