It’s February, the grey but shortest month, pierced with the warm glow of rose coloured St. Valentine’s Day and promises of tokens of affection from loved ones – perhaps a romantic dinner at a special restaurant ?  But eating out doesn’t mean sacrificing your goals.  Here are some tips for that special meal :

When you arrive at the restaurant

Look around at the plates coming out of the kitchen.  If they look very large then think about ordering a starter as a main course or order a half portion.  Skip the bread basket !

Be the first to order

Ordering first means you’re less likely you’ll be swayed by your partner’s choices.


Don’t be afraid to ask how the dish is prepared or cooked.  Has it been fried or confited?  This will tell you whether it’s high in fat and calories.

“I’ll just have salad”

Salad is often thought to be the healthy option but is often loaded with hidden calories – particularly with dressings.  Ask for the dressing to be served on the side so you can add what you like – I regularly find salads to be over dressed.  Why not order a side salad (dressing on the side) and have a tasty grilled steak or chicken to go with it ?

Vegetarian must be more healthy ?

Vegetarian dishes often rely on lots of cheese, nuts and grains to provide flavour and substance.


Of course, it’s a special day, you must indulge yourself – but does that have to be true  ?  If you’ve already had a starter and then a main course, take a while before thinking of ordering that pud and have a glass of water !  This gives time for your food to be digested and more often than not you’ll feel too full to order dessert.  Listen to your body – ‘I want a pudding’ is very different to ‘I need a pudding because I’m still hungry’.

“I’ll just have a small glass”

I really enjoy a glass of wine with my meal, but it’s hard to know how much you’re drinking if your glass is constantly topped up.  Only allow a refill when your glass is empty so you can keep an eye on how much you’ve drunk.  You can also alternate a glass of wine with a glass of water – helps with hydration and prevents a hangover.  A 175ml glass of white wine is roughly 159 calories, 175ml of Prosseco is about 131 calories (Drinkaware).  Do you need alcohol to have a good time ?  It’s about making sensible choices.

“I’m in control”

Remember, you are the one in control of what you eat and drink.  Being responsible doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Isn’t being in a romantic setting with the one you love the important thing ?

And remember ….

Hold hands like you’ll never let go, laugh as if there’s no tomorrow, love with all your heart.