The Healthy Food Guide team believe that making small diet and lifestyle changes brings the best long-term gains. We look at the science behind the headlines and promote a balanced way of eating.

Even the smallest changes can make a difference to your health, so don’t be shy about making these simple requests next time you go out to eat… 

*Can we have olives or breadsticks instead of bread and butter?
Ask him not to bring the bread basket – or ask for other options.

*Could I have this as a smaller portion?
Many chefs are happy to serve a starter-size portion
as a main course. Look around the restaurant, too. If mains look large, think twice about a starter.

*Could I swap this creamy sauce for a tomato-based one?
This is a relatively easy change for the kitchen to make.

*Is any butter or oil added before serving?
Often a drizzle of oil, dressing or pesto is added as part of the final presentation, so it’s easy for the chef to skip this.

*Will you bring a jug of tap water?
Keeping your water glass full will help you drink less wine and avoid all those empty calories.

*Can I take the rest home?
Either leave what you can’t eat or take it home for lunch the next day. This is getting more common and some waiters may even suggest it if they see you’ve left a fair amount.

Discover five more ways to eat healthier when dining out.