Seven Healthy Choices to Make When Dining Out

Flavors of Northern Italy

If you're like us, you love dining out! There are many talented and creative chefs in our community, and LOTS of amazing foods to try. Luckily, dining out doesn't have to mean sabotaging a healthy lifestyle.

Here are seven healthy choices you can make when dining out to ensure that you enjoy your meal and give your body the nutrients it needs!

  1. Take time to review the menu ahead of time and find balanced options. Restaurants often have nutrition information available online, as well!
  2. Don’t go into the meal starving, because being hungry can make you more likely to overeat. Drink a glass of water or have a light snack (like some carrots, celery, or a piece of fruit) before your meal.
  3. Try to include foods from each food group. Prioritize vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins like chicken and fish. The more natural colors and fresher the food on your plate, the better!
  4. Sometimes, restaurant portions are big enough for two or three meals. Enjoy half of your meal and package the rest up for tomorrow; now you have two meals for the price of one!
  5. Go for sides like a baked potato, sweet potato, side salad, or seasonal veggies.
  6. Eat slowly! It can take up to 20 minutes for your stomach and brain to communicate when you’ve had enough to eat.
  7. Skip sweetened drinks like soda and sweet tea. Try sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime, instead, and drink plenty throughout your meal. This will help you eat more slowly, so you're less likely to overeat.