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Restaurant Survival Guide: 10 Tips for Healthy Dining

by Lynda
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Lynda of Healthy Hoboken Girl is back with tips on how to eat healthy while restaurant-hopping during the summer!

Outdoor dining hot spot uptown - the Elysian Cafe :)

Outdoor dining hot spot uptown – the Elysian Cafe ūüôā

Are you as excited as I am about summer? I thought so…now that we’ve striped off our winter layers and are enjoying spring in Hoboken I thought you’d like some suggestions on keeping it healthy while dining out.

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Most people I talk to eat out more than they cook at home.  So I thought this top ten list of gentle reminders on how to enjoy restaurants while still honoring your health would help you feel good and enjoy all that this season has to offer:



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Walking on Washington Street it’s easy to have every intention of cooking at home and saving money.  However, we run into friends have a drink and then suddenly here comes the nachos.  Or we are meeting friends, sitting outside and thinking about our health goes right out the window as we gossip about people at work or share the misery of our latest date.  I get it, and you’re completely normal. I hope you find this list helpful.  Be present and enjoy the start of summer, we earned it this year.  Wishing you all health and happiness.


10 Tips for Healthy Dining Out

1. ¬†Pick either an appetizer or dessert…not both. ¬†When celebrating a special occasion, it’s great to enjoy a fabulous¬†meal. ¬†I usually tell my clients to enjoy their entree and pick to have either an appetizer or dessert, but not all three. ¬†Choose a ‘pick two’ combo and savor the experience of eating out.

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2. Start with greens! Fill up on real food first and enjoy a salad.  Somehow it always tastes better when someone else makes it.  Filled with fiber and micronutrients it will set you in the right direction and give you another serving of vegetables for the day.

3. ¬†Mind your portions. Take half home. ¬†If you know you’re going to a place that serves hungry-man size portions, cut it in half as soon as it lands in¬†front of you. ¬†Leftovers are wonderful to find in your fridge after a long day at work.

4. ¬†Preview the menu online. ¬†Planning ahead can help you make healthy decisions all day. ¬†Check out the restaurant’s menu ahead of time and plan accordingly.

5. Keep sauce on the side.  Take control of the amount of dressing or sauce can help you manage your meals.  Most sauce is made of processed oils and butter, so a little goes a long way.

6. ¬†Choose red sauce over cream sauce. This is a simple one. ¬†We can all guess why that cream sauce tastes so darn good…butter and cream. ¬†Pick the red sauce and get all the added benefits of tomatoes lycopene. ¬†A powerful antioxidant, wonderful for your skin.

7. Skip the soda. ¬†Whether it’s diet or sugary regular you shouldn’t be drinking it. ¬†Save your calories, pass on the chemicals and stick with water.

8. ¬†Alcohol…think one. One glass is OK, but try not to over do it. ¬†Several drinks a week add up to many unwanted calories and it lowers our inhibitions and that leads to over indulging. ¬†Enjoy every sip of one glass.

9. ¬†Order dishes that are broiled, baked or grilled. Choosing cooking methods that are healthier and not fried in a ton of oil can help you clean up your plate and still eat out and enjoy a restaurant. ¬†Don’t be shy about asking your waiter how things are prepared, you’re usually more than happy to prepare it the way you like it.

10. ¬†Share dessert. ¬†We really just want a bite or two after the end of a nice meal. ¬†Sharing desserts let’s you indulge without all the guilt.

Hope this helps you relax and enjoy dining out with your friends. ¬†For more healthy inspiration check out Lynda’s¬†blog of healthy living inspiration at¬†healthywww.hobokengirl.com. ¬†Wishing you all health,¬†happiness and delicious summer meals outside!

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