Tips for Dining Out


Many people ask me for tips about staying healthy while eating out. These tips can be great for your waistline and your wallet. You don’t have to suffer when dining out!


General Tips

  • Try to frequent restaurants that post calorie and nutrient information
  • Don’t be shy, ask the waiter for the ingredients in each dish
  • Avoid dishes with excessive butter used in preparation
  • Ask if you can make all of your dishes low in salt
  • Ask for all extra sauces and salad dressings on the side
  • Ordering a side salad before your meal helps you get more vegetables and fills you up so you don’t eat as much of your entrée
  • Avoid breaded and fried items
  • Split meals with your dining partner
  • Instead of entrees, order a few healthy appetizers and salads and share
  • Ask for substitutions like baked items instead of fried items
  • Ask to have your entrée split before serving and put the other half in a to-go box before your start eating
  • Avoid buffets
  • Wait at least ten minutes before looking at the dessert menu and give your body time to tell you if it is full or not
  • Stick to low calorie drinks and alcoholic beverages and limit to one to two drinks maximum

Breakfast Tips

  • Order poached or hard-boiled eggs instead of quiches, cheese-filled omelets
  • Skip the cheese or order lower-fat cheeses like feta and Parmesan
  • Whole grain toasted English muffin, bread or bagel with low-fat cream cheese or jam
  • Canadian bacon or chicken instead of regular bacon, ham or sausage
  • Skip oversized muffins, pancakes, waffles, Danishes, and croissants
  • Order fruit or cottage cheese instead of hash browns or toast
  • Order whole grain pancakes instead of regular pancakes, skip the butter, and have them topped with fresh fruit
  • Use sugar-free syrup instead of regular syrup
  • Order a small juice instead of a large or split a large juice with a friend

Lunch and Dinner Tips

  • Use ketchup, mustard, hot sauce or low sugar BBQ sauce Instead of mayonnaise
  • Order pizza with lots of vegetables and choose Canadian bacon or chicken instead of sausage or pepperoni
  • Hold the cheese on your sandwiches
  • Order fish, poultry, and meat and choose baked, broiled, or poached items instead of fried items
  • Deli sandwiches with roasted vegetables, chicken, turkey, roast beef or low sodium ham
  • Order sugar-free iced tea instead of soda
  • Chicken or low-fat carnitas soft tacos; skip sour cream and go easy on the guacamole
  • Order a small child’s size hamburger instead of a regular hamburger or ask the waiter to split the burger before served and put the other half in a to-go box
  • Avoid cream soups and stick to broth-based soups
  • Avoid Alfredo sauce and go with pasta with marinara sauce or tomato basil sauce
  • Grilled veggie burgers instead of meat
  • Beans on the side instead of mashed potatoes or French fries

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