Can You Eat Out and Still Lose Weight?

Nutrition // Heather // 4 May 2016

Eating out is a fun and sociable activity and whether you’re dining with family or meeting up for a bite to eat with friends, just because you are managing your weight doesn’t mean you have to become a social outcast!

The good news is with a little knowledge and some smart food choices you can enjoy anything from pub grub to Italian.

Be prepared to ask your waiter questions and follow a few simple rules when eating out to ensure you enjoy a guilt-free evening!

Also read: How to Avoid Weight Gain this Winter

12WBT’s 7 tips for eating out

  1. Research is a great way to ensure there are no nasty surprises. Before heading out check if the restaurant has a website and take a look at the menu. Doing this allows you to decide what to have before you go and means you won’t end up ordering something you shouldn’t.
  2. Learning how to read the menu is another key for successful dining out! Chefs are often pretty heavy handed with oil, fat, butter and cream and sometimes it’s hard to tell how a dish has been cooked or what is in it just by looking at the menu. Never be afraid to ask the waiter for more details, after all, the customer is always right!
  3. Choose barbequed, grilled or steamed over fried or oven roasted, avoid sauces or dishes made with cream or coconut milk and ask for sauces on the side and salads without dressing so that you can control how much you eat.
  4. Eat slowly! Try putting down your knife and fork frequently during the meal and taking part in the conversation. By doing so, not only will you have more fun but you will also feel fuller quicker and give your body time to digest your food.
  5. If possible avoid alcohol – it’s full of calories and easy to lose count! If you are drinking the best choices are low-alcohol beer and white spirits with soda and fresh lime. Next in line would be low-carb beer, wine and champagne. The worst choices for your waistline are milky, creamy cocktails (Espresso Martinis- we’re looking at you!) and creamed beers.
  6. When ordering think smart! You can have that chicken burger, just hold the chips, ask for more salad and only eat half the bun. Seafood is a good choice – just not deep-fried or battered! Tomato based pasta or risotto marinara are a better choice that their creamier counterparts and beef, chicken or seafood stir-fry in oyster sauce works, bearing in mind that you don’t need a whole bunch of rice!
  7. Things to avoid include curries, anything with peanuts or cashews and any fried noodle dish. Garlic or herb bread and pizza should not be on the menu if you are trying to lose weight, nor should things like nachos or bangers and mash and Indian food – forget it!

Finally, remember that eating out is supposed to be fun! By sticking to these simple guidelines you can make sure that eating out is enjoyable and you can continue dropping those kilos!

Download as a PDF



  1. Tess Thomson Reply

    Just a quick question in regards to Indian food – why is this totally off the menu? Is a daal (lentil dish) an acceptable choice, for example?

  2. Heather Reply

    Whilst Indian food can definitely be tasty it is a no go because most of it contains ghee, which basically is solidified fat – the heart disease causing type at that! The other problem with Indian foods include the fact that unless you are vegetarian there aren’t many vegetables in most dishes, it is high in salt and oil and high in carbs, especially if you order rice, pappadums and naan bread! If you do fancy a curry, it is best to steer clear of your local takeaway and cook one from scratch yourself, using aromatic herbs, tomato rather than cream bases and lots more vegies!

  3. mary meyer Reply

    Is there anyone doing the Michelle Bridges in Gippsland? Pakenham to Warrigal?

Contact Us directly if you have a specific question.

Share a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *