Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Most Americans report eating meals outside of the home at least occasionally—in fact, 34% of Americans report eating at a casual dining restaurant, such as Red Hut Diner in NJ, at least once a week! While this is great for the restaurant industry, what effects might it be having on your waistline—and your health?
Fortunately, dining out doesn’t have to be unhealthy, although the options are there! While many people are drawn to fried foods, desserts, and other indulgences at restaurants, the reality is that if you eat out regularly, these indulgences can add up. But don’t give up the diner, or the food! Check out these suggestions for eating healthy while eating out.

Problem: Many restaurant portions are very, very large… because we want to make sure everyone can leave full!

Solution: While the restaurant you visit may stage a meal fit for an active lumberjack, you realize that the closest you come to trees is the desk you sit at… or, does lifting a wooden pencil count? To scale back your portion, consider making a meal out of an appetizer or salad, sharing an entrée with your dining partner, or our favorite, boxing up your leftovers even before you’ve started, and saving half of that monster burger for lunch tomorrow.

Problem: Restaurants only serve unhealthy food.

Solution: You realize that restaurants serve a wide variety of food, you just really want the unhealthy food! Many people get fixed in their food patterns, so ordering fatty, sugary, or otherwise “empty” calories seems the norm when eating out. But, just as you can choose healthy foods at home, you can choose them at a restaurant! Browse for grilled meats, lean cuts, and choose veggies instead of starchy sides.

Problem: The desserts are just too good to resist!

Solution: You realize that the taste doesn’t justify the costs—whether that’s extra pounds, extra hours at the gym, or extra high blood pressure. This doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself! Try sharing a dessert with a friend, choosing a fruit-filled dessert that won’t weigh you down, or pairing your dessert with a lighter meal or a small salad. Don’t worry, mom’s not here to make you eat dinner first!

Remember, life is all about balance, so balance your enjoyment with your nutritional goals. Red Hut Diner offers so many entrées, we guarantee you can find something healthy that you’ll love!