Healthy Dates for Valentine’s Day (Or Any Other Time of the Year)

Six creative ways to spend time with your sweetie without blowing your diet.
healthy date ideas

Dinner and a movie. Dinner and a show. Dinner and…whatever. So often, a special night out with a special someone revolves around eating and drinking. And though those factors can create a fun, romantic evening, they can really challenge our healthy habits also.

It makes sense that this is the default date. We have to eat, right? And we want to spend time together. So why not kill two birds with one stone? But with a little bit of creativity and effort (and maybe planning a day date instead of a night one!), we can stay on track and still have a great time with our loved ones. Here are 6 creative and healthy date ideas for you to try out this Valentine’s Day, or for a date night any time of year!

Go skating. Whether your local weather means ice skating or rollerblading, you can lace up a pair of a skates and get in a little exercise along with your quality time.

Take a walk. Walking is a great activity to enjoy with someone else because there’s nothing better to do while you’re taking in your surroundings than talking and finding out new things about each other.

Hit a museum. From the Impressionists to textiles to science to dozens of other subjects, there’s a museum for you and your date! You’ll enjoy each other’s company, get in some exercise, and learn something new!

Go rock climbing. You don’t have to find a mountain to go rock climbing; indoor rock climbing has been popping up in gyms and other indoor facilities. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve never tried—there’s fun to be had for all levels!

Take a class. Find a fun topic that both you and your date are interested in. You can learn about anything from healthy cooking to knitting to a new language. This works on a whole extra level if you take a class together in something you can continue to do together.

Plan a photography day. Come up with a photo challenge for yourselves: a photo representing each letter of the alphabet, or one every hour, or representing 10 different colors…and then go take photos together! You’ll have a great day and can put together an album at the end of it for a built-in memento.

Of course, no matter what activity you choose, you still have to eat. But by shifting the focus of your fun from the meal to something else, you’ll be better able to make choices that support your health goals. Avoid fried appetizers, focus on lean proteins and vegetables, and drink lots of water.

And if you still want to plan that extravagant meal out, that’s a valid decision, too! Commit to the choice and enjoy it. But take the time to plan and control your experience: • Have a big glass of water right before the meal so you’re not starving going into it.  

  • Don’t make “a night out” an excuse to mindlessly eat bread or pile on the salad dressing. Focus on the special parts of the meal, not items you can get any time.  
  • Take your time and savor your special meal; don’t speed through it as just another rushed part of a busy night.  
  • Remember the primary reason you’re there: for the special someone in front of you, not the special something on your plate.

Make it WayBetter

Each couple is unique! Spend some time brainstorming healthy dates with your partner, so you’ll have a go-to-list of activities you know you both enjoy.