Top 5 Tips for eating healthy at restaurants

Leanne Azimov

When it comes to eating out, it seems that most celebrations, nights out and business meetings take place at restaurants. This can make it pretty challenging for someone who wants to lose weight or maintain their current diet.

Luckily, there are tips and tricks you can implement to help prevent restaurants from deterring your weight loss goals and progress. Here are 5 tips for eating guilt free at restaurants:


1) Don’t be afraid to personalize your order. Ask your server to swap the rice, potatoes, French fries with extra steamed vegetables, or a side salad. Try to emulate the “Plate Method of Eating”. (The plate method is when half your plate is vegetables, ¼ is whole grains or starchy vegetables and ¼ is protein).
2) Keep in mind that portion sizes at restaurants tend to be much larger than regular portion sizes. It’s important to eat slowly and mindfully and stop eating when you’re 80% full. You can also ask for half portions, share with friends or ask for a “doggy bag” for left overs.
3) Pick nutrition over value. Some restaurants may charge higher prices for steamed vegetables in place of French fries. The extra couple of dollars will save you tons of extra unneeded calories, fat and sodium.
4) Skip the complimentary bread and butter! You can sip your water and save your appetite for the meal you have just ordered.
5) Do your homework! This is probably the most important tip. Just because you’re eating at a restaurant, doesn’t mean you can’t plan your meal. Think of it as a meal prep, go to the restaurant’s website and look through their menu to start thinking about healthy options. Many websites also have nutritional values to help you make an informed decision. If your friends are insistent on eating at a restaurant that has no healthy options, eat at home first! You can always order a small salad or a sugar-free beverage, so you don’t feel left out.


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About the Author 


Leanne has a BSc in Dietetics and Human Nutrition from McGill University. She is a member of the College of Dietitians of Ontario and Dietitians of Canada. Leanne enjoys working with clients that want to lose weight in a sensible and healthful way. Leanne's empathetic nature and exceptional counseling skills, has motivated countless of clients to carry out lasting lifestyle changes. For more info, you can reach her directly at






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