eating healthy at restaurants sticking to a nutrition plan

10 Tips for Dining Out

10:04 AMJaime Messina

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Eating out when trying to stick to a health and fitness plan can be tough to say the least. These 10 tips will help you make better choices when you find yourself in that situation. 


Tip #1 Do Your Research 
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Just because you are eating out does not mean that you need to make unhealthy choices. Before heading out to your restaurant of choice google their menu and see what healthy options are on there. Check out their nutritional information and decide what you want to have before you even leave the house. Once you arrive you will already be prepared with what to order. 


Tip #2 Pay Attention to Descriptions

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Notice how the item is prepared in the description on the menu. Stay away from anything that says: deep fried, pan fried, basted, batter-dripped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, or in a cream sauce. Stay with items that are steamed, broiled, baked, or sauteed. 

Tip #3 Drink Water 

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Soda, alcohol, and juice are loaded with sugar and calories. What you drink alone can ruin your nutrition plan on its own. If you are trying to watch your nutrition stick with the water. 

Tip #4 Watch Your Portions 

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It's all about huge portions here in the U.S. Most meals at restaurants are way more than one serving which can cause an issue when you are trying to stick to a plan. Get familiar with what proper portion sizes are for the different food groups. That way you know how many servings you are actually eating when you are out. 

Tip #5 Easy on the Salt

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One of the main reasons I like to cook my own meals is because I know exactly how much and of what is going into it. When you are out to eat it is pretty much a given that they are going to put too much salt into your meal. One way to avoid this is to ask the server to go light on the salt. Once the meal comes avoid that salt shaker! 

Tip #6 Avoid the Alcoholic Bevies 

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I am just like you, I love a good drink every now and then but the reality is that if you are working toward a goal you should probably skip the booze. Beer, wine, and margaritas are FILLED with sugar and empty calories. Eat your calories, no need to drink them. IN addition to all that I know that I find myself not caring about what I eat after a couple drinks which makes the situation worse. So if you are trying to stick to your plan it's a good idea to skip the drinks. 


Tip #7 Skip the Freebies

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I am the biggest culprit of this...I LOVE my bread! The problem is that I load up on bread before my meal even arrives which then forces me to eat my meal even though I am not hungry. Just because the bread basket, rolls, tortilla chips or whatever they put on the table is free does not mean that it is free of calories. I find that the best way to avoid loading up before I even get my meal is to not even have it on the table. Out of site, out of mind. 

Tip #8 Don't be Afraid to Customize

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Don't be afraid to customize your meal! Ask your server to prepare you meal a certain way. Substitute unhealthy items for healthier items. I almost always customize my meal in some way when I am out to eat. 

Tip #9 Have it Naked

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Always ask for the sauce on the side that way you have control of how much you use. Instead of pouring the sauce on your food dip your fork into the sauce. 

Tip #10 Skip the Dessert

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I LOVE anything chocolate...especially those chocolate lava cakes...so good! Although I love it, skipping dessert can save you 500-1000 calories or even more. If I really feel like I need a taste I will get a dessert to split with several people at the table. 


Those are my top 10 tips for eating out when trying to stick to a plan. If you would like some help with your choices head over to www.customeatsapp.com and get some assistance from your iphone! Remember that you can enjoy yourself and still have a healthy balance. 

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