A Call To Order: How to Always Get a Healthy Meal in ANY Restaurant

On May 17, 2011

One of the biggest issues that people face when they are trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle
is the simple fact that they have a life.  Often that life includes parties, going out to eat, having a couple of drinks.  Ya know, all pretty standard.

My clients always want to know how to navigate the treacherous waters of the restaurant menu so I’ve compiled some of my top tips on the matter.

Often times people use going out to eat as an excuse to completely indulge, which is fine from time to time. But if you find yourself going out more than 2x a week you might want to take note of these simple guidelines so you can have your cake and eat it too (literally and figuratively)

  • Order a variety of sides.  This often overlooked section of the menu is a great place to craft a super healthy meal.  There are always veggie dishes, grains, starches, and lean proteins on the sides.  I love to order 2-3 and build my own entrée.
  • Dont be afraid to ask questions.  Ask the waiter what they recommend.  Tell them you want something light.  Explain your dietary restrictions.  They are there to help  (just make sure to give a nice tip for their service) but in order to get said help, just be humble and sweet rather than pushy and demanding.
  • Order an appetizer as a main course.  This will help when you find yourself in ginormous-portion-land.  Start with a soup or salad then get a more filling appetizer for the main event.  This will still be PLENTY of food.
  • Go vegetarian/vegan for the night.  There are always healthy options on the menu, the unhealthy ones tend to be the massive meat portions or dishes covered in cheese.  If you can avoid these 2 things your meal is going to be much lighter,  (cheaper!) and healthier.
  • Read the menu before you go out and devise a game plan.  This way you will know what you’re in for and you will be less likely to indulge if you’ve decided what to eat before hand.
  • Split a dish that feels like an indulgence.  If there is something that you absolutely MUST have just ask a friend if they will split it with you.  This way you can have a treat without feeling like you’ve gone completely buckwild.

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