By Jarrod Agosta, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist

Now that we’re able to get out of the house and back into restaurants, cafes, pubs and all other eating establishments, it is completely understandable that excitement and enthusiasm levels are at an all time high this festive season. And who could blame us?

But with this comes that great desire to say ‘yes’ to everything: diner reservations, invitations, a dessert and that extra glass of wine. 

This may be a great mental health boost in the short term (I will always be pro enjoying your food and your lifestyle) but it may not be so good for our physical health or our efforts to achieve your weight loss goals. 

So it’s important to remember the basics now that we’re back out in society and the power of choice is back in our hands. Here are 4 simple tips to remember the next time you’re eating out and still want to try and make a healthier choice.

Tip 1: Do your Homework

Sussing out the menu online before you get to your destination can help take the unknown out of the equation.

If you’re anything like me and are sometimes prone to panic ordering on the spot, or get overwhelmed by too many options, then this tip is extra important for you. By researching which options are healthier before you arrive, you can walk into the restaurant with a clear idea in mind and spend more time catching up with your loved ones than worrying about what to order.

If the venue doesn’t have their menu on their website or social media pages, give them a call or try

Tip 2: Don’t Forget your Greens

Whatever you order, always try to ensure that there are some vegetables on your plate when it arrives. If it’s a more upmarket type of establishment, veggies often make up a proportion of the meal which is great. If it’s a more homely type of venue, there is usually the option of vegetables/salad as a side instead of fries.

If your meal lacks vegetables but you still really want to choose it (such as pasta or pizza), order a small/entrée portion of your main with a side salad to help achieve a more well-balanced meal.

Most restaurants still operate a takeaway policy for leftovers so don’t feel like you need to finish your entire meal. (Which leads me to a bonus tip: eat to your hunger levels and not just to finish the plate.)

Tip 3: The Way it is Made Matters

This is simple advice yet can be very effective in choosing a healthier option. If there is an option to have something prepared in a healthier way then choose it.


  • Roasted or baked rather than deep fried
  • Grilled rather than battered
  • Poached rather than fried
  • Ask for salad dressings and sauces on the side so you control the quantity

Tip 4: Let your Meal be the Main Source of Calories

You’ve gone out to save yourself cooking and have someone else do all the heavy lifting for a change. Make sure you have room in your daily calorie allowance to fit in as much delicious food as possible. This means limiting the amount of calories you’re consuming through beverages.

One less beer, glass of wine, cocktail or soft drink may mean you have more room to split an entrée or dessert with a friend. And really, in the grand scheme of things, you’re probably more likely to enjoy the extra food rather than that high calorie beverage. Go for a water instead and enjoy that small portion of cake.


For more tips on eating healthily and feeling confident – without taking the enjoyment out of eating – book an appointment with Jarrod. ↓↓

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