Your Guide to Healthy Eating Out -
How to Avoid the Pitfalls

healthy eating out

Dining out used to be something we did infrequently, now it is a regular occurrence.     But unfortunately it has not made us healthier.   In fact many experts blame our ever expanding waistlines on our love of fast food.  Not only have portion sizes increased but much of the food is high in fat, with less nutritional value. 

Eating out can be a dieter’s nightmare in this age of supersizing whether you are dining in a restaurant or having take-away.   We are constantly bombarded with offers to either upsize or add chips or coke to our meal.   Soft drinks have become jumbo sized.   Much of the food in the take-away industry is so highly processed there is little nutrition left.

Dining out in a restaurant can also be fraught.  Did you know that the size of the average restaurant meal has doubled in the past 25 years?   Plate sizes have increased, so we feel we are being short-changed if those plates aren’t filled with food.    Plus the aim of a restaurant chef is to make their food tasty, so they tend to use more oils, fat and sugars in their food.

So how do you manage to keep it healthy when eating out?   There are ways to still go out and enjoy a meal with friends and family without jeopardizing your weight loss program or having to put your social life on hold.

Tips for Healthy Eating Out at Restaurants

  1. If you are dining at a restaurant that is self-serve, fill half your plate with vegetables, one-quarter with grains or complex carbohydrates and one-quarter with meat.

  2. Avoid creamy, fried, breaded or sautéed dishes. Opt instead for grilled, baked, steamed or poached food.

  3. Choose vegetables that are steamed, baked or grilled rather than anything creamy, cheesy or crumbed.

  4. Avoid creamy pasta dishes such as alfredo, and choose tomato-based ones instead.

  5. If you would like a dish see if you can have the healthier version. Ask for the food to be grilled rather than fried and the veggies to be steamed.

  6. Hold the garlic bread and dips.

  7. Always ask for a jug of water for the table and quench your thirst before your eat.

  8. Go halves with a friend. Share an entree and a main.

  9. Or rather than order a main, choose a low-fat entree and side salad.

  10. For dessert, order one serving for all to share.

  11. Choose a salad with a low-fat dressing, or ask for the dressing to be served on the side.

  12. Order your alcohol by the glass rather than the bottle.

  13. Select fruit as a dessert and if you get the cheese platter, have small portions.

  14. Try to eat slowly savoring every bite.

Takeaway Tactics

  • Most fast-food outlets now offer healthier, more nutritious menu options, such as low-fat wraps.

  • When ordering pizzas, choose the thin-crust option.

  • Always choose the option with the least fat.

  • Leave out the cheese and bacon and add a salad to your burger instead.

  • Hold the fries.

  • Refuse the offer to supersize.

  • Drink iced water rather than sugary drinks.

Above all avoid anything with the words jumbo, super-sized or triple-decker.

For more information visit:

» Healthy Eating Out

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