HealthNutritionEight Healthy Tips for Eating Out - Charlotte Nutrition


  1. Before you dig in, ask to have half of your entrée boxed to take home. Restaurants often provide two or three times the amount of food in a normal portion. Boxing half of your meal immediately will prevent you from consuming way too much, and it means leftovers for tomorrow!
  2. Know how to find healthier options on the menu. Look for descriptions such as grilled, broiled, baked, steamed, roasted, or braised.  To cut back on sodium, cholesterol, and calories, steer clear of descriptions such as fried, creamed, breaded, crispy, or pan-fried.  
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions. Substituting broccoli or steamed vegetables for fries can instantly improve the nutrition of a meal. Replace mashed potatoes, which are often filled with butter and cream, with a baked sweet potato.  Ask for a whole grain bun instead of a white bun. These are all small changes that can improve the quality of your meal significantly.
  4. Start wisely. If you’re starving and must have something shortly after arriving at the restaurant, order an appetizer that contains vegetables. While you’re at it, tell the server not to bring the bread. Ordering a small, healthy appetizer will help prevent overeating when the entrees arrive, will provide you with valuable nutrients prior to becoming full, and will prevent you from filling up on the bread basket.
  5. Everything in moderation. Feeling the urge to order dessert? Determine the most appetizing dessert with your dinner companions and split it. A little bit of dessert is fine on occasion as long as you’re not overdoing it.
  6. Consider an appetizer for your entrée. Appetizers are typically more appropriate portions than entrees. Order an appetizer for your entrée and supplement with a side of vegetables. This is a great way to watch your intake of salt, cholesterol, fat, etc.
  7. Avoid buffets. If you tend to overeat, steer clear of buffets as best you can. If you must go to a buffet, survey the entire line prior to picking up a plate. Watch your portion sizes by limiting yourself to one plate. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with protein, and one quarter with a whole grain.
  8. Drink water. Sugary drinks and alcohol are full of empty calories. Drinking water can cut way down on calories. Your wallet will thank you, too!


  • Mary

    September 17, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Izzy! I love the appetizer suggestion! I’ve done that once or twice when the entree selection doesn’t suit me, but that’s a great idea to eat a more appropriate portion size! I’m glad you’re up and running and can’t wait to see you soon!


  • Mara

    September 18, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Love the tip about appetizers as entrees!


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