How to eat out and stay on track

Did you know that the WW app has a dedicated tool for eating out at restaurants and cafes?
Published 1 September, 2023

Whether we're meeting up with friends, attending a garden party or going to a wedding, meals out are a big part of our lives. The WW programme is designed to fit into your life, which means nothing's off the menu, and that includes your favourite restaurant meals!

The app makes it easy to stay on track when you're eating out. Did you know it's got a built-in tools that tells you how many Points are in meals at establishments like Nando's, McDonald's and Pizza Express?

You can use this to plan what you'll eat (top tip: always have a plan B in case your first choice isn't available) and how you'll work it into your Points Budget. You've got extra Points in the form of weeklies and rollovers if you need them!

Planning ahead is one of the best ways to ensure you stay within your Budget, but we've got lots of other tips up our sleeves too. Keep these in mind when dining out to set yourself up for success:

1. Know the lingo

Keep an eye out for words which suggest a dish may be high in Points, like au fromage, au gratin, battered, creamy, crispy, deep-fried, dipped, double-baked, glazed, pan-fried, rich, smothered. Try looking for dishes which are baked, grilled, poached or smoked instead.

Don’t be afraid to make a special request, like ordering seasonal veggies instead of the triple-cooked chips with your meal. That's not to say you can't have chips - if they fit into your Budget, then go for it and enjoy!

2. Don't rock up starving

...and then order EVERYTHING on the menu! Try to make healthy, filling choices throughout the day so you aren't ravenously hungry by the time you're due to dine. You'll be more likely to savour your meal, and less likely to dip into the bread basket, or opt for the three course set menu.

3. Be salad savvy

Salads are generally good-for-you choices, but sometimes the dressing can multiply the Points. For example, a chicken Caesar salad is 22 Points at some restaurants! Try ordering the sauce on the side and dipping your fork in to save on Points without compromising on flavour. Remember that toppings like croutons, bacon, nuts and seeds will also bring the total Points value up.

4. Take leftovers home

If you’re feeling comfortably full, don’t force yourself to finish everything on your plate to get your money's worth, or because the food is so delicious - you’ll feel better if you stop when you’re satisfied. If you're keen to reduce food waste (and give yourself something to look forward to the next day!), you can always ask your waiter to wrap up your leftovers to take home.

5. Share with friends

If you'd love a starter and/or dessert, but your Points Budget doesn't quite stretch that far, why not split a starter or share a dessert with a friend? If you want a dessert to yourself but you're running out of Points, sorbet is often a good choice, and there's generally a variety of fruity flavours to choose from.

6. Enjoy yourself

The real point of eating out? To have fun and enjoy delicious food (that you didn't have to cook!). If you go slightly over Budget, don’t worry as you can tap into your weeklies and rollovers. And if you go over your weeklies? It happens. You can always start fresh tomorrow!