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Weight Loss Fact: Dining Out Ruins Your Diet [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 14, 2017 07:16 AM EDT

A recent study from the American Heart Association (AHA) revealed what most of us already knew: restaurants are the top places that sabotage diets. But losing weight and dining out don't really go together well.

AHA researchers followed 150 individuals who are trying to lose weight for one year using a specially- developed smartphone app to help track their progress. The study followed the daily lives of the participants in their weight loss journey.

Participants, most of whom are women were asked to log in anytime they ate or considered eating foods which were not included in their diet plans. Most of the participants also checked in a few times a day to report their activities, the people they were with and if they deviated from their prescribed eating plans or were tempted to do so.

The TIME reported that one of the main patterns that emerged from the study is that participants felt more tempted to abandon their diets when they were in restaurant or bars and in the company of others while eating. It was also found that such temptations were low when participants eat at work or at home and lesser still in their cars or other people's homes.

Lora Burke, a nursing professor at the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study, said people on a diet are aware of the risks of dining out. When they get into restaurants, however, they forget they have a diet plan to stick with.

The study also revealed that eating at home may be more beneficial because people reported lesser temptations at home. Participants also said it was better when they dined by themselves in or in another person's house compared to going out with friends

Today suggested these tips to controlling those dietary temptations when dining out:

Don't go out hungry

Have a healthy and filling snack before going out. Being full will prevent overeating or deviating away from a prescribed meal plan.

Set the trend

Be the first to order a healthy entree and chances are, everyone on the table will get something healthy too.

Avoid alcoholic drinks

Get some sparkling water or healthy smoothies instead of wine or beer.

Sharing is a strategy

Share with a friend when servings are generous or when the food on the menu doesn't exactly follow the ones on the prescribed meal plan.

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