After weeks of eating healthy at home do you throw those good habits away when eating out?  If so, you’re not alone.  It’s much easier to avoid temptation when it’s not in the home.

But it’s not realistic or fun to eat every single meal at home.  Eating out socially is something we enjoy doing and a healthy lifestyle can include restaurant meals too!

Instead of fighting temptation or trying to eat a small portion change your order to healthier options.  Use these 10 tips to eat healthier in a restaurant.


  1. More Vegetables. Restaurants generally don’t have a problem substituting additional vegetables for the potato or rice side dishes. Ask for mixed veggies instead of chips always!
  2. Lighter Cooking Methods.  Order your foods steamed, boiled or grilled instead of creamed, pan-fried or scalloped. Many chefs will prepare your food with less or no added fat when asked.
  3. Say no to the bread basket. I don’t know about you but the temptation to eat the bread is too great. Instead ask the server to not bring it and skip the stress.
  4. Drink Water.  Order water and start sipping right away.  Maybe that hunger is really thirst?  Even if it isn’t, you’ll be drinking no calories as opposed to sugary drinks and alcohol which can be a lot of empty calories.
  5. Split your Food. Many restaurants offer portion sizes that are too big for most of us. Make a habit of splitting your meal and getting a takeaway.
  6. Eat Before Going Out.  Have a piece of fruit, low-fat cheese or vegetables an hour or so before you leave for the restaurant. This will ensure you aren’t “starving” hungry when you place your order.
  7. Order On the Side.  Order all dressings, sauces and gravies on the side or go without.  You can order your food without these additions or if you want a taste ask for them on the side.
  8. Substitute. This doesn’t mean substituting lobster for steak but rather healthier sides or condiments for not so good options.  Use salsa instead of butter on that baked potato or lemon on your fish instead of tartar sauce.
  9. Skip the Main Meal. Make a meal out of a healthy starter and a salad.  You’ll eat lighter and for less money.
  10. Enjoy the Conversation. Eating slowly will keep you from getting full before your stomach sends the signal. Enjoy your company and chat!