By Melissa Schuster MS RDN CDN IFNCP, owner of Schuster Nutrition, PLLC.

Tips from a Registered Dietitian Dining Out and Staying HealthyDining out can be hard when trying to maintain a healthy nutrition and lifestyle plan. However, with some mindful and intentional planning, you can make healthy choices and still enjoy dining out.

What Should I Order?

When possible, take a look at the restaurant menu beforehand so you have an idea of what you’ll order when you get there.

When looking at the menu, focus on dishes that have lean proteins (chicken, turkey, fish or tofu, for example) and vegetables, perhaps with a whole grain side.

Some examples:

  • Roasted chicken with a side of vegetables and roasted potatoes
  • Chicken or shrimp fajitas with brown rice and black beans
  • Baked salmon or other fish with sauteed vegetables and couscous or quinoa
  • Stir-fried tofu with broccoli and brown rice
  • Turkey burger with a side of roasted brussels sprouts

Ordering a side salad, or a salad starter, is a great way to get in additional vegetables. Ordering a vegetable side is another way to add more fiber, which helps keep you full.

What should I avoid (or, limit to special occasions):

 Fried foods (fried calamari, fish and chips, French fries) are best limited or eaten on special occasions when trying to follow a healthy nutrition plan. Choosing baked, grilled or steamed options help to lower the calories and saturated fats.

Avoiding cream-based sauces (like alfredo or vodka sauces) and choosing tomato-based or broth-based sauces can also help lower calories and fat in meals.

Limiting refined carbohydrates (like white pasta dishes or bread baskets) helps to prevent blood sugar spikes. If ordering pasta, try to choose a whole grain version, and make sure to add protein and vegetables to balance your blood sugar.

Limit soda, juice, and alcohol as these provide excess sugar and calories. Opt for water, unsweetened tea or iced tea, seltzer, or mocktails. If drinking alcohol, alternate water glass for glass, and choose less sugary options like wine or liquor with club soda.

Dining out is meant to be enjoyed – meals with family, friends and colleagues are a special part of our daily lives. You can enjoy restaurant meals AND stick to your nutrition and health goals – it just takes some mindful and intentional choices.

For more individualized nutrition support, book a 6-Week 1:1 Concierge Nutrition Bootcamp with Melissa Schuster, MS RDN CDN IFNCP.  https://schusternutrition.com/bootcamp

 

DISCLAIMER: This information contained in this post is not, and should not be construed as, medical advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. Each individual’s situation, nutritional needs and medical situation are different, and the information contained in this post may not be appropriate for your personal situation. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before implementing any change to your lifestyle, food intake, exercise regimen or medical treatment.

 

© 2024 Schuster Nutrition, PLLC

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