Healthy Dining – Going Out To Eat Doesn’t Have to be Bad for You

In today’s health conscious society, going out to eat has been getting a bad wrap. It is true that in the past, eating out usually wasn’t a healthy choice. Now most restaurants and even some fast food joints are offering healthier options and there are ways to eat out and still stick to a healthy diet. So go out to eat – healthy dining is possible.

Healthy Dining Menus

Many restaurants have added health conscious selections to their regular menus or have a healthy dining menu. The options usually include salads, low-fat options, grilled foods instead of fried and in some cases, smaller portions. Some restaurants have gone one step further, offering clean eating and gluten free options.

The main objective of any eating establishment is to serve a delicious meal that everyone can enjoy. With so many people watching what they eat and following a healthy diet, adding calorie-conscious options and healthy dining menus make for guilt-free dining out.

Create Your Own Healthy Dining Out

When you go out to eat, if the restaurant doesn’t have a healthy dining menu, that doesn’t mean you can make healthy choices. There are still ways you can enjoy a health conscious meal.

Portion Control

One of the biggest challenges when dining out is not to over eat. Too often just telling yourself you won’t only works until the food is served and then all bets are off. Here are a couple of tricks to prevent overeating and avoid the guilt that follows.

Order First

You’re probably wondering how this will help, right? Well, you may have gone out with the intention of eating healthy but after listening to what everyone else is ordering, you lose your resolve. Order first and stick with it.

Share an Entree

Just because you are following a healthy diet doesn’t mean you can’t splurge a little when you dine out. When dining with others, get someone to split your favorite entree with you. Most restaurants serve larger portions that can easily be shared without anyone going hungry.

Pack a Lunch

No, you’re not bringing you own meal to the restaurant, you’re bringing one home. If none of your dining companions want to share an entree, ask your server to pack up half of your meal in a take-out container before bringing it to the table. This way you will eat a smaller portion, you won’t be tempted by food that’s already been packed up and you’ll have lunch or dinner for tomorrow.

Make Good Choices

More often than not, eating healthy is just a matter of making the right choices. Cooking methods and condiments have a significant impact on how healthy the food is.

Grilled Not Fried

When faced with this decision, always go with the grilled option. Grilled meats have a reduced fat content because the fat drips off as the food cooks. The result is a healthier meal that makes it easier to manage a low-fat diet. Grilled foods also have lower calorie content than fried foods. This helps in weight management and keeping fit.

Healthier Options

With many types of food, there is usually one choice that is healthier than the other. With soup, choose a broth-based soup instead of one that is cream based. Choose a low-fat salad dressing rather than the blue cheese or creamy Italian salad dressing.


Most restaurants honor requests, so don’t be afraid to ask questions and make special requests. If your meal normally comes with french fries, ask for a side salad with low-fat dressing instead. Or if you really want potatoes, ask for a baked potato and top it with veggies or salsa instead of butter.

Healthy dining is a matter of making good choices. It doesn’t mean you can’t go out to eat and still enjoy many of the foods you love.

Tuscan Bistro Bar has a wide variety of menu choices from health conscious to decadent, but all delicious. The Tic Toc lunch specials offer a quick and healthier alternative to fast food and our menu includes clean eating, lite fare and gluten free selections. Also, if you want to share an entree with a friend, our portions are definitely large enough for that. Stop in and give us a try. You won’t be disappointed!