Healthy Dining Out
Healthy Dining Out
By Brenda Jaeck, Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor
In an age where the number of meals being eaten outside the home is ever
increasing it seems important to be able to so mindfully. Eating mindfully is more
than half the battle in creating or maintaining a healthy eating plan. Some helpful
tips to eating out healthily include venue selection, ordering, portion control and
not being afraid to ask for what you want.
Venue When choosing a restaurant it is important to keep all the participants in
mind. You want to make sure that all dietary and personal requests can be
honored. Also be aware of both healthy and unhealthy choices. You want to make
sure that there will be healthful menu choices as well as limited temptations to
sabotage your efforts.
Bread Generally, the first thing that happens after you sit down is the dreaded
bread basket arrives. There is generally enough bread to feed at least 2 – 3 times
the number of guests at the table. To combat this you can either ask the
waitperson to NOT leave the bread at your table, or after each guest has one
piece ask to have the basket removed. This way no one feels deprived of having
bread, yet temptation is limited.
The next step is ordering drinks. Be mindful of how many calories are in
before-dinner drinks – switching to a sparkling mineral water or even a wine
spritzer will save calories that can better sued for food. Use your alcohol calories
Specials When the waiter brings the menus always ask if there are any specials.
Often we are diligent when reviewing the menu and then it all “goes out the
window” when the waiter comes to take the orders and says “can I tell you about
our specials today.” Everything always sounds so good; we often forget to ask
Be Sally from When Harry Met Sally – she always asked for the sauce on the
side. Don’t be afraid to make special requests; including alternative ways of
cooking or substituting extra vegetables for another calorie dense option. After all
– you are paying for the meal; you may as well have it the way that you want it.
Portion Control To help with portion control you can ask the waitperson to put
half of your dinner in a “to go box” before he brings it to the table. If this is not
possible you can cut the entrée in half and move it to one side of your plate – then
only eat one half. Most restaurant portions are enough for two meals.
Dessert When is comes to dessert – split one with your dining companion. This
way you are not deprived but are still saving calories.
Dining out used to be reserved for special occasions – since it is now an almost
everyday occurrence – more diligence is needed.
Brenda Jaeck is a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Counselor, Lecturer and
Workshop Facilitator. She can be contacted at 917 213 9305 or
email@example.com. For more information visit her website at