There’s a common misconception that if we want to stay on top of our health and fitness goals, whether that’s losing weight or training for something specific, we have to lock ourselves away in our houses with our lemon water and ditch our social life. It’s true that restaurant meals tend to be high in salt, fat and sugar with calorie counts that would make your eyes water if you knew what they were but did you know that with a few handy tricks up your sleeve and a bit of forward planning you can still enjoy eating out when you want to.

Studies have shown we tend to eat more of the same meal when eating out then we would at home. With that in mind you need to be armed with the basic rules that will keep you on the right track when eating out.


Most food establishments have websites that list their full menus. Take some time to look over the menu before heading out so you don’t feel pressured when you’re there. You will be more likely to make the healthiest choice and stick to it if you have it already in your mind what you are going to order. If you have a say in the venue and find there aren’t many healthy choices you could always suggest somewhere different. If not, don’t look at the menu when you get there so you’re not tempted to change your mind.


Try not to arrive at the restaurant ravenous. Have a piece of fruit and/or handful of nuts before you leave so you are less likely to eat more than you should.


Drink a glass of water before you leave home and order a jug for the table. Sip at your alcoholic or soft drink or but if you find yourself gulping it down, drink a glass of water instead.


Order before anyone else so you don’t get food envy and change your mind.

Now we’ve covered the basics that apply to pretty much any eating out occasion, the next article will cover tactics for specific circumstances.