10 Tips For Making Healthier Choices When Eating Out At A Restaurant

table of platesEating out is such a pleasure, but it can be horrible for our diet. Sometimes we can think we are making a good decision at a restaurant, but it is actually loaded with calories. We want to be able to eat healthy at a restaurant. Sometimes just small adjustments to a meal can make a big calorie difference. These tips can help you make healthier choices when eating out. 

  1. Avoid the chips and bread. Those baskets of delicious carbs they bring to the table are just empty calories that you don’t need. 
  2. Look at the calorie counts printed on menu. I can’t tell you how many times those calorie counts have saved me from ordering a calorie bomb. It will help you figure out if something is made in a healthy way or frilled covered in butter. 
  3. Substitute sides dishes. If your meal comes with rice pilaf and mashed potatoes, ask if you can subscribe grilled vegetables. You can rack up a bunch of calories quickly with unhealthy side dishes. 
  4. Ask for you food to be cooked with no butter. Restaurants want your food to taste good which means lots of butter, cream, and sodium. Many restaurants cook their steaks, chicken and fish with butter because it makes it taste good. Ask your server if you can have it cooked without butter so save the added fat and calories. 
  5. Getting your salad dressing on the side. If ordering a salad, most restaurants will out on more dressing than you realize. Ask to get your dressing on the side and just put on what you need to give it flavor. Also, avoid creamy dressings like ranch or thousand island. Stick to vinaigrettes, or better yet, ask if they just have an oil and vinegar option. 
  6. Look at the menu before you go. Knowing the menu ahead of time can save you from being rushed and making unhealthy decisions. 
  7. Make sure not to skip meals that day so you don’t go starving. Eat your breakfast and lunch before you go. Many of us think we need to save those calories if we are eating out later, but this often leads to over eating, over ordering, or over indulging on unhealthy good. It’s like grocery shopping when hungry, it’s just a bad idea. 
  8. Watch the calories from alcohol. Cocktails can be calorie bombs. I’ve seen margaritas as high as 500 calories. If you want an alcoholic beverage consider just one glass of red wine. Definitely avoid blended drinks like mudslides or pina coladas. 
  9. Make a good decision about dessert. The best idea is probably just to skip dessert, but if you don’t want to feel left out look for a lower calories option like sorbet. Some restaurants might have a fruit option. Definitely skip cake, cookies, ice cream, and anything that seems decadent. 
  10. Share an entree. If you are dining with a friend maybe they want to split an entree. Often times we over eat just because the big plate of food is in front of us. Most restaurants serving sizes are much too large anyways. Pick a healthier option and share it with someone to eliminate overeating.

Eating out doesn’t have to make you feel guilty. Restaurants don’t have to be the enemy of your waist line. With these tips you can make educated decisions on better for you options when eating out at a restaurant. I hope this helps you stick to your healthier lifestyle. 



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table of plates and bowls with food