Sometimes it can seem impossible to eat healthy when dining out. With an abundance of unhealthy options including french fries, burgers, pizza, pasta, and cheese-loaded sandwiches, its no wonder so many people struggle, including myself, with this on a regular basis.
This is even an issue at so called "healthy" or "expensive" restaurants, where their unhealthy options are dressed-up with fancy titles, descriptions, and menu graphics. Have you ever seen "Organic Duck-Fat Fries" on a menu? Fancy; yes. Healthy; HELL NO.
After reading this it may seem impossible to enjoy a nice meal out while staying on track. Fortunately as far fetched as it may seem to eat healthy when dining out, it is possible and not as hard as you may think.
Below I've outlined 10 of my best tips I follow religiously when dinning out, well not on cheat day of course. Check them out below!
Top 10 Tips for Eating Healthy When Dining Out
- If possible always research the restaurant a head of time to see if they have healthy options, including if the food is locally sourced. If not, continue your search until you find one that fits your dietary needs.
- Ask your server how the food is cooked and what it's cooked in. For example, ask what type of oil your food is cooked in (olive oil and coconut oil are the best options), and ask if it's baked or fried.
- Ask for an oil and vinegar, or citrus and olive oil, based dressing when ordering a salad. Stay away from creamy dressings that are high in saturated fat like caesar and ranch.
- Ask for dressings and sauces (when applicable) on the side. This will allow you to control how much you eat.
- After you order, ask the server to box-up half of your meal and to bring it to the table after you've paid. This will prevent you from overeating.
- Put your fork down between bites to eat slower. This will help your food digest better, and will also help you recognize when you are full.
- When ordering drinks, including lattes and teas, ask the server if they contain added sugar. If so, ask for other options that do not like unsweetened teas, coffee, regular lattes, and water with lemon.
- If your meal is being served on a huge plate, ask for it to be served on a smaller plate so it takes up more space. It will seem like you're eating more than you are, which will tell your brain "I'm satisfied" instead of "I want more".
- Choose a meal that contains a healthy carb such as quinoa or sweet potatoes, a healthy fat such as olive oil or avocado, and a protein source such as meat, eggs, or beans. This combo will keep you satisfied and full until your next meal.
- If ordering a sandwich or a burger, ask if they have gluten-free options for bread or opt for it to be served over a bed of mixed greens. Typically breads at restaurants are processed which may make you crash within 30 minutes of finishing your meal. Gluten-free bread is typically unprocessed which is why I believe this is a better bread option.