How to eat healthy while eating out

The first step to healthy eating is focusing on what you eat at home. It’s easy enough, or at least manageable, to control what food is kept in your home and what food is cooked, but it’s when you leave your realm of control that eating healthy takes on a whole new challenge. If you go out to dinner, wherever you may choose to go, there is a high chance that the majority of the restaurant’s options will not be healthy. Here are some of our top tips for keeping up all that hard work when you decide to go out and treat yourself!

Pay attention to how your food is cooked. Is the meat fried or grilled? Is it breaded or glazed? It’s a little extra work, but simply paying attention to how specific menu items are prepared can help you make the best decision. Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter about what your food is cooked in or even ask for a healthy alternative. 

Get creative with sides. Plenty of entrees at a vast majority of restaurants offer a couple sides as part of your meal. While it may be hard to stray from the French fries or mac and cheese, salad is always a safe bet and can help curb your hunger until your main entree arrives! If there are preselected sides (like hash browns and toast with an omelette), ask your waiter if it’s possible to swap a side out for extra meat or an alternative side that suits your diet. 

Mind your portions. When you’re eating at home, you have full control of how much food you cook, the plates you use, and how much food you actually put on your plate; it’s a whole other ball game when you’re eating out. Most restaurants serve portions that are well beyond what’s necessary to satisfy your hunger. Remember to eat slowly and stop when you’re full. Just because it’s in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to eat it—ask for a to-go box. 

While it may be tempting to break your diet and have a cheat meal when you’re eating out, enjoying a healthy meal outside of your home will give you a great feeling of accomplishment. Aside from being proud of some seriously impressive willpower, you won’t throw your body off track. Fully committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle isn’t easy, but it is rewarding.