Eating out, the healthy way by Anna Ross

Eating out the healthy way

 Being able to choose a healthy meal when eating out is useful, particularly if you eat out regularly. Dining out for meals can form part of a healthy balanced diet, however it can be challenging to know what the healthy choices are on a menu. This guide provides some tips for eating out and it will help you to identify healthier choices.


·             Consider looking up the menu online ahead of time to choose a healthy option

·             Avoid feeling ravenous on arrival to help prevent over-eating. Drink some water or have a small snack at home if you’re hungry before you leave

·             Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for modifications. For example, consider asking for:

§  A side salad or cooked vegetables instead of chips or wedges

§  An entrée size meal or smaller serve

§  Ask to have dressing and sauces on the side so you can add a smaller amount yourself

·             Only eat what you need to be satisfied – you don’t have to finish everything on your plate

·             Consider sharing a main meal and/or dessert with others

·             Eat slowly and enjoy every bite. Place your knife and fork down between mouthfuls and chew everything well

·             Choose lean meat, skinless chicken or seafood and healthier cooking techniques such as steamed, braised, poached, baked, roasted or grilled meat. Avoid fried, battered and crumbed choices

·             Choose meals with lots of vegetables

·             Skip the chips and go easy on the bread

·             Avoid large pasta and rice dishes with little vegetables and high fat sauces


Taking a look at popular cuisines…



·             Healthier options:

o   Thin crust pizza instead of thick or cheese stuffed bases

o   Entrée size pasta and risotto with tomato or vegetable based sauces E.g. Napolitana, bolognaise, marinara

o   Bruschetta

o   Salads

o   Baked, grilled, steamed, seared lean meats

·             Unhealthier options:

o   Garlic bread

o   Deep fried or crumbed items

o   Cured/salted meats E.g. salami, bacon, prosciutto

o   Cream, oil and butter based sauces and dressings E.g. carbonara, lasagne with béchamel, pasta alfredo, pesto

o   Large amounts of cheese such as mozzarella and parmesan



·             Healthier options:

o   Sushi and sashimi with vegetables, raw or cooked fish, prawn, egg, tofu or seaweed, avocado

o   Brown rice instead of white rice if possible

o   Steamed dumplings

o   Rice paper rolls

o   Seaweed salad and edamame

o   Stir-fry dishes or salads with lean meat, chicken, seafood or tofu and plenty of vegetables, herbs and spices

o   Miso, tom yum and broth based soups such as Pho

o   Soy, chilli sauce, vinegar, lime and lemon

·             Unhealthier options:

o   Tempura, crumbed, battered or deep fried items E.g. spring rolls, dim sims, wontons

o   Coconut rice

o   Prawn crackers

o   Deep fried/crispy noodles, fried rice or noodles

o   Red/green curry containing coconut milk/cream



·             Opt for tomato based curries with lean meat and/or legumes and vegetables over curries based on cream/coconut milk

·             Healthier options:

o   Tikka (dry roasted) or Tandoori skinless chicken, fish, tofu or vegetables

o   Steamed basmati rice

o   Pickle, chutney or yoghurt condiments

·             Unhealthier options:

o   Deep fried entrees E.g. samosa, pakora, pappadums

o   Naan bread

o   Thick gravy sauces, butter or tikka masala sauces



·             Choose salads or burritos/fajitas with grilled lean meats or legumes, plenty of vegetables and small amounts of cheese, sour cream or guacamole


A note on alcohol

·             Limit alcohol as this can increase appetite and energy intake

·             Order a glass of wine instead of a bottle

·             Mix spirits with soda water or diet soft drink

·             Opt for low carb or low sugar drinks when possible

To book a one on one session with Anna or  group education session click here to be redirected to her page :)


Ginny Stevens