We all love to eat out. In fact 60 per cent youngsters eat out at least thrice a month. If you are someone who eats out every week,(like me!) there are always things that you can do to eat well – and healthy.

Eating healthy is often associated with weight loss. While weight loss is a consequence, it is always good to consciously cut down unhealthy foods from your diet.

Here are a few tips for balanced eating when out in a restaurant.

• Switch to healthier (or relatively less fatty) options: Frozen fruit yoghurt, for instance is a healthier option than ice cream. However, I recommend holding back on desserts. You can replace it with tea, coffee or even dark chocolate.

For other courses, you can go for lean meats-chicken, fish, prawns, lobster in stead of red meat-grilled, baked, barbecued instead of fried. Have idli (and not vada), tandoori roti or missi roti(gluten -free) which a lot of good Indian restaurants serve, over butter naan.

A slightly tough one would be to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Go for salads if you like. Many restaurants these days offer low-carb options on their menus. If not, making slight changes like eating food without ketchup, and avoiding frozen food do make a difference.

• You can always request a customised meal, where you can choose ingredients that can be removed or added to a dish. For e.g. I always ask for dairy and wheat replacements. Nut milk, and healthy options like quinoa, brown rice work well for me.

• Portion control is your golden key. Go light on the rice/rotis, especially when eating out for dinner. I always pick one. It’s either rice or roti.

• Get your people to support you! There’s nothing like moral support when making lifestyle changes. In a Punjabi set up, for instance, how much you eat is considered an indication of how much you enjoy the meal. Haha! Well, this is where you make your loved ones understand why you are making the choice, and maybe have them join you for a change ☺

It is all about tweaking your attitude towards eating. Cheat days or occasional indulgences are part of everyone’s lifestyle. The key is to enjoy everything in moderation.