When I first started on my Wellness journey, the thought of dining out was kind of daunting. I didn’t want to always be THAT PERSON that orders a salad at every restaurant, but I also didn’t want to over indulge, and throw away all the progress I had been making.
Not to mention, those days at the office when I forgot my lunch, or when someone was bringing in snacks or lunch for the team. I sometimes felt I was out of options.
It took some time, and patience, but I found the best way to eat healthy dining out, so below, find my tips for How To Eat Healthy When Dining Out, and my Bonus! What to get when visiting a fast food joint.
How To Eat Healthy While Dining Out
- Read the menu before hand & Order First
This is a big one. Most, if not all, restaurants post their menu online – check it out before going, and make your selection before getting to the restaurant! Most will have a healthy option as well, be sure to check those out.
Also, ordering first will remove any tempation to order what someone else is having.
- Eat a healthy snack before your meal & drink plenty of water
Eat a small, high protein snack before your dinner plans; like yogurt. This is extreamly helpful if you are trying to avoid mindless snacking (chips & salsa, anyone?!) or ordering an appatizer. If you aren’t HANGRY when you get to the restaurant, you are less likely to overeat.
Drinking water before hand, and while at the restuarnt, helps with not only your bill (water is FREE) but decreases sugar intake, calories, and helps you feel full.
- Avoid fried foods & ask to make a healthy swap
Be sure to understand how the food you are ordering is prepared. Go for baked, steamed, grilled or poached prep, over fried. Frying tends to add calories. Avoid the words: pan fried, crispy, crunchy & fried.
If you do go for an item that has a high fat or caloric side, ask for a swap. Get steamed veggies or a salad instead of fries. Be sure to ask for dressing on the side!
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- Share your meal with someone or split off your portion
After measuring my food and being mindful about my portions, it became easy to see how much I could overeat. Try splitting an entree, or ask for an extra plate and remove half of what you’re given. This helps you with portion control.
- Slow down & be mindful of what you are eating
Personally, I’m a fast eater. So slow down and savor your food. Chew slowly, and take the time to savor the smell, texture, and taste of your food.
Setting down your utentils after each bite is a good way to help slow down, and also gives satiety signals some time to set in.
- Order smaller alcoholic drinks & desserts
The number of calories in some drinks will blow your mind! Try ordering smaller measures, or stick to lower calorie spirits such as vodka, gin or whiskey. Mix with selter water, or a diet soda instead of juices and mixers.
As for dessert, well. I’d say skip it entirely but YOLO! Go for something with less calroies, smaller portions, or order a bowl of fruit instead!
What to Order at a Fast Food Joint
Now, for my favorite! What to order when Dining out at a Fast Food joint! Because sometimes, it just can’t be avoided!
I am only sharing the foods I KNOW to order. If there isn’t a restaurant you see here, let me know and I can do some research!
- Hamburger with side salad 300 calories.
- Veggie Burger – 390 calories
- Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad – 350 Calories
- Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich- 380 Calories
Chick fil A
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich – 330 Calories
- 12 – ct Grilled Nuggets + Fruit Cup – 220 TOTAL Calories
- Grilled Cool Wrap (no dressing) – 350 Calories
- Moe’s Bowl: Chicken, no beans, no cheese, no sour cream, loaded with veggies and pico + guac – is 421 Calories.
- Moe’s Bowl: Chicken W/beans, no cheese, no rice, no sour cream, loaded with veggies, pico + guac – 250 Calories
- Two tacos: Corn tortilla, steak, beans, fajita veggies, salsa, lettuce – 353 Calories (no beans, 266 calories)
- Burrito Bowl: Chicken, beans, fajita veggies, salsa, roasted Chili corn salsa, lettuce – 440 Calories (no beans, 310 Calories)
- Large Chili – 250 Calories
- This menu is ENDLESS. Make sure there is no cheese, light sauces and only 6″.
- Power Bowl with No cheese, no sour cream, no “Signature Sauce” – 390 Calories
- Grilled Caeser Salad, no croutons – 330 Calories
- The Garden Codd Zalad, no bacon and no toast – 345 Calories
- Grilled Chicken Sandwich, no honey mustard – 420 Calories
- No cheese! I know, the horror.
- Avoid all fried foods. Chicken, fries, etc.
- Do not make it meal
- Order water! No soda, no (sweet) tea, no problem
- What are your struggles while dining out?
- What fast food place wasn’t listed that you’d like to see calories for?
Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.