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Healthy Eating: Making Healthy Choices When You Eat Out

For many people, eating out is a way to relax and socialize. But if you are watching your weight or just are concerned with healthy eating, dining out can be a challenge. The good news is that usually there are healthier options at every restaurant, even at fast-food places. By following some simple guidelines, you can enjoy eating out and still have a healthy diet.

  • Plan ahead. Before you go out to eat, think about where you will eat and what you will select. It will be much easier to make healthy choices if you have already decided what you will order.
  • Try not to arrive at the restaurant overly hungry. It's harder to make healthy food choices when you get too hungry.
  • Think about your portions. Restaurants often serve portions that are enough to feed two or three people. To help you avoid overeating, order smaller portions, split a meal with someone else, or save part of your meal for later.
  • Choose menu items that contain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Restaurant meals are often low in these things. By adding these foods, you can have a balanced meal.
  • When you travel, you are often forced to eat out at every meal. So bring snacks that pack well, such as dried fruit, pretzels, and nuts. Flying can trigger dehydration, so drink lots of water. And don't drink a lot of alcohol, because alcohol can also dehydrate you.

what.gif What can you do to get started?
why.gif Why is it harder to make healthy choices when you eat out?
how.gif How can you make healthy choices when you eat out?
where.gif Where to go from here

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Last RevisedJanuary 25, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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