5 smart ways to eat healthy when dining out

5 smart ways to eat healthy when dining out

Dine out without the guilt.

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If you typically eat at home, vigilantly check nutrition labels, and follow a healthy diet, dining out may throw off your routine, especially when a restaurant doesn’t have specific nutrition information available.

Fortunately, here are five smart ways to dine out without feeling guilty:

  1. Start with a nutritious appetizer: Fill up while you wait for your meal with something light and nutritious like a salad or broth-based soup. This can help prevent you from overeating during the main course. If you can, go for an appetizer with a low glycemic index (GI)—like non-starchy vegetables—which can also help lower blood sugar.
  2. Go for healthier cooking methods: Choose foods that are grilled, baked, steamed or roasted, which tend to be lower in calories and unhealthy fats than their fried and breaded counterparts.
  3. Choose one or the other (but not both): Don’t let mindful eating keep you from indulging completely. If you decide to have dessert, simply skip out on ordering a high-calorie side or vice-versa.  
  4. Watch portion sizes: If a restaurant serves larger portion sizes than usual, consider having your server divide the dish between more than one plate for sharing. Or just take the rest to go for some delicious leftovers.
  5. Opt for water: Unless you’re there for the restaurant’s drinks specifically, opt for water and spend your calories on the main course instead. Drinking water before and during a meal may help you feel fuller and less likely to overeat.

As a bonus tip, wait at least 60 minutes before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking—especially if you’ve had something acidic (which can weaken enamel). However, it’s also perfectly fine to wait until bedtime to brush your teeth.

Remember, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing those fun dinners out with friends and family. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be enjoying healthy meals wherever you go!