Share entrées or, if that isn’t an option, ask the server to box half your entrée when your food is served, and take it home for a meal the next day (portion control for today and a meal for tomorrow).
Share your meal with him/her, or order a side dish as an entrée. At many restaurants, you can order sides of pasta or potatoes. Caution! Check for "split plate" fees.
Order an appetizer or soup as your entrée along with a vegetable or side salad.
Choose water instead of a soft drink, tea, coffee, etc. Water is healthier than most beverages on the menu.
If you have a toddler that uses a sippy cup, fill the cup before going to the restaurant.
Resist the temptation to order alcoholic beverages. On special occasions, search for a restaurant where you can bring your own wine, with no corking fee (the charge for opening and serving the wine).
Skip the appetizer and dessert: Do you really need all that food? Enjoy your entrée by not getting filled up.
See if you can choose from the children's menu for yourself. The portions and price are smaller, and you can leave the restaurant feeling proud of yourself for sticking to your diet and your budget.