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Waistline dramas averted with our top dining out tips for NY

5th Jan 2010

"Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life Mr Creosote Sketch" Are you feeling guilty over Christmas excesses like everyone in our office right now! Help’s at hand – we’ve trawled the internet and compiled the best tips to dine out without the ensuing waistline drama:

1/ Do your homework

Most restaurants now have menus available online. Deciding on your dishes before you arrive at the restaurant will help you avoid panic or impulse ordering those high calorie / high fat dishes. Some properties are running tailored healthy eating menus or a light option throughout the month of January. To name a few The Ebury in London is running a Healthy choice menu, Lainston House Hotel in Winchester also has low calories options indicated on their January menu and m.Brasserie in Guildford has a selection of healthy eating options.

2/ Consider a starter as a main course

Portion size will of course be smaller so perhaps supplement with a side salad dish if necessary. If you are tempted by a dessert this will balance your meal more.

3/ Book in advance or be prepared to ask your waiter

All restaurants are prepared to deal with a growing number of dietary requirements these days and low-fat is of course one of these. Explain your requirements to the waiter and see if the chef has an alternative option available for you, or better still book in advance and place it as a special request.

4/ Avoid the bread basket

Bread is bad enough in its own right for someone counting calories but it is also usually associated with either butter or delicious dipping oils so best to avoid it all round if possible.

5/ Limit what you drink

There are about 170 calories in a large glass of red wine. This can often be more than a light starter or side dish so bear this in mind when ordering and perhaps have a small vodka and slim line tonic (about 60 calories) or a small glass of white wine (typically about 93 calories).

6/ Sip cold water throughout the meal

This will give you the sense of being full quicker and perhaps stop you eating to clean your plate. I haven’t mastered this one yet but I am told it works.

7/ Think twice about a dessert

Would you have one if you were at home ? Although eating out is a delicious experience, don’t feel that you have to experience the full three courses to enjoy the meal. If dessert is your favourite part of the meal perhaps skip the starter instead but where possible try to opt for a low-fat dessert such as poached pears or fruit of some sort. No one has mentioned banning the cheese and biscuits afterwards…

8/ Treat yourself / Oh what the hell

Don’t deprive yourself of a small treat from tome to time – life’s just too short ! I’m booking for a good ol’ curry now.

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