Eating Out? Top 5 Strategies for Healthy Restaurant Options
Jan 13, 2019
One of the quickest ways to derail your diet is to eat out. It’s difficult to know how much oil, butter or other ingredients are used when preparing meal. Does that mean you can never eat out again? Hells no! But you do need to take some precautions and properly planning to ensure you keep your eating on track. Here are 5 simple tips to help:
- Look at menu before you get to restaurant.
How many times have you gone out to eat with friends and start chatting before being able to thoroughly vet the menu? Then you’re left scrambling to order when the waiter shows up. The best way to keep that from happening is to go online and see if the restaurant has their menu posted (most do). Quickly scan to ensure you have healthy options or begin to strategize how you can customize your order.
- Choose grilled, steamed, baked, or braised.
When selecting lean protein (which should be a good portion of your meal), opt for grilled, steamed, baked, or braised. These options typically don’t use a ton of oil, like deep frying or pan frying. For extra credit, ask for minimal butter and oil during the cooking process.
- Stay away from sauces, oil, and butter.
Since you don’t know how much is being used, ask for any special sauces or creams on the side. This way you can determine how much you use (if you use any at all). This enables you to gauge how much you put on.
- Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Stuck going to a restaurant like Five Guys where you have extremely limited options. Choose wisely by having a burger wrapped in lettuce with lots of veggies and no sauces. When in doubt, choose a lean protein and veggies. Nearly every restaurant has a salad with grilled chicken as an option. And when that isn’t an option, you will need to get creative and improvise.
- Pick healthy restaurants when possible.
If the restaurant choice is up to you, select an establishment where you know you can get some healthy options. For example, we have a local diner that has so many options, from egg white omelets to salads to grilled chicken dishes. Other fast food places that have diet-friendly menus include Chipotle, Panera, Chili’s, Starbucks and even McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have decent salad selections.