Dining out at a restaurant does not have to mean abandoning your healthy eating habits. Avoid post-meal guilt by following simple guidelines.  Have your cake and eat it too with these healthy tips for dining out.


  • Mind Your Meal

Skip the bread basket or bowl of chips before your meal.  Mindless nibbling before your main entree can set you up to overeat without realizing it.  A piece of buttered bread has about 150 calories. By the time the main course is served you can easily have already consumed 200 calories.

  • Eat Your Calories, Don’t Drink Your Calories

Have water or sparkling water with your meal instead of a high calorie drink.  Drinking water with your meal will save you the extra calories.  It can also help you to eat less by making you feel fuller.

  • Modify Your Meal

Don’t be shy to ask your server for modifications to make your meal healthier.  Substitute fried items with baked, broiled, or grilled items. Choose vegetables as a side dish instead of rice, french fries, mashed potatoes, or a baked potato. Also, ask for sauces to be served on the side of your dishes.

  • Not All You Can Eat

Avoid buffets when possible.  Many people eat at buffets with the mindset of getting the most for their money.  This creates the perfect recipe for overeating.  Buffet dining may be a way to keep your pockets fat, but it can have the same effect on your waistline.

  • Know When to Stop

Stop eating once you begin to feel full.  Ask for your plate to be taken away and for your leftovers to be placed in a carryout container. This will prevent you from eating more food than your body needs. Order a cup of green tea to sip on if your dining companions are still eating.

  • Share the Sweets

Having a rich, decadent dessert is one of the best parts about dining out.  Avoid over-indulging by ordering one sweet treat and dividing it with your dinner companions.  It only takes a few bites to satisfy your sweet tooth

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