The negative psychological impact of food avoidance and/or avoiding social occasions altogether isn't something that needs to happen and can certainly be planned in advance to avoid the unnecessary.
Our goal is to educate our members around how to structure eating out so that it doesn't impact their dieting efforts and they can enjoy their dining experiences without feeling guilty.
Here are a few practical tips we think might help:
Pick restaurants that tick the right boxes for how you set up your nutrition and view menus ahead of your meal. By having an idea of what you might choose before you get to the restaurant minimises the chances of peer pressure from your friend's meal choices.
A really simple way to minimise caloric intake on a night out is to substitute carbohydrate-heavy foods for extra veggies. Most restaurants will be happy enough to cater for your needs and by adding extra veggies you will also be increasing fibre
If you are tracking your dietary intake, it might be an idea to save some of your calories for the meal later in the day. This way you can relax a bit more when ordering your meal knowing that you have some extra calories in the bank to play with.
Its only one meal and in the grand scheme of things for most people that one meal probably won't have too much of an impact on your goals