9 Tips to Stay on Track When Eating Out [Including a free list of the best healthy options at your favorite restaurants]

9 Tips To Stay On Track When Eating Out [Including A Free List Of The Best Healthy Options At Your Favorite Restaurants] - NotEnoughCinnamon.com

Sooo I heard you’ve been a very good girl, eating clean, staying active and all? Woohoo, go you! But let’s be honest, sometimes a girl just wanna have fun and eat out, right?!

It’s true that cooking allows you to control exactly what goes on your plate but spending time out with friends, discovering new places and new flavors is just as important. Just because you’re “healthy” doesn’t mean you should live in a cave and forget about your social life (even if your friends are not into healthy eating at all).

Good news, baby: you can definitely go out without ruining your efforts of the week and feeling guilty. It’s all about making the right choices, and I’m here to help you.

Here’s the strategy: if you know where you’re going, check the menu before getting there. Most restaurants have their menus online, and lots of them also share nutrition facts. This will leave you time to do a little bit of research and pick the best option on the menu before getting caught in the excitement of the moment (and possibly having your judgment clouded by a few cocktails <wink wink>) 

Here are some general guidelines to help you make smart + healthy choices:

  • Avoid dishes with cream sauce. Anything called creamy something is suspicious. Remember you’re not at home and restaurant do not “healthify” recipes. They’re not holding on the butter, cream and cheese – e.g: Alfredo pasta
  • Avoid anything deep-fried  –e.g: Shrimp tempura or any tempura, really (even the veggie ones)
  • Avoid dishes heavy on the cheese –e.g: Manicotti, Pizza
  • Salads can be the devil in disguise because of the dressing. Always ask for the dressing on the side so you can decide to use only a portion of it or not at all.
  • Try to avoid desserts altogether. I know this is not what you want to hear but unless it’s fresh fruit, it’s most likely way too high in sugar and fat. If you really really want one, share it with your friends.
  • Drink water. Skip juices, soda and other drinks. They’re just too high in sugar and not worth it. Don’t drink your calories, save them for something tasty to eat instead. (Avoid diet soda too; it’s sweetened with nasty chemicals that have terrible effects on your health in the long run)
  • Generally the best and widely available option is grilled meat or fish with a side of vegetables or green salad (but again, watch out for the dressing)
  • If you’re not familiar with a dish, try to find out how it’s made (google the recipe or ask the waitress). Anything fried, heavy in fats, sugars and carb loaded should raise a red flag. 

So what exactly can you eat, you ask? Plenty of things, actually 🙂 I’ve put together a detailed guide of your best and worst options at some of the most popular restaurants (including Italian, Mexican, Sushi Bar and more!). Download the guide right here:

(UPDATE: unfortunately, the list isn’t available anymore for now)

Save it on your phone and next time you’re going out, check the list and enjoy your guilt-free night!!



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Healthy Living
  1. Hi Marie

    Some great tips in this post and I think it’s great you have put a guide together to outline the best foods to choose because it so easy to pick the wrong option and blow your diet. If I am trying to stay on track and have to eat out I like to eat a small snack before I go out (usually protein or fiber based) to take the edge off my hunger and stop me overdoing it.



  2. I like that you suggested your dessert with your friends to make sure that you won’t consume too much sugar and fat. My best friend who I have not seen for years want to meet me. She’s planning to find a restaurant where we can eat and bond. Since I am diabetic but want to enjoy meals, I will surely do all your tips.

    1. Hi Ellen. So happy I could help you out with this little blog post! I hope you had a great time with your bestie.

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