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Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Eating out at restaurants can be a great way to socialize, try new foods, and treat yourself to a night off from cooking. However, it can also be a challenge to stick to a healthy diet when dining out. With so many tempting menu options and large portion sizes, it’s easy to indulge in high-calorie, high-fat foods.

Here are some tips for eating healthy when dining out:

  1. Plan ahead. Before you go out to eat, take a look at the restaurant’s menu online. This will give you a chance to make healthier choices and decide what you want to order before you even get to the restaurant.

  2. Share a dish. Many restaurant portions are larger than necessary, so consider splitting an entree with a friend or taking half of it home for leftovers.

  3. Watch your portion sizes. Be mindful of how much food you are consuming. A good way to gauge the right serving size is to aim for a plate that’s half-filled with vegetables, a quarter-filled with protein, and a quarter-filled with carbohydrates.

  4. Make smart substitutions. Ask for dressing or sauce on the side, or choose a side salad instead of French fries. Use herbs and spices instead of butter or cream to add flavor to your food.

  5. Choose steamed, grilled, or broiled options. These cooking methods usually result in dishes that are lower in fat and calories.

  6. Be mindful of drinks. Soft drinks, juices and alcoholic beverages can add up to a lot of empty calories. Stick to water, tea or low-calorie drinks.

  7. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you have any dietary restrictions or requests, let your server know. Most restaurants will be happy to accommodate your needs.

  8. Treat yourself. Allow yourself to indulge in a special treat or dessert, but in moderation.

By following these tips, you can enjoy eating out without derailing your diet. Remember, it’s all about balance and making smart choices. With a little bit of planning and mindfulness, you can have a satisfying, healthy meal at a restaurant.

-Coach Andi


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