Eating Healthy When Dining Out
You do not have to blow your healthy food plan when eating away from home.
Watch portion size.
Know the best “eat-out” foods.
Include foods you love when you can.
Before you go out make sure you think ahead.
Choose a restaurant with plenty of menu choices.
Use apps like HealthyOut to ﬁnd healthy restaurant options or just do a quick google search for healthy, local or organic restaurants around you. A good online resource is www.happycow.net
Go online to preview the menu, or call and ask what healthy choices they offer. Look for foods that are “lean,” “light” or “heart healthy.” Generally, gluten-free dishes tend to be on the healthier side as well.
If you have a gathering or celebration to go to, eat a snack before you go out. It helps, believe me. Do not wait until you are starving, you will end up overeating.
Know how to choose smart amounts of food you like and add in vegetables to take the edge of your hunger. A good strategy is to order a side of raw or steamed vegetables right away.
Try new foods to make eating out more fun and to add variety to your diet.
When you get there make sure to eat small portions.
Split a meal with someone else.
Ask for half a portion or order a child’s portion.
Eat part of your food and have the waiter box the other half right away to take home.
Order sauces and salad dressings on the side use just a little. Often people do not realize how much fat and calories are in dressings. Avoid creamy or sugary dressings and instead order oil,vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon.
Customize your order. Ask for a side salad or steamed vegetables instead of heavy breads, buns and pastas. Ask for extra vegetables and less meat.
Hydrate throughout the day and before your meal. Drink a full glass of water right before. I guarantee you will get full much quicker.
Chew your food and eat slowly. This helps you digest it better and the motion of chewing sends a signal to your stomach that you are getting full so you eat less.
Build your own tasty meal “to order".
Look for more of these on the menu:
Salads: Lots of dark leafy greens and lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and other fresh fruits and vegetables. Grilled salmon, tuna, salmon, hard-boiled eggs and nuts make great add-ins. Top with lemon juice and a little oil.
Protein: Grilled sautéed or baked organic lean meats such as chicken and turkey. Avoid anything that is crusted or in heavy sauce.
Light tuna, salmon or white ﬁsh
Broccoli, carrots, peppers, green beans, cauliﬂower, Brussel sprouts, asparagus or baked beans as side or main dishes.
Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, millet,
Baked, boiled or roasted.
Steamed rice or fresh fruit.
Olive-oil vinaigrette, broth, wine, squeezed lemon juice, mustard, salsa or other low-fat sauces.
Plain, sparkling or mineral water with a lemon slice or tea (hot or unsweetened). Stevia is a good alternative to sugar.
Avoid these foods:
Cheese, croutons, bacon bits, coleslaw, potato or pasta salads made with creamy dressing.
Ground beef, steak, ribs, bacon, sausages, hot dogs and deli meats.
Shark, swordﬁsh, king mackerel and tileﬁsh. These all have high levels of mercury.
Vegetables that are breaded cooked in butter or covered with sauce.
Reﬁned grains such as white rice or bread, corn bread, grits, ﬂour and corn tortillas, crackers, pretzels, noodles, spaghetti, corn ﬂakes and macaroni. They have a very glycemic index causing the blood sugar to spike.
French fries, potato chips, home fries, twice baked or potato salad.
Onion rings or mayonnaise-based salads.
Gravy, cheese, cream, butter and meat sauces.
Mayonnaise, tartar sauce, “secret” sauce, butter and sour cream.
Croissants, biscuits, garlic bread or doughnuts.
Sodas or sugary, ﬂavored coffee drinks.
Cake, pie, cookies, cheesecake, ice cream. Eat just a little and split with friends.