The Best Eating Out Tips

Eating out in a healthy way is possible if you follow a few tips, such as not going very hungry or ordering dishes to share. Learn more in this article!
The Best Eating Out Tips

Last update: 23 January, 2020

Do you want to control your weight or still maintain a healthy diet while eating out? Although it may seem impossible, the recommendations we’ll share in this article will show you how you can eat out healthily.

Eating out healthily

Eating out healthily may seem impossible. After all, restaurants normally offer calorie-packed unhealthy options. That’s why studies show that eating out is linked to excess weight and obesity.

A study by Cambridge showed that more than 90% of the main dishes sold in restaurants are calorie-packed and are rich in sodium and fat, particularly saturated fat. In addition, children’s menus have more fat and sugar than adult menus. Therefore, it isn’t advisable to order from the children’s menu, as these options tend to be less healthy than the rest of the menu.

Before eating out

It’s very important for you to stay in control of your decisions even before you get to the restaurant. Here are some tips you should consider:

  • Choose the restaurant beforehand and make a reservation. If you know where you’re going in advance, you’ll know the kind of food they serve. Also, we recommend making a reservation. This way, you’ll avoid waiting in case there’s a waiting list. After all, while you wait, you may order a drink you could have avoided if you already had a reserved table.
  • Look at the menu beforehand, if possible. Many restaurants post their menus on their websites. Check it out at home so you’ll know what to order before you get there.
  • Don’t go out very hungry. If you get to the restaurant very hungry, you’ll eat bread and any other appetizer that’s put in front of you, which you can avoid if you don’t get there very hungry. Therefore, we recommend eating a piece of fruit before leaving your home.
Some friends having dinner at a restaurant.

This article may also interest you: 6 Healthy Snacks You Can Bring to Work

During your meal at the restaurant

Once you apply these tips before going to a restaurant, it’ll be much easier to eat healthy away from home.

  • Watch what you can drink. The most recommended option is water. If you want to order other options, you can choose sparkling water or, if you want something more flavorful, ask for it with a lemon slice. You can also opt for natural juices, low-alcohol beer, or diet soda. Nevertheless, you should know that diet soda isn’t very good option.
  • Control the bread you eat. Normally, many restaurants serve bread baskets. If you don’t want to eat bread, tell the waiter directly not to bring it. And if you do want some, tell the waiter to bring a small piece per person.
  • Watch what you order. First, look at the vegetable dishes the restaurant serves. Remember that it’s a very good idea to eat vegetables as a first course or a significant part of your meal. Once you’ve chosen the vegetables, select the protein you want to complete your dish with. It can be meat, fish, eggs, or legumes. Avoid fried dishes or dishes with sauces.
  • Choose healthy side dishes. For example, opt for a baked potato or salad instead of French fries. Don’t eat bread if your plate already has flour or carbohydrates.
  • Ask for sauces on the side. Make sure to ask the waiter to ensure there are no dressings, sauces, or cheese on your foods. This way, you’ll be able to try them out without overdoing it.
  • Share your dishes. Looking at the dishes of the tables around you to see their size helps you to decide whether to order just for yourself or to share. If the dishes are large, order to share. This way, you’ll be able to control the amount you eat. If there’s leftover food, you don’t have to eat it all just to finish it. Instead, ask for it to go.
  • And dessert? If the restaurant serves fruit, ask for fruit. If not, natural juices, coffee, or teas can be good choices. However, if you want something sweet, you can share a dessert.
A pineapple yogurt dessert.

How to know if you’ve eaten too much

  • When you’re very thirsty hours after eating.
  • If you have heavy digestion and aren’t hungry for the rest of the day.
  • When you get sleepy after eating.

If this is the case, don’t be too upset with yourself. It happens to the best of us! However, do keep it in mind for the next time you eat out. This experience gives you a better understanding of your limits.

Applying these eating out tips can ensure that you eat healthily and enjoy yourself at the same time. Thus, it’s possible to eat healthily away from home!

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  • De Souza RJ., Mente A., Maroleanu A., Cozma AI., et al., Intake of saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids and risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: systematic review and meta analysis of observational studies. BMJ, 2015.
  • Kikuchi Y., Nozaki S., Makita M., Yokozuka S., et al., Effects of whole grain wheat bread on visceral fat obesity in japanese subjects: a randomized double blind study. Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2018. 73 (3): 161-165.