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.