How to Eat Healthy When Eating Out

It’s time to celebrate and everyone’s going out, enjoying themselves.  Do you go out with your friends and gorge on delicious food but regret it later?  Or do you stay home and eat lettuce leaves for dinner?  How about going out but making some healthier choices.  Enjoy yourself and be healthy?  Is it possible?  Yes!  Here’s how to eat healthy when eating out.

Eating out healthy basics

  • Don’t fill up on bread before your meal.

    Fresh salad
    Fresh salad
  • Grilled, barbequed or baked beats fried.
  • Tomato-based sauces are healthier than cream-based sauces.
  • Get steamed vegetables as a side or a salad.
  • Go naked (or at least ask for sauce or dressing on the side so you use less).
  • Portion control – get 2 entrees or an entree and a side salad.
  • Eat slowly and savour your food.
  • Stop eating when you’re full.  If there is still food on the plate, have it removed so you’re not tempted to pick at it while you’re chatting.
  • Skip dessert or share.
  • If you’re drinking alcohol, alternate with water.


Anti-oxidants remove cell damaging free radicals in our bodies.  Certain foods are packed with anti-oxidants so make sure you have some of these with your meal.

  • olives and olive oilFruit platter
  • vegetables, especially broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, squash
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • grains
  • fruit – avocado, cherries, red grapes, mango, paw paw, peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  • onions, garlic, shallots, leeks
  • citrus fruit – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit
  • tomotoes (lycopene is more easily absorbed from cooked tomatoes than raw)
  • oily fish like salmon, trout, sardines, tuna or mackerel contain omega-3 fats.
  • leafy green vegetables
  • red wine
  • tea
  • dark chocolate

We all have our favourite cuisines so here are some healthier options for you to try from some popular cuisines.

Healthier Italian options

  • Olives
  • Minestrone soup
  • Bruschetta
  • Spinash and ricotta ravioli
  • Pasta with tomato-bases sauces
  • Octopus salad
  • Chicken cacciatore
  • Grilled veal
  • Thin crust veg pizza

Healthier Asian options

  • Sushi

    Steamed rice

  • Stir fries loaded with veggies
  • Steamed fish
  • San choy bow (minced pork or chicken with veggies served in fresh lettuce leaves)
  • Veggies – steamed or stir fried
  • Dumplings – steamed or boiled
  • Steamed chicken with ginger
  • Steamed egg
  • Green tea
  • Rice paper rolls filled with avo, veggies and salmon, prawns or chicken
  • Thai beef salad
  • Pho (Vietnamese rice noodle soup) with chicken or beef
  • Sushi (small rolls of rice covered with vegetables, egg or seafood)
  • Sashimi (small portions of raw fish)
  • Poke bowl (small cubes of raw fish with vegetables served on a bowl of rice)
  • Fresh fruit platter
  • Kimchi (Korean spicy pickled cabbage – great for gut health)
  • Edamame beans

Healthier Middle Eastern options

  • Kebabs

    Kebabs (meat and vegetables grilled on a skewer)

  • Hummus (thick paste made from ground chickpeas)
  • Pita bread (grilled flatbread)
  • Tabouli (cracked wheat salad with onions, tomato and parsley)
  • Cabbage rolls (rice and minced meat baked in cabbage leaves)
  • Felafel (deep fried chickpea balls) with salad
  • Tzatziki (yoghurt dip with cucumber and garlic)
  • Shakshuka (eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce)
  • Mejadra (spiced lentils and rice)


It is the season to eat, drink and be merry.  And of course, you don’t want to exclude yourself from the festivities so allow yourself some treats (in moderation), but make sure you eat plenty of healthy foods and keep hydrated!  Your body will thank you for it in the new year.

Enjoy the holidays, spend time with your family, eat well and travel safe!

PS for more healthy food ideas, check out the blog on foods that reduce stress.

6 thoughts on “How to Eat Healthy When Eating Out”

  1. I’m so glad this article came to my attention at this time. We are preparing to travel to be with family during the holidays and one of my biggest underlying fears has been deviating from the healthy diet that we’ve built for ourselves over the last few months. I really like your suggestions, especially about avoiding over-indulging in bread or other appetizers and alternating water (no matter how many times I wake up with a headache, this point seems to be one that needs to be re-learned over and over). Thanks for the reminders and I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!

    • Hello Tucker! Glad you found this article useful. Enjoy your the time with your family and friends. Just pace yourself and take some of the healthier options whenever you can! 😊

  2. Here is a great article with a lot of great options.  As a recently diagnosed diabetic my eating habits and choices have been turned upside down.  

    The great thing is that the restaurant industry has recognized the moving trend to healthier eating and most restaurants now offer healthier alternatives.

    We are living in a society of healthier eating.  Just like smokers went from majority to minority that is quickly becoming the same for unhealthy eating.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.

    Thank you


    • Thanks Dale! Yes, it’s very good that there are more healthy options available now. You can enjoy your life and still look after yourself. Take care!

  3. Thank you for this article, it was quite informative, I will definitely practise this in order to have an healthy lifestyle, especially the ingredients you listed in the article, I will make sure they are always present in my food. Thanks for this useful post once again, I will definitely share this blog with my family and friends, I believe your article will surely helped them too.

    • Enjoy the food – healthy and delicious! I am very pleased that you will share healthy ideas with your friends and family. Your caring will help them. 


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