Dining Out While on a Diet

Dining out while on the Ideal Protein diet, or any diet for that matter can be really hard! Of course, it’s better to make food at home so you have control of what’s in it, but what about when you want to go out with family or friends, or you are just too busy, tired, etc. to cook?

Over the past year, I have found some go-to choices when eating at restaurants. At the beginning, it felt like I couldn’t eat anything! However, rethinking your choices and realizing that no matter what you get is a treat because you aren’t cooking is important to keep in mind.

My top three tips for dining out while on a diet are:

  1. Look out for salads! – Salads are always a good choice, but watch out for toppings and dressings.
  2. Say no to bread! – If they ask if you want to start with rolls – say no thank you. When you order a burger – say no thank you to the bun and eat it open-faced.
  3. Replace the french fries! – Restaurants almost always have a healthier side to choose. My choice is always broccoli. But sometimes they will have zucchini, asparagus, or a side salad.

Here are some specific restaurants that I tend to eat at and what I order to keep me on track. The list ranges from sit-down restaurants to fast food to convenience stores. No matter your situation there is something you can find to eat.

Chick-fil-a – Cobb Salad with grilled chicken and chili lime vinaigrette (no crispy red bell pepper)

Chipotle – Salad (with steak, chicken, or carnitas), mild and/or hot sauces, fajita vegetables

Chili’s – Old Timer Burger (no roll) with broccoli and extra pickles OR Grilled chicken salad (no cheese or corn salsa)

Sheetz – Salad (people think I am lying when I say you can get a good salad from a gas station, but it’s true! You can customize the salad to get whatever you want!) I get – romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, cucumbers, jalapenos,  diced tomatoes, fired roasted green peppers, Italian dressing

Ruby Tuesday’s – Chicken fresco with broccoli OR Salad bar

Texas Roadhouse – 8 oz sirloin, house salad (no cheese, no croutons, with Italian dressing), and fresh vegetables OR Grilled Chicken Salad (no cheese, no croutons, with Italian dressing)

Red Robin – The Wedgie Burger (comes with lettuce bun – no guacamole) served with endless side salad.

Uno Pizzeria and Grill – Honey Crisp Chicken Salad – with grilled chicken and no vermicelli, balsamic vinaigrette on the side.

Panera – Seasonal Greens Salad with chicken and balsamic vinegar

Hopefully, my go-to meal choices will give you an idea of what to order next time you dine out! It truly is a treat not having to cook for yourself, but remember to keep it within your diet’s guidelines. There is no use in sabotaging yourself from one dinner out.

Where do you go that has good healthy options? What is your go-to order? Let me know in the comments!

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