By Raquel Sbrana, Registered Professional Level 2 (Cert IV Fitness/Group Exercise/Boxing/Kickboxing)

[slideshow_deploy id=’2836′]

Hover over images in the slideshow to reveal tips or read them all below.

Just because you are trying to lose weight does not mean that you can’t eat out with your friends and family. It just means that you need to make considered choices when you look at the menu.

Look for specialised menus. More and more restaurants and eateries now offer a light menu, or a healthy options menu. They are a great starting point when deciding what to eat.

Avoid having entree breads like garlic pizza, bruschetta, cheese bread, or herb loaf. You’ll often never stop at the one piece, which means you may fill up on bread, and either a) over-eat or b) fill up so much you don’t eat your dinner, which means you’ll miss the healthy bits.

If you like to feast when you go out for dinner, try entree sized meals so you can stick to your limits, but have a little bit of everything.


Here’s some easy to follow pointers for your next dining experience.

  1. Snack before your meal

    If you know you are going out for lunch or dinner have a high fibre snack before you leave to curb your hunger. Try an apple, handful of nuts, or carrot sticks with hummus.

  2. Slow down

    Eat and drink slowly to allow your body to register that it is full. It takes up to 20 minutes for the body to recognise that it does not need anything else to eat or drink.

  3. Steer clear of fried food

    Fried food is generally high in calories, fat and saturated fat, and mostly offer little to no nutritional value. Try steamed, grilled, roasted or sautéed foods as a much better option.

  4. Ask for what you want

    Don’t be afraid to ask to modify your meal. Most restaurants are used to people changing their meals to suit their dietary requirements, so if there is something you would love to eat, but it’s not “perfect,” change it!

  5. Say no to chips

    Even the best laid plans to avoid the side of chips on your plate is likely to come undone! You have one, then two, and before you know it they are all gone. Swap the chips for salad or vegetables.

  6. Multigrain bread is not always what it seems

    When ordering a sandwich keep in mind that multigrain bread is sometimes white bread with grains in it. Choose brown bread where possible.

  7. Avoid noodles

    Noodles add large numbers of calories to your meal, but do not contain a great deal of nutritional value, which means these calories are wasted.

  8. Go pink

    When confronted with a choice in sauces always go for the red or pink sauce over the creamy white ones. White sauces on average add 10g fat and 70 calories to your meal.

  9. Plan before you arrive

    Check out menus on the internet or grab one when you next eat out for future reference. That way you can pre-plan your meal before arriving on your next visit.

  10. Always share dessert

    Did you know that more than 50% of the pleasure associated with dessert is in the first mouthful? Sharing means you halve the calorie intake and don’t miss out.


We do advise to avoid fast food, however we are all human and on occasion there are going to be times where fast food and take away options will form part of our diet for one reason or another.

Here’s some meal ideas from well known fast food establishments to get you on the right track.

McDonaldsCrispy Chicken Classic Salad
Kentuky Fried Chicken (KFC)So Salad
2 x Original recipe fillet pieces
Thai FoodThai Beef Salad
Oyster Sauce Beef
Prawn Snowpea Salad
ChineseGarlic King Prawns
Steamed Fish with ginger and shallots
Steamed salmon with XO sauce
Chicken with steamed vegetables
Beef with Chinese broccoli
ItalianVeal Osso Bucco with vegetables
Minestrone soup
Grilled chicken casa salad
Herb roasted duck with vegetables
Grilled barramundi on eggplant
Local PubTeriyaki salmon skewers with salad
Lamb souvlaki with Greek salad
Char grilled vege stack
Vietnamese rice paper rolls with pork
Warm grilled chicken salad
Food CourtBBQ Chicken without skin and salad
Grilled fish with Greek Salad
Salad sandwich on brown bread
Open chicken sandwich
Fruit salad with low fat yoghurt