Eating healthily, whether for weight loss or just to improve your fitness and wellbeing, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy evenings out with your partner or friends. While it can be more difficult to stick to your healthy diet when eating at a restaurant, it isn’t impossible.

Sticking to your diet while eating out is all about compromising rather than sacrificing and there are a number of ways you can make sure you don’t ruin your diet with an unhealthy meal.

Read on to find out what our top tips are:

Check out the restaurant online first

If you know where you are going for your meal, it can be a good idea to see if they have a menu online. This will give you an idea of what’s on offer and mean you can plan what you’re going to eat so it fits with your healthy diet.

It will also allow you to see if it might be better to go somewhere else if the menu on offer doesn’t have enough healthier dishes for you to choose from.

See what substitutions are available

You may want to check if the restaurant will make swaps when it comes to their meals so you can make dishes healthier. Ask your waiter or waitress to see if they mind you exchanging fries for salad, for example, which will reduce your calorie intake.

Get details about the dishes

You can also ask your server about how dishes are prepared, as this will give you an idea of how healthy they are. Find out if parts of the meal are fried, baked or steamed if they have salt or butter added and what other ingredients are used.

This will also help you decide whether you need to make substitutions or ask for things to be cooked differently. While not all restaurants will be obliging with this, it is always worth checking.

Avoid alcohol

Alcoholic beverages contain a lot of calories, which can really throw your diet out of the window. This means you should really avoid drinking alcohol when eating out or to cut down and only have one low-calorie drink.

While it may not be as fun to stick to sparkling mineral water, it will be better for your health and won’t stop you enjoying your evening.

Ask for sauce on the side

A lot of sauces and dressings are quite unhealthy, containing a lot of salt, butter, and even cream. While it is a good idea to choose a meal without a fattening sauce, if you really want to try a dish that has one, ask for it on the side.

This will allow you to better control how much sauce is on your plate, which means you can reduce the number of calories you are consuming.

Order first

If you’ve decided on a healthy or light meal, your mind could soon be changed by hearing all your friends order tasty-sounding unhealthy options. After all, your salad may not sound as good as a large steak with chips and peppercorn sauce, even if it is fewer calories.