Dining Out Conundrums: How to Eat Better, Smarter

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Jenna Ahlschlager, ACE-CHC

Updated June 17, 2020


Most people enjoy eating out, at least every once in a while. Whether eating out is a treat for you, or a common occurrence, there are plenty of smart choices you can make without sacrificing your health.

9 Tips for Eating Healthy While Dining Out

  1. Beverages: Ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk as a beverage choice to avoid the added sugar found in numerous fountain beverages.
  2. Fruits and Vegetables: Order a side salad to start as a way to fill up on vegetables before the main entrée arrives and pick a lighter salad dressing such as a vinaigrette.
  3. Bread Types: Choose whole wheat bread for sandwiches when available and whole grain crust when ordering pizza.
  4. Main Dishes: Search the menu for main dishes that include vegetables such as stir fries or kebobs, or choose plain meats with vegetable or fruit side dishes.
  5. Portions: Always choose smaller portions when available. If an appetizer portion is available that may be the perfect size, otherwise you can share an entrée with a friend or take leftovers home for later.
  6. Dish Preparation: Order entrée and side items that are steamed, baked, broiled or grilled versus those that are fried or sautéed.
  7. Avoid Heavies: Avoid foods with creamy sauces or gravies, add little or no butter and if dessert is necessary, you can always choose fruits.
  8. Save Leftovers: If you are choosing to save leftovers, set half your food aside right away so you are not tempted to overindulge or ask your server to box half your meal up before it arrives to the table. Listen closely to your hunger-satiety cues and stop eating when you are full.
  9. Plan ahead for snacks: Always be prepared when you leave the house with healthy snacks. Pack fresh fruit, cut up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks or unsalted nuts to avoid stopping for unhealthy snacks.

For more information, read the full article highlighting more tips.

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