Dining out

Eating out

Going out for a meal? Don't panic. We've got you covered. Our tips will help you enjoy the occasion without breaking the calorie bank. 


Read the menu online

If you know which restaurant you're going to, look up their menu online to work out the lower-calorie options and figure out your expected calorie intake.

Planning ahead will help you make better choices and avoid temptation.

Our Heart of Derbyshire scheme lists local restaurant and takeaways who've pledged to offer a variety of healthy options including offering smaller portions and using less salt and sugar.

Don't skip a meal

Don't skip breakfast or lunch in order to build calorie credits for your evening out. Stick to your daily meal routine to keep your appetite under control throughout the day. 

If you think you've had a larger portion than you should, don't give up, just aim to have a smaller portion next time.

Stick to one course

It's perfectly acceptable to have just a main course. And don't feel the need to finish your plate.

Try to stop eating before you feel overly full. If you can't resist having a starter or a dessert, find someone to share it with.

Downsize your portions

To avoid eating too much, order a starter and a side dish as your main course instead of one of the larger mains on the menu.

Avoid deep-fried

Avoid food that is deep or shallow fried, battered, pan-fried, marked as 'crispy' or with pastry.

These are high in fat. Instead, look out for grilled, roasted, poached, steamed or baked dishes.

Beware of high-calorie salads

Watch out for high-calorie toppings such as croutons, cheese, bacon and nuts. Ask for salad dressing on the side and only add as much as you need.

Don't drink your calories

While you might take care to check what you're eating, don't forget to be aware of the hidden calories in your drinks - you might be surprised by how many there are. Find the calories of some common drinks in the related documents section of this page.

Heart of Derbyshire

To help you make healthier choices when eating out we launched the Heart of Derbyshire healthy eating scheme.

Local restaurants and takeaways have signed up to a range of healthy pledges including smaller portions, less salt and less sugar.

You can search for businesses in your area on our Heart of Derbyshire pages.

Take your time

Eat slowly, enjoy every mouthful. You'll feel satisfied before you feel full and have more chance to take part in the conversation and enjoy the atmosphere.

Share dessert

Go for healthier options such as fruit based desserts, including crumble or try swapping ice-cream for sorbet or frozen yogurt.

If you really can't resist a decadent dessert why not share it with a willing friend.

Related documents

The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)