Trying to lose weight? How can I eat healthy while eating out? You can still go out to eat and lose weight! Find out all about eating healthy at restaurants and parties in this post. 

Every time I’m trying to lose weight (which admittedly, is often), it feels like everyone around me is doing the opposite.

Eating healthy at restaurants and parties can seem like such a huge chore!

Most people seem to wish they could use a little weight, but for some reason it feels like everyone is always EATING. I love food just as much as the next person, but it feels like every single celebration in American culture revolves around it. There’s always a birthday or holiday.

And there’s always way too much food.

It makes it hard to make the healthiest meal choices.

On top of the endless holidays, date nights and family outings almost always involve food. That’s cool and everything, but why does it feel like healthy food is frowned upon?

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Healthy dining out is possible! Have you ever gone to a party or gathering and felt like a snob for wanting to eat healthy? Have you ever gone out to eat and been ridiculed for ordering a salad? And why does skipping the cake at a birthday warrant frowns and looks that say, “You must be too good for us.”?

Do you know what I mean? I mean, how can I eat healthy and still enjoy food?

At family events, I’ve noticed that even those of us who say that we want to lose weight and eat healthy don’t. It feels like you HAVE to eat unhealthy at social gatherings. And I think it’s wrong! So today let’s talk about navigating the waters of restaurant-going and social gatherings when trying to lose weight. You know, eating healthy at restaurants and parties!

The truth about the people around you:

For starters, let’s get the negative stuff out of the way. That would be referring to the haters. Yes, haters. There will always be one. You know, someone who judges both people choosing to be healthy and people who are overweight. It’s a personal problem for THEM, not you. Choose to ignore it and move on.

Luckily, for every judgmental person out there, you have at least a few supporters. Sometimes, though, these people are silently watching. They are admiring your dedication and either wishing they had their own discipline, or cheering you on as they work on their own self-improvement. Either way, know that these people exist and you are motivating them even if you don’t know it.

You can learn how to eat healthy in a restaurant! I have some tips and tricks to eating healthy while eating out – so check them out below.

tips for eating healthy at restaurants

What should I eat at a restaurant that is healthy? Is there even healthy food to eat in restaurants? I share some tips to eat healthy at restaurants below.

Tips for eating healthy at restaurants and parties (and still enjoying yourself!):

  • Get your close family and friends on board.

    Tell them that you have goals for a healthier lifestyle so that they know, in general. This helps cut down on excessive restaurant-going and nagging. It may even help others choose healthier offerings at family parties.

  • Invite them to do it with you.

    Some people make fun of others and misunderstand them when they’re doing healthy things. Sometimes it’s just because they are insecure or wish they could do it, too. A sense of community and inclusion is born when you involve others in your journey by helping them start their own. Try inviting others to workout together, start a clean-eating challenge, etc. Bonus: People who train or try losing weight together are more likely to stay motivated and succeed.

  • Know before you go.

    If you’re serious about eating healthy at restaurants, this is important. Know the menu and have a plan before you go! Sometimes nutritional information is available and sometimes it isn’t. But knowing what you’re going to eat before you get to the restaurant will help you stay away from last-minute decisions. If necessary, don’t even look at the menu when you get there. For example, when I go to Red Robin, I always get the Ensenada Platter. (It’s basically a chicken breast with salsa and salad.) That’s because I know it’s caloric, fat, and protein value. Easy, peasy. As for parties, I try to look for veggies, fruit, and protein.

  • Stick to water whenever you can.

    Stay hydrated, skip the sugar and calories. Drinks almost always have loads of sugar, which if not used up in the body, stores as fat. Bummer. I’m personally used to having water when I go out to eat because my mother was too cheap to buy anything else at restaurants. (Extra perk, save money.) Get in the habit of just ordering water and it will be a big help.

  • Allow yourself to indulge sometimes.

    Pregnant me has indulged in a lot lately, and I’m not beating myself up for it. If you want to indulge, it’s fine as long as you set limits. I find that if I become too strict (no balance) I have a bigger tendency to fall off the wagon big-time. If you feel yourself struggling, allow yourself one drink or one dessert every now and then. It’s okay as long as you don’t over-do it.

  • Open up the conversation & set the example.

    For some reason, talking about health and weight loss can still be taboo.  Everyone encounters health issues at some point in life, and it should be okay to talk about it. You’ll find that everyone has insecurities. (The skinniest person I know just wants to gain weight so people don’t call her anorexic anymore.) But you’ll find that people actually want to talk about it because they want to know that others have issues, too. It keeps it real and honest, and we need that more than ever.

  • Celebrate the successful navigation of a party or outing.

    Your health and dedication should be celebrated with every non-scale victory. Acknowledge and celebrate your successful eating at an outing or party. Nothing feels so great as crushing a goal or sticking to a plan. If you need to, write down how you felt after eating healthy when surrounded by unhealthy options. Then ride that feeling of accomplishment until you smash your next goal!

Overall, your own dedication to your own health will manifest itself in the form of bodily changes and a healthy mindset. You can still enjoy parties and going out to eat when you’re trying to be healthy. Eating healthy at restaurants and parties is an attainable goal!

What are the healthiest restaurants?

Just because a restaurant is “fast food” doesn’t mean that it is all bad. (Have you check out Wendy’s for their awesome salads?)

In my opinion, almost all restaurants have some healthy eating choices if you just look. The key is to stick to protein and veggies wherever possible. Stay away from sweets and fried foods, and you’re still staying relatively healthy! These are the healthiest meal choices.

Related Reading: 15 Small Changes to Make if You’re Trying to Lose Weight

The biggest weight-loss no-no:

In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do is avoid being social because you’re trying to lose weight. First of all, you don’t want to offend anyone. Skipping the occasional outing is okay, but communicating your reasons for skipping is important.

Secondly, being anti-social can really hurt our self-esteem and motivation. It can be harmful to our mental and emotional health. We all need relationships. It can be hard to find alternatives other than skipping entire events, but it can definitely be done. We all need to learn to live healthy without missing out on life.

I hope this helps and encourages you if you’re faced with figuring out how to eat healthy when dining out! What are your big weight-loss tips? Let me know in the comments below!

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