Your Best Bets for Eating Out

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Once you’ve gotten a handle on all those diet-busting extras, the next thing to do is figure out what in the world to order. But don’t worry, no matter where you choose to dine, you can find great healthy choices to keep you on your plan. Here are some helpful examples:

  • Food stands: Many meals come from a cafeteria at work, a food court in the mall, or some other food stand-type location. You might be wondering what you can order from these places to stay on your plan. Look for a selection that contains a nice helping of chicken breast, turkey, or fish along with a healthy carb. Avoid any fried foods, cream sauces, and regular sodas.
  • Delis: Delis are a great place to grab a healthy bite. Order a smoked turkey, chicken breast, or lean ham sandwich with no cheese and light mayo, then pile on the veggies to your heart’s content. The things to avoid are tuna or chicken salad, salami and processed meats, and regular cheese.
  • Casual restaurants/diners/takeout: Almost every neighborhood America has an Italian, Mexican, and Asian eatery. If you’re lucky, you also have Thai, Indian, and Greek spots too. Look for dishes that are based on chicken, turkey, or fish and sometimes lean steak (preferably filet mignon, if you can afford it). If you go Greek, try chicken skewers with rice; hold the hummus. Want Italian? Have pasta with tomato sauce with chicken or shrimp, plus a side salad. Order chicken stir-fry or chicken teriyaki plus a side salad at you favorite Asian spot; hold the dressing and use rice vinegar on the salad.
  • Fine dining: When dining in a full-service restaurant, eat a small meal 2 hours before your reservation. Often there is still a wait and you don’t want to be starving. Try not to eat the bread before the meal. Eating bread on am empty stomach causes a rapid rise in blood sugar. Better to order a chicken skewer or a crab or shrimp cocktail as an appetizer right away. Again stay away from fired foods, cream sauces, cheesy dishes, and oily or buttery dishes. Stay with tomato-based sauces and grilled meat cuts such as fish, chicken, and filet mignon.

You’ll find healthy choices are available no matter what type of restaurant you frequent, if you are vigilant about holding the high-fat extras like cheese and sour cream. You can also check out for Christine’s “fast-food guide” letting you know the best and worst fast-food eats.