How to Maintain Healthy Habits When Dining Out
May 24, 2023
By Kaylee Yamry
7 tips to eat healthier at restaurants
Whether you’re an avid restaurant-goer or you only visit eating establishments to celebrate a special occasion, it can be difficult to eat healthy when dining out. That’s because many restaurant meals contain more fat, sodium, sugar, and calories than the meals you usually make at home. But that doesn’t mean every time you dine out you have to forget your commitment to healthy eating. The key is to find healthy dining out options, know how to make better choices most of the time, while allowing yourself an occasional indulgence.
Here are 7 tips to help you eat healthier when dining out:
1. Choose a restaurant that suits you.
While you can likely find something to eat at almost any restaurant, it makes it easier to stick to your healthy eating plans when a restaurant offers options that align with your eating style. For example, if you’re trying to limit calories, you may want to avoid an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you’re keeping it low-carb, Italian restaurants may be a challenge. The same goes for Asian restaurants if you’re on a low-sodium diet. Fortunately, The Pioneer Grill near Alexandria, MN offers several menu options to appeal to a variety of diets and healthy eating styles.
2. Check the menu before you go.
Sometimes you don’t have much time to make a decision about your meal when you’re at the table or you’re distracted. So, peruse the menu and make your choice before you leave the house. This limits temptation once you arrive and gives you more time to make an informed choice. View The Pioneer Grill menu and select your healthy entrée.
3. Be a savvy menu reader.
Look for leaner protein choices, such as fish or chicken. If you’re hankering for red meat, sirloin or beef tenderloin are leaner options. Load up on vegetables and avoid dishes prepared in cream sauces or topped with loads of cheese. Dishes that are steamed, grilled, or broiled are lighter than those that are fried, breaded, sautéed, or smothered.
4. Ask for what you want.
Most restaurants accommodate special requests so don’t be afraid to ask. Request sauces or dressings on the side. Ask that less salt or fat be used. Inquire about swapping out sides like French fries with something lighter, like a side salad or steamed vegetable. Ask us about your food preferences, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
5. Split a dish.
Since many restaurant portions are large, consider sharing a dish with a dining partner. Another option is to order an appetizer instead of an entree. If a portion is more than you want to eat, ask the server to box up half of it before they bring it to the table. This way, you’re not tempted to keep eating past the point of fullness just because it’s sitting there – and you’ll have a tasty and healthful meal to enjoy at another time.
6. Prioritize your wants.
Aside from the meal itself, there are many other temptations in a restaurant, starting with the appetizer on the table, beverages, entrees, and ending with dessert. Think about what’s most important to you and skip the rest. It can be hard to do, but focusing on the “have to have” items will keep you satisfied without overindulging.
7. Give yourself permission to splurge.
Dining out is a treat. As long as you don’t do it all the time, it’s okay to allow yourself to indulge once in a while. Just try to eat mindfully, don’t overdo it and enjoy the food, atmosphere and restaurant.
Check out The Pioneer Grill located in Alexandria, MN. There are several menu items to choose from making it an optimal spot for healthy dining or the occasional splurge. We would love to have you! Call (320) 759-4610 to book your table today.
Lunch: Noon to 1:30 pm – 7 days a week
Dinner: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Monday through Saturday
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Date Last Reviewed: April 13, 2023
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT