Just because you’re making healthier dietary choices doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice going out to eat at your favorite restaurants all the time. Although cooking healthy meals at home is important for controlling portion sizes, salt and sugar content, and overall nutrition, you can still enjoy social dining out experiences with a little planning ahead.
How to eat out when you’re eating healthy is easier than you might think. There are plenty of healthy things to order out that are not only filling and nutritious, but just as enjoyable as an unhealthier alternative. By following these guidelines eating out healthy will be easier than ever!
Healthy Eating Out | 10 Tips for Healthy Restaurant Choices
Choose your restaurant carefully.
The first step for success in healthy dining out is to choose a restaurant that has healthy options available. This might mean doing a little extra research like going online to check out photos or menus. It will be much easier to make healthy choices at a restaurant that already supplies nutritious meal options, rather than trying to order a salad somewhere that mostly serves burgers and fried foods.
Hearing what your friends order might tempt you to change your pre-planned healthy decision. Request to order first, and stick to your choices.
Be okay with asking questions.
Does the sauce contain heavy cream? Can I have my dressing on the side? Can I substitute seasonal vegetables for fries? You may think you sound annoying, but it’s more important that you get exactly what you are expecting. Be kind and respectful with your questions, and the server will happily oblige.
Make smart substitutions.
Swap out the bun to your burger and ask for extra lettuce leaves instead. Rather than french fries, ask for a side salad or steamed veggies. If your dish comes with rice or noodles, ask to omit those items and request extra vegetables or avocado instead. You’ll cut way back on calories from starches, and instead of leaving the table feeling uncomfortably full you’ll feel pleasantly satisfied.
Suggest a split.
Portion sizes are often much larger than they need to be at restaurants. If you have a friend that is willing to split a dish with you, you’ll not only end up with the perfect portion size for your meal, but also cut your bill in half!
Make a “No Free Snacks” rule.
Even if others at the table want to indulge in free bread sticks or complementary chips & salsa, resist the urge to snack and sip on soda water with True Lemon Strawberry Fruit Infusions instead. Free snacks just means “free added calories” and wouldn’t you rather save room for the delicious main dish you ordered?
Say NO to cheese.
We know this is a hard one. However, if you want to significantly reduce your calorie intake when eating out healthy, asking for no cheese on your burger, sandwich, or salad will help a lot. You’ll cut 100 calories or more out of your meal without even thinking about it!
Skip sugary (and alcoholic) beverages.
Alcohol not only adds a lot of calories to your meal, but it also lowers your inhibitions for overeating, and tacks on a lot of added cost to your bill. Sugary sodas are just as bad! Instead order sparkling water or unsweetened iced tea and mix in a packet of True Lemon.
Make sure what you ordered is what you ordered.
Did your dressing come on the side as you requested? Did they remember to not add cheese? Did everything you ordered come out the way you wanted it? If not, don’t just settle for what you got. Talk to your server about having the kitchen remake it as you requested. What is important is that your experience is positive (and healthy), and your server should want you to leave happy.
If you do dessert, go simple.
Although avoiding ordering dessert entirely is a great way to control your sugar intake, there are definitely smart choices you can make to enjoy it healthfully. Choose the simplest dessert (such as fresh fruit or sorbet) rather than decadent cakes or pastries to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Remember that dining out should be an enjoyable experience, therefore dining out healthy should be just as fun. Making a few simple changes like starting with healthy restaurant choices, opting for smart substitutions, and being mindful of your food choices will go a long way and keep your diet on track!
True Citrus products are proven to encourage you to drink more water, so try any of our delicious flavors in your glass or water bottle to stay hydrated all year long.
About True Citrus:
We have a Live True Promise that applies to everything we do: use the best, truest ingredients in our products, and bring our customers the highest quality in citrus flavors, drink mixes, and salt-free seasoning blends. We are also devoted to providing the support and guidance our customers need to be as healthy and happy as possible throughout every facet of their lives.
How True Citrus Goes Above and Beyond:
We have created our line of better-for-you products with your health in mind, and without compromising on taste. You’ll only find simple and clean ingredients in True Citrus products! You will never find: chemicals, sodium, gluten, GMO’s, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives in our products. You will find: bright natural flavors from real citrus oils, a delightful array of flavors, and products that are either unsweetened, lightly sweetened with all-natural Stevia (sugar-free), salt-free, low calorie, or 0-calorie.