How to eat healthy while eating out

Eating out doesn’t mean you have to stop your diet and fall back into old unhealthy habits. In fact, there are many ways you can enjoy eating out with friends and family whilst keeping it healthy and delicious – and we’re not just talking about ordering salads every time! 

From savvy swaps to decoding menu mysteries, we’ve got your back. Take a look below to learn the art of smart ordering, whether it’s finding the hidden gems or crafting your custom dish. 

How to eat healthy while eating out

Craving a health kick without missing out on restaurant fun? Our quick guide spills secrets on balancing delicious dining with healthy choices. Let’s turn your next meal out into a guilt-free, flavour-packed experience!

Read the menu before you dine

Before your meal out, one of the best ways to ensure you make healthy choices is to check the menu before you arrive. Checking the menu ahead not only helps you make informed choices but also avoids last-minute temptations. 

So, take a sneak peek to spot nutritious options, identify lighter choices, and plan your balanced meal. Look for keywords like grilled, steamed, or roasted, indicating healthier cooking methods. Also, be mindful of portion sizes and consider ordering a side salad or veggies. 

Check how food is cooked and prepared

Maintain your healthy dining habits by checking how food is cooked and prepared when eating out. As mentioned above, opt for grilled, baked, steamed, or roasted dishes, as these cooking methods often involve less added fats. Be cautious of deep-fried or heavily sauced options, and lean towards dishes that feature fresh, whole ingredients. 

You should also inquire about ingredient choices and request modifications, like dressing on the side or sauces served separately. 

By paying attention to preparation methods and making thoughtful choices, you can enjoy a delicious meal while staying true to your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. 

Don’t drink your calories

Often, we tend to forget that the drinks we choose can be very high in calories. That said, when you dine out, always avoid sugary soft drinks, excessive fruit juices, and calorie-laden speciality drinks. Instead, opt for water, herbal teas, or sparkling water with a splash of citrus for refreshing, low-calorie alternatives. If you fancy an alcoholic beverage, choose wisely—opt for light beer or a gin and slimline tonic. 

By skipping high-calorie beverages, you not only reduce your overall calorie intake but also stay hydrated and make room for more nutrient-dense food choices. Transform your dining experience by sipping smart and making every calorie count toward your overall well-being.

Choose a meal with vegetables

Of course, you should be choosing meals with a generous serving of vegetables when eating out. Look for dishes loaded with colourful veggies to boost your nutrient intake and add variety to your plate. Whether it’s vibrant salads, stir-fries, or veggie-packed mains, opting for vegetable-rich options provides essential vitamins, minerals and fibre. 

You could also customise your order by requesting extra veggies or swapping sides for a more wholesome choice. So say no to the side of fries and embrace the bowl of greens.

Portion control

Master the art of healthy dining by practising portion control when eating out. Always opt for smaller portions, share dishes with dining companions, or request a to-go box upfront to save leftovers. You should also be mindful of oversized servings and consider ordering appetisers or half portions if that option is available. But as a general rule, listen to your body’s cues and stop eating when satisfied, not when the plate is empty. 

By managing portion sizes, you not only enjoy a balanced meal but also prevent overindulgence. 

Ask for sauces and dressings on the side

Sauces really are the icing on the cake when it comes to any meal. Thankfully, even if you are being more mindful about what you eat, you do not need to say goodbye to your favourites. In fact, all you need to do is request to have your sauces on the side. This simple tweak puts you in control of the quantity you use, allowing you to savour flavours without drowning your dish in excess calories. Dip your fork into the sauce before each bite, ensuring a taste without overwhelming your meal. 

This mindful approach lets you enjoy the essence of the dish while maintaining a balanced, nutritious intake. 

Indulge in a world of flavour at COSMO, where healthy dining meets culinary delight! Discover our diverse menu offering nutritious options and savour a guilt-free feast. Simply book a table at Simply book a table at COSMO in Wolverhampton, Oxford, Glasgow St Enoch and more.

How to make a reservation at a restaurant?

Ever wondered how to snag the perfect table at your favourite restaurant hassle-free? Well, we’ve created a complete guide to securing the best seat in the house. Learn the ins and outs: from picking the spot and choosing the time to making that call or hitting the reservation app. No more waiting in line or missing out on date night spots! 

How to make a reservation at a restaurant?

Below, we’ve listed five tips on how to make a dinner reservation at your favourite restaurant seamless. Simply take a look below, get booking, and eagerly await the big day.

Know how many people to book a table for

Firstly, it goes without saying that you should get an idea of how many people will be joining you for dinner. This is the first question you’ll be asked on the phone by the restaurant, so you’ll need to be certain of your answer so that they can accommodate you all. 

You’ll probably find that securing a table is easier for smaller groups, but for larger parties, it might pose more of a challenge and a deposit may be required. Likewise, if the restaurant is in high demand or has limited space, booking ahead is essential.

You should also assume that everyone in your party will be coming on the day, as it is better to have an empty chair than for someone to get left out.

If you have a preference for where your table is located, tell them

Remember, it’s not just about securing a table; it’s about curating an atmosphere that suits your taste and makes your dining experience truly exceptional. So, if you have an idea of where you want to sit, be it a cosy corner, outdoor seating, or at the chef’s table, always let the restaurant know at the time of booking. In fact, most establishments are eager to accommodate you, making sure you have the best possible spot.

Call as early in advance as possible

For a restaurant reservation, place your call well in advance, ideally a few days before your desired date, to avoid any disappointment on the day. 

Busy holidays and peak hours may require even earlier booking, aiming for at least a week ahead. Keep in mind that weekends and evenings are typically busier, and that may affect availability. If all else fails and they don’t manage to give you the day you wanted, always have a backup date, time or even an alternative restaurant in mind. 

Planning ahead ensures a better chance of securing the reservation you want and guarantees a delightful dining experience without last-minute hiccups.

Specify if the reservation is for a special occasion

When making a restaurant reservation for a special occasion, be sure to mention the event to the staff. Whether it’s a birthday bash, anniversary celebration, or a romantic evening, notifying them adds a personal touch to your experience. 

Sharing this detail allows the restaurant to tailor the seating and ambiance or even offer special arrangements to elevate your celebration. It’s an opportunity for them to make your meal memorable and go the extra mile for you on your big day, so don’t hesitate to let them know your celebratory plans.

Cancelling a reservation

Life is unpredictable, and plans can change. If you need to cancel a restaurant reservation, do so as early as possible. Most places appreciate the courtesy of advanced notice, allowing them to adjust their bookings. 

Make sure to do this the same method you used for booking—whether it’s a phone call or an online platform. Provide clear and sincere reasons for the cancellation, and if applicable, inquire about the establishment’s cancellation policy. 

Being considerate in your cancellation helps maintain a positive relationship with the restaurant, and who knows, you might find yourself making a new reservation soon.

Have we got you in the mood to plan a meal out? Reserve your table now at COSMO and experience unlimited dining delights. Discover more about our diverse menu and find an all-you-can-eat restaurant near you, whether you’re in Bournemouth, Norwich, Glasgow, or beyond. Don’t miss out on the ultimate dining experience—book your table today and savour a world of flavours with COSMO!