Night Out, Stomach In

Selectively Splurge at Dinner

The good news: You don’t have to play Health Police with every part of your meal. I’m a firm believer in allowing yourself to splurge on one item (a fresh piece of bread, a sugary cocktail, a decadent dessert…), as long as you can curtail the rest of your dining experience. After all, you deserve some fun and freedom with your food! Just decide which part of the meal you’re going to indulge in before dinner (or after perusing the menu), and commit to it. If you have trouble choosing a winner in the battle of Bread Basket vs. Dessert, go for the dessert. (Bet you didn’t think I’d say that!) The reason? Simple sequential order. If you splurge on bread at the start of the meal, you may induce the ‘well, I’ve already blown it’ state of mind and allow yourself to slip during later courses—or lose your calorie consciousness entirely. But if you hold out until dessert, then the crème brulée will feel like a truly well-earned reward. And let’s face it, a dessert is memorable, and bread….not-so-much. Not to mention, bread typically comes in unlimited quantities, so it’s easy to overdo it, whereas desserts aren’t automatically refilled. (Unless you’ve found such a restaurant—in which case, RUN.)