Dining Out Healthy

Just because you’re eating out shouldn’t mean you have to compromise the healthy eating habits you’ve learned! You’ll be surprised how easy it can be with a little conscious effort and some help from the restaurant industry. The following are a few guidelines that if followed, should eliminate any self-inflicted starvation guilt usually caused the morning after an evening on the town.



  1. Shop around for restaurants that offer broiled foods and salad bars. You’ll probably find such a large number that the decision of where to eat will be more difficult to make than what to order!
  2. Remember, employees are paid to keep you satisfied; don’t be afraid to request foods be broiled, baked, or boiled, and served without added fats like butter. For example, ask that poultry skin be removed, or try your baked potato with a little steak sauce rather than sour cream or butter.
  3. Avoid chowders, cream soups and saturated fats; instead choose broth-based soups like vegetable and chicken noodle. Not only are they more nutritious, they also leave more room for your entree!
  4. Beware of the fat hidden in salads-it’s there! Request chef salads without the ham and bacon, and instead more chicken or turkey. Also, look for part-skim mozzarellas or parmesan cheese rather than hard cheese. Also, ask for low-cal salad dressings-the fats might be missing, but not the taste!
  5. Order vegetables without sauces or butter; your taste buds may be surprised to find out what broccoli really tastes like!
  6. You don’t need to eat those dinner rolls dry just to avoid butter; ask for some jam or jelly, or better yet-try soaking up the juices from that nutritious entree! And if you look, you might even find a multi-grain selection in that basket!
  7. And for the finale? Try some fruit cup, melon, berries, or even sherbert for dessert!
  8. And, finally-the "Golden Rule"-you don’t have to eat everything on your plate! Who do you think invented the Doggie Bag; it wasn’t Spot! Why not make the moment last with tomorrow’s lunch?

Try these tips, and you might even find healthy dining more enjoyable and satisfying than old habits-no guilt, no "I can’t believe I ate the whole thing", and no dishes!

If all else fails, and you do succumb to the temptations of high calorie foods, keep in mind that it takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound of tissue; it shouldn’t take that much self-control to stay within that boundary!



These resources are for the purpose of personal trainer growth and development through Continuing Education which advances the knowledge of fitness professionals. This article is written for NFPT Certified Personal Trainers to receive Continuing Education Credit (CEC). Please contact NFPT at 800.729.6378 or [email protected] with questions or for more information.