Healthier Eating Out

With Americans eating out an average of four to five times per week, it is definitely becoming more common in our daily lives. Not only can eating out be more convenient, but it also can foster more opportunities to socialize with friends and family and contribute to a healthy diet.

Pizza topped with olives, capers, chicken and arugula. One piece of pizza is placed on a small plate.

Have a plan

  • If possible, determine ahead of time which meal of the day will be eaten out, and if it is going to be a high-calorie meal, eat smaller portions throughout the rest of the day to balance your caloric intake.
  • Select restaurants that make it easy to satisfy your taste, meet your health goals, and fit within your budget.
  • Based on when and where you’ll be eating out, plan your other meals and snacks accordingly to make sure you get all the nutrients you need for the day.

Share mealtimes with friends and family

  • Socializing during mealtimes not only can make meals more enjoyable but can also help slow down the eating process.
  • By not rushing through a meal, your body is be able to recognize when you’re full, which helps avoid eating excess calories.

Share a meal or have planned leftovers

  • Portion sizes at restaurants are often oversized. Share a meal or plan to take half home for later.
  • When you receive your plate, divide your serving in half. This can help you pause and assess if you’re still hungry when your meal is half done.
  • When you bring leftovers home, write the date on the outside of the container. Then you’ll know exactly how long it’s been in your refrigerator. Throw out leftovers more than 3-4 days old!

Did You Know?

Deep dish pizza has on average 75 more calories per slice than thin crust pizza!

Healthy Eating Out Tips:

Look for menu items that are marked as being the restaurant’s ‘healthier’ options.

Ask wait staff how menu items are prepared and if there are options that might better meet your taste and/or health goals.