How to Eat Healthy When Dining Out

Do you struggle with weekend eating? Weekend eating is one of the biggest reasons individuals can fall off track. You do not have to avoid those activities to achieve your health and fitness goals. It is important to socialize and celebrate life with family and friends.  It just may require making different decisions when dining out. Remember, the goal is always to be 80% consistent with your nutrition! That still leaves 20% of the time to make more fun decisions. 

Here are some of my top tips for making healthy decisions when dining out:

·         I recommend looking at the menu ahead of time and planning what you are going to eat on a full stomach. When you get to the restaurant, don’t be afraid to customize your dish.

·         Choose lean protein sources like chicken and fish.  Look for the words grilled, baked, roasted, and broiled. You can always ask for your entrée without sauce or have the restaurant put the sauce on the side.

·         Choose the entrée with the most vegetables or add vegetables to your dish.

·         Ask for salad dressing and toppings like cheese and croutons on the side. Also, you should try to order an olive oil based dressing instead of a creamy dressing.

·         Ask for a box when your meal is delivered to the table and box up half of your meal for the next day.

·         Portion out a handful or chips or 1 piece of bread and move the basket to the other side of the table.  Having a snack before a meal with chips or bread can help you stick to the portion size.

·         If it is available, try to order a whole grain like brown rice, wheat pasta, or wheat bread.

·         Try to save your calories for your food and order water as a beverage.

·         Instead of order 2 sides of carbohydrates like rice and beans, order a side of vegetables instead of one of the carbohydrate choices.

I hope these tips are helpful when dining out this week.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Have a great week!

Staci Tobolowsky, MCN, RD/LD