By Sally M.

Let’s face it – diets are personal.  Add in a new relationship, and it’s easy to feel insecure about bringing up a diet, even though it’s part of your daily regimen.  Personally, if I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I wouldn’t necessarily scream it from the rooftops to a guy I just met!

These anxieties should be put to rest.  Adjusting your diet is nothing to feel weird about, especially if you’re doing it properly.  That being said, you should always contact your healthcare provider or a nutritionist before altering your food intake.

Unfortunately for dieters, dating activities tend to revolve around food.  Here are a few ways to watch what you eat while on three different types of dates:

1. Dinner Date
— Have a healthy snack prior to dinner so that you won’t be tempted to order excess food which you wouldn’t normally eat.  Remember, “bad foods” are okay in moderation and it’s nice to treat yourself to a meal you didn’t cook at home every once in a while.  Be yourself and order what you want (and it doesn’t have to be a salad – unless, of course, that’s what you want).
— It’s totally acceptable if you don’t finish your meal.  Grab a doggy bag to take home.  This is a great idea for those on a portion-control diet.

2. Cocktail Date
As a rule of thumb, alcohol is usually considered a BIG NO when dieting.  However, some options are healthier than others if you decide to indulge.  Regardless, know your limit and don’t get drunk; the more drinks you have, the more you risk compromising your diet (and other inhibitions).

— Wine: Wine is the best diet-friendly alcohol, but that doesn’t mean you should order a bottle; finishing the whole thing isn’t ideal if you’re counting calories.
— Liquor: Hard liquor is the second best choice, but which ones?  According to sparkpeople.com, vermouth contains the least amount of calories, followed by coconut rum and Beefeater Gin.  Mind you, that’s a serving of 1.5 ounces.
— Beer: Order a light beer, and you won’t compromise your diet too much.

3. Movie Date
— Theater popcorn is tempting.  If you must have it, choose the small-sized popcorn (usually seven cups of popcorn, equaling 500 calories).  Even if buying the medium-sized bag is only a few cents more, don’t do it; those calories will add up quickly.  If you can get away with purchasing the kid’s-sized version, that’s even better!  Also, it should go without saying … no extra butter and no refills.
— When it comes to washing down your popcorn, stick to small-sized diet sodas or ask for water.  Bonus: You won’t miss the movie because of a bathroom break!
— If you have a big purse, bring in your own healthy snacks. This is technically against the rules, but until movie theaters can offer diet-friendly treats, it may be the only way to eat well in front of the big screen.  Just remember to share.

Remember, dieting and dating is only awkward if you make it that way.  You can still have fun and enjoy yourself without sacrificing your personal goals.  Move forward with confidence!

Sally M. is the founder of Eat Breathe Blog. If she could be best friends with any television character it would be Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex in the City.”