Tips to Healthy Eating at a Restaurant


Have you ever been in a position where you start a new diet or a new exercise routine, and stay really motivated and focused throughout the week? Then, the weekend comes, and you have dinner plans at one of your favorite restaurants. What do you do? Do you miss out on a fun event because you do not want to ruin your diet? Do you go to the restaurant and think of all the foods you cannot have? Do you go and completely splurge from appetizer to dessert? We have all been there, but know that you can go to a restaurant, eat healthy, and still have a great time. Here are some tips to keep you healthy, motivated, and stay on track.

  • Do your research. Look up the restaurant and see what they have to offer. Most chain restaurants can be found on the internet or some restaurants have menus you can take with you. For local restaurants, they may have their menu on a social media platform, or you can always call ahead.
  • Make your decision ahead of time and stick to it. Try to order before everyone so you are not persuaded by your dinner friends.
  • Do not be afraid to special order your meals. If you want a grilled chicken salad, but all you see ip,s fried chicken salad on the menu, ask your waiter or waitress if you can have the chicken grilled instead. You will not know unless you ask.
  • Look for menu descriptions such as grilled, broiled, blackened, light wine sauce, broth, and/or low fat/fat-free dressings.
  • Ask for dipping sauces and dressings on the side. Do the ‘dip and stick’ method. Dip your fork into the dressing, then get a bite of salad.
  • If you are going to dinner late, consume a snack ahead of time like an apple or some crackers. This will help to curb your appetite, so you are not shoveling your food all at once.
  • Try to consume water with your meals. Okay, let’s be real. If you are going to have dinner with the girls or catch up with old friends, chances are we may consume alcoholic beverages. That is okay! Enjoy, and sip slow. Try to consume a glass of water with your alcoholic beverage.
  • Share meals with your friends or ask for a to-go box when you receive your dinner plate. Put half of your portion in the to-go box and enjoy the other half for dinner.

Go eat! Enjoy your food. Remember, there are no “bad” foods. Try to choose healthier options throughout the day, so you can enjoy your night. Stick to one splurge at dinner whether it is an alcoholic beverage, an appetizer, fried meal, or a dessert, and then make the remainder of the meal a healthier choice. For more healthful tips or nutrition programming email me at

10/30/2020 4:33:28 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture