Five Tips for Healthier Eating at Restaurants

by James Kerrison on April 12, 2009

Eating out can be a large part of people’s lives. Today’s lifestyle of entertaining clients, social gatherings and traveling means that you will have some huge barriers to overcome to maintain your healthy, lean body lifestyle when eating out.

To make life easier for you I have put together a list of some easy-to-implement tips to keep your diet on track even when you aren’t in charge of the food preparation.

1. Keep the liquid calories to zero. This means no soda (soft drinks), juices or alcohol. For maximum benefit stick to water and green tea.
2. Minimise starchy carbs. Go for salads instead of potatoes, rice or potatoes.
3. Avoid the fry up! Anything deep fried is going to be full of unhealthy fats and calories that will take forever to burn off back in the gym.
4. Say no to desert. Whist there are some balanced, nutritious deserts available, 99% of the time you will have to make them yourself. At the restaurant  they will be full of sugar and saturated fats which won’t help your waistline.
5. Be smart with portion control. Eating out doesn’t always have to be about getting the best value for money! Getting the all you can eat buffet will cost you more time and effort in the long run. Be sensible and don’t be afraid to leave some food on the plate.

So putting this all into practice means that you will be having a moderate sized (lean protein/meat based) main accompanied by a glass or two of water. Always try to get the inevitable side of fries changed over for a serve of salad or vegetables. You want to skip the free bread, garlic bread or herb bread whilst  you are waiting for your meal. This is a surefire way to add processed calories to your diet and inches to your waistline.

If we have a look at the improvements you have made with meal selection, you will see how much of a positive impact it will have on your body.

Option A – The regular menu

  • Garlic Bread
  • Burger or pasta dish
  • Chips / Fries
  • Soft Drink (soda), beer or other sugary / alcoholic drink.

If you care about your health and your body, a much smarter alternative would be:

  • Lean meat or chicken dish
  • Salad or vegetables, or both
  • Water and green tea.

These small changes will result in a saving of between 400 and 800 calories every time you eat out. Even more if you tend to have more drinks or upsize all the options. You will also be eliminating almost all of the bad fats and processed carbs along the way.

It doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t have to go without. Just a few small changes applied frequently will make a massive difference in the long run.

What tips or strategies do you use? Share with us by leaving a comment below.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }