Do you find yourself telling friends, “I’m sorry. I can’t go out because I’m on a diet. The dreaded “D” word. Take it out of your vocabulary and go have fun! Remember, socializing is good for the soul and mental health is a major component of overall health as is those wonderful relationships you culminate. First things first, look up the restaurant you are going to and make a plan. Choose something healthy from their menu. Beware of salads unless you ask for the dressing on the side and partake minimally. Ask for a doggie bag OR see if a friend wants to share a meal as soon as you order. We all know that restaurant portions are simply too large these days. Save calories and save belly bloat by eating an appropriate amount. If your friend wants bread, ask them to please keep it on their side of the table. If you must have an alcohol beverage, limit it to one and choose wine or vodka and soda water. Tonic has lots of calories. Don’t go there. Better yet, order fizzy water with a twist of lime. If it’s a birthday celebration and dessert is served, make one of two choices: refrain OR have one bite….just ONE! You got this! Go home feeling super proud of yourself and knowing that you stuck to your plan while having fun with friends.