Making Healthy Choices When Eating Out

Making Healthy Choices When Eating Out


Sometimes life happens and we don’t always have time to prepare breakfast in the morning, pack a nutritious lunch, have healthy snacks readily available, and cook a balanced meal for dinner. If you find yourself unexpectedly stopping at a restaurant for a quick meal, a celebration dinner or to take a break from cooking, go in with motivation to make healthy choices.

Try these meal modifications while eating out to stay within your daily calorie intake and still feel satisfied.

Appetizers

  • Choose an item that is not fried (e.g. hummus and pita bread).
  • Instead of taking the complimentary bread and butter (if offered), ask for a side salad instead
  • Opt out of the appetizer altogether if you know that your meal will be filling enough.

Main Dishes

  • Portion sizes are typically much larger at restaurants. Ask for your portion to be halved and packaged before it is brought to the table or ask for a take-out box when your food arrives.
  • Choose baked or grilled chicken or fish instead of fried options.
  • Ask for condiments on the side, especially when choosing burgers or sandwiches.

Side Items

  • Ask for a side salad, fruit or other vegetables as a side option instead of fries.
  • Choose an oil-based salad dressing (Balsamic vinaigrette, Italian, etc.) over a creamy dressing (Caesar, Ranch, Thousand Island, etc.).
  • Ask for dressing on the side with your salad to monitor how much is used, and request that calorie-dense toppings (bacon, croutons, extra cheese) be removed and/or swapped with extra of other vegetables.

Beverages

  • Choose water always! Water is free and will hydrate you better than any other beverage the restaurant offers.

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