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How to cope with late-night dinner bookings

Reserved table in a restaurant

Dietitians Anna Debenham and Alex Parker explain how to keep your hunger pangs at bay when you have a dinner booking that’s later than your usual dinnertime.

Q How do I manage late-night dinner bookings? I hate turning up to a restaurant starving, but don’t want to ruin my appetite by eating beforehand

Olivia, via Instagram

A Dinner bookings after 8pm can be tricky to manage if you usually eat your evening meal by 7pm. To avoid turning up to a restaurant ravenous, have a small bite to eat before you leave the house, but not too much that you spoil your appetite.

If your goal is weight loss, eating two meals is definitely not ideal! Instead, a small, protein-rich snack 30 or 60 minutes before you leave the house will help you manage your hunger. A 170g tub of Greek yoghurt, a handful of nuts, a boiled egg or a single-serve packet of roasted chickpeas will help keep hunger levels at bay. Sit down and enjoy this snack mindfully, without rushing, so your body can recognise your fullness cues.

If you do arrive to dinner a little hungrier than normal, avoid going overboard when ordering — especially starters such as garlic bread or spring rolls — as our eyes are often bigger than our stomach in these situations. Just order the same amount of food you usually do, as you can always order more if need be.

First published: Jan 2022
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