3 Quick Tips for Dining Out

Girl Orders Food in Restaurant

You may find yourself eating out more often than usual this time of year. That can make it tough for even the most disciplined among us to eat only – or mostly – healthy foods.

A restaurant menu filled with tempting choices can sabotage even the best intentioned healthy eating goals. One way to make sticking to your goal more likely to be successful is to plan out your strategy in advance.

Follow these 3 tips for eating healthy while eating out:

  • Look up the restaurant’s menu online before you go. Research the calorie counts of some menu items, and decide in advance what you’ll order. Keep in mind that items that may seem healthy, such as salads, can sometimes contain loads of fat and calories thanks to dressings or toppings. Ask for those on the side and then use just a little bit.
  • If you can’t find nutrition details in advance, be ready to recognize some selections likely to be lower in fat, such as clear, broth-based soups or plain lettuce or spinach salads with the dressing on the side. Look for entrée options that are grilled, broiled, or steamed instead of fried, or ask your waiter to recommend some lighter menu choices.
  • If you decide to indulge in a special dish or can’t pass up that irresistible dessert, plan to share. It will help give you a taste of what you crave without overindulging.

Find dozens more ideas for eating delicious restaurant foods and still eating healthy.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.


American Cancer Society news stories are copyrighted material and are not intended to be used as press releases. For reprint requests, please see our Content Usage Policy.