I love eating out. If someone else is cooking and I don't have to, I take full advantage of it and savor every bite because it always tastes so much better when someone else is cooking. I also can get myself into trouble here.
Eating out or dining in social situations like at BBQs is totally do-able in continuing to work towards your goals. The key is to have a plan before you go out and to make sure your mindset it geared toward success if that is the goal.
Are you going into that situation with the intention of continuing to work towards weight loss/healthy choices, or are you going into that situation being ok that you might not make the best decisions and you'll enjoy yourself and hop back into the rhythm later? BOTH ARE OK! Just know what your plan is going in so that if you do want to stay on track, you're able.
I usually am not much of a salad-as-a-meal person. But I have found that most restaurants will bring out steamed/roasted/sauteed vegetables a-la cart if asked, which helps me stay on track with my "veggies most" plan. Then I can pair that with whatever protein I find like some chicken, steak, or fish, maybe some rice or a sweet potato as a yummy carb, and I have a nice little dinner and will leave feeling successful that I stayed on track towards my goals (and probably physically feel much better, too).
Anytime we are getting together with friends, I also have to remind myself of the reason WHY we are getting together. We are getting together to enjoy each other's company and laugh and talk, not for me to stuff my face with as much food as I can (because that's my natural tendency). So look up from your plate and take breaks between bites to talk! You might find you eat less this way, too.
What are some ways you struggle or have found success in eating out?