How To Eat Healthy When Eating Out

The downfall to eating out is being unaware of your consumption. Restaurants and takeaway foods often contain greater quantities of saturated fats, salt, sugar, and energy (kilojoules or calories). Unfortunately, this can restrict you from achieving your health goals.

This is where we, your personal dietitian, can lend a helping hand. This guide outlines healthier outing options, so you don’t have to miss out on the fun while making the right choices to become a healthier you.

Have an upcoming dinner reservation and are unsure of what to choose?

Our Top Tips

1. Choose cafes, restaurants, or food chains that offer healthy options on their menu

2. Eat a small nutritious snack beforehand and stay hydrated to avoid overeating

3. Limit alcohol as this can increase your appetite and therefore your overall energy (kilojoule) intake

4. Restrict any bread consumption to one slice or ½ a roll before your meal arrives

5. If ordering multiple courses, consider ordering entrée sized options

6.  Share the main meal between two people, with an extra salad or additional sides of vegetables

7. Opt for fresh, grilled, steamed, or braised options over battered, crumbed, or fried

8. Request for sauce, dressings, or gravy to be served on the side to enable you to adjust the amount you choose to eat with your meal

9. Instead of chips or wedges, select a side salad or cooked vegetables

10.  Avoid or limit options prepared with butter, cream, or cheese

11.  Select dishes packed with vegetables

12. Request a small serve of rice rather than a large serve, or share a large serve between two

13. If enjoying dessert, share with a friend or order a pot of tea to finish the meal instead

14. When ordering takeaway, split main meals in half, saving the second half for leftovers the next day. Add some pre-prepared vegetables such as a steam bag or a side salad

Top Picks for Various Cuisines

  • Thai: stir-fry, san choy bau, grilled chicken satay skewers with steamed vegetables, chow mein, soups
  • Mexican: burrito bowl, salad bowl, small burrito
  • Japanese: sashimi, seaweed salad, edamame
  • Italian: entrée sized tomato-based pasta with a side salad, a couple of slices of pizza with salad (great to share with friends), meat/chicken/fish and salad
  • Greek: kofte, grilled lamb/chicken/fish, tzatziki or hummus with pita bread, baked stuffed vegetables
  • Vietnamese: rice papers rolls or Vietnamese salad