13 Tips For Staying Healthy While Eating Out

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is easy when you're cooking for yourself at home, but sometimes while we're working or traveling, we need to eat out. But with the strategies outlined in this article, you can learn how to enjoy yourself while eating out and still keep up a healthy diet.

Restaurants can be a challenge for those of us who are trying to eat healthy. The good news is that there are usually healthier options in every restaurant, even at fast-food places.


1. Before you go out to eat, plan ahead and think about what you're going to eat. If you've decided on the healthy choice before you've ordered, it will make the unhealthier choice easier to ignore.

2. Don't starve yourself before you go to a restaurant. Arriving hungry will only ensure that you're more likely to overindulge.

3. Portions matter. Restaurant portions are often enough to feed two to three people. Order smaller portions, or split your meal with someone else.

4. When you travel, and must rely on fast food for every meal, take healthy snacks to bide you over. Dried fruit and nuts are a good choice for light snacks. Remember, flying dehydrates you, so make sure to bring plenty of water..

5. Nutrition is ultimately better for you than cheap meals. The extra fat, sodium, calories, and sugars that come with a low price tag often aren't worth the dollar or two you're saving.

6. Steamed, baked, broiled, and grilled foods are your allies. Fried, deep-dried and breaded foods, as well as foods served with rich sauce or gravies, should be avoided.

7. Reduce your sodium intake not just by ordering foods low in sodium, but also by watching out for high sodium sauces like soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. Try to order the "light" versions of these sauces.

8. Order as many vegetables as you wish, either as a side dish or as a main course. Avoid mayonnaise and try to reduce the amount of salad dressing, butter, and oils you consume.

9. Try to increase you fibre intake. Most restaurants offer whole grain or whole wheat breads. Additionally, wraps, tortilla, or even pizza crust are good alternatives to white breads.

10. Maintaining a balanced diet and eating healthy foods should be enjoyable. If you find yourself over-indulging, just plan your diet for the next few days to include healthier choices.

11. Choose your drinks wisely. Many drinks offered at a restaurant contain a lot of sugar and even fat. You can seemingly intake a large amount or excess calories with just one drink. Instead choose to drink mineral or sparkling water with a slice of lemon or order some unsweetened ice tea.

12. If you know where you'll be dining, check the restaurant's website in advance to see if they have healthy foods, or if you can see which foods contain lower fat and sodium.

13. Don't be afraid to bring additions for a meal to a restaurant such as a homemade salad dressing. As long as you're not bringing a whole meal with you, the restaurant shouldn't mind.