Who doesn’t love a dinner out? These social experiences, while fun and exciting, can also bring up some anxiety – especially if you’re on a weight loss journey. 

Eating out doesn’t have to derail your weight loss efforts! Having a plan allows you to eat out at almost any restaurant and still stay on track. Below we make recommendations for before you go to the restaurant and what to order when you’re there.

Before You Go Out:


Check out the menu online

Focusing on a good portion of protein and plan to substitute a side or two. Opt for a side salad, more veggies, or sweet potato fries and ask for sauces on the side!

Never skip a meal because dinner will be out 

Keep your meals (and blood sugar!) consistent to prevent over-consuming while at the restaurant. Choose one of these nutrient dense snacks before you leave home: 

  • 1 hard boiled egg with a tiny sprinkle of sea salt
  • An apple with 1 oz cheese
  • An apple with 1 Tablespoon nut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Hummus and veggie sticks

Suggest lunch!

Why not suggest a lunch meal?  That way you can have a wider variety of choices such as a little pasta or rice.

Bonus: suggest a post-meal walk to help your digestion and lower your blood sugars!

A Guide For Healthy Restaurant Choices:


Avoid the bread basket trap 

You can never eat just one!  If everyone at the table agrees, ask your server not to bring it. Don’t overthink it; many people with sensitivities or intolerances do this! 

Drink warm water  

Try ordering a warm drink first thing such as hot water with some fresh lemon slices.  Herbal tea is also a great option while coffee tends to throw off blood sugar levels and may lead to cravings and bad decisions later on.

Words to look for on the menu

Grilled, steamed, broiled, boiled and baked are ideal but beware of terms such as creamy, smothered, lightly breaded, or deep fried.                                         

Watch the cheese  

Lots of restaurants love to add cheese to dishes such as salads, sandwiches, chicken dishes etc.  While it’s a great flavour enhancer, it can sneak some extra fat servings into our day. Ask for any cheese on the side and add it so it fits your day’s goals.

Start with soup or salad  

Both can be filling and satisfying.  If possible, choose non-creamy soups.

Wine and water balance

Alcohol can stimulate hunger so never drink on an empty stomach– this really throws off blood sugar. If you’re consuming alcohol, try to follow a glass of wine with a full glass of water.  It may even be beneficial to cut the wine with ½ club soda or Perrier in a wine Spritzer.

Leftovers for the next day  

Eyeball your serving size (palm of your hand) and divide your portion accordingly.  Make a mental note to have the rest packed-up for home.  Less for you to cook the next day!

Negotiating Dessert 

Order a tea after dinner to allow food to digest and to assess if that piece of cake is necessary. If it’s not a special occasion, chances are, it’s not necessary. 

Avoid buffets 

Studies have actually shown that when we are given a lot of food choices we tend to overeat without even knowing it.  If you must do the buffet then load your plate with salad, veggie and a protein source that seems the least “sauced-up”. 


We want you to enjoy your restaurant time! Once you’ve made a few mindful choices, enjoy the flavours, try to eat slowly, relax and enjoy the people you’re with. 

 Need a little extra guidance on what to choose if you find yourself grabbing fast food? Check out our article, Healthy Fast Food Choices.