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Dining Out Tips

wellness Mar 17, 2019

Too often people look at dining out and vacation eating as a free-for-all. But I’m here to tell you it is not adjacent to the life you live, it is part of it. If you are truly committed to living a healthier lifestyle, clean, lean, balanced food choices must extend outside of the home, too.

People have a hard enough time eating well at home without picking all night, mindless snacking in front of the television or cooking what is quickest in their minds, even if making a vegetable and protein only takes a few more minutes.

As if eating at home isn’t challenging enough, dining out can be nearly impossible. The first line of defense against restaurant food is to simply not go. However, I’m a realist so I’ve decided to give you some tips on dining out.

To choose or not to choose

  • Say “no” to the basket of bread and chips while you await your meal.
  • If you are starving when you arrive order a quick side salad to take the edge off and to help control overeating when the meal arrives.
  • Enjoy a salad and an appetizer in place of an entree.
  • Have sauces and dressing served on the side.
  • Choose fish, chicken breast or lean meats that are baked, broiled, roasted or grilled. Not fried is always best.
  • Choose light salad dressings or a vinaigrette.
  • Order a steamed vegetable side in lieu of fries, rice or potatoes.
  • Skip the casseroles or food items with many unidentified ingredients.
  • Say “no” to cheese.
  • Never order a pasta dish. If you must, order it as a side item.
  • Have tomato or vegetable toppings on pasta.
  • Select broth-based soups.
  • Drink water. The average alcoholic beverage has between 150 & 250 calories. Almost the calorie allotment for your meal.
  • Ask your server for more information. Most food items have more than they appear.

Once it arrives

  • Package half of your meal once it is served.
  • Eat vegetables and proteins before starches.
  • Avoid mindless hand-to-mouth eating.
  • Take small bites, chew well and slowly.
  • Keep portions small: 2 to 4 oz. of lean protein and a serving spoon of complex carbohydrates like beans, or a similar volume of starch is enough.
  • Enjoy as many simply prepared vegetables as you like.
  • If you must order dessert, order fresh fruit or fruit sorbet to share.

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