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7 Tips for Healthy Dining

Healthy Life

We all know how eating out can be a disaster for healthy decision-making, but let’s be real. Whether it’s because of a busy schedule, a much-wanted get-together, or disinterest in using a kitchen, the lure of doing what’s delicious—and often fast—has a way of letting our guard down to more calories, sodium, fat, and hidden ingredients. Unless, of course, you consider these seven strategies: 

  1. Pore over the menu, not pour it on. One of the easiest ways of knowing what to eat is knowing where to eat. Search for local restaurants, view menus online, and decide on the best food selections before heading out.
  2. Share the love. Take the opportunity to offer some of your meal to friends, family, or even your date! Doing so allows you to cut back on monster portions and—it’s very possible—everyone at the table will enjoy your company even more.
  3. Brighten up your beverage choice. Soda, beer, and cocktails can sneak hundreds of calories into a meal without having any effect on how full you feel. Instead, ask for sparkling water with citrus or a hot cup of coffee or tea. If you’re hankering for a more robust beverage, ask the server for low-calorie options.
  4. Double up on veggies. If you’re hardwired to clean your plate, use your impulse to your advantage: Limit your order to seriously nutritious vittles. Choose steamed, roasted, or stir-fried non-starchy vegetables in place of pasta, rice, or potatoes. Doing so automatically cuts calories without cutting deliciousness.   
  5. Back away from the breadbasket. Turning down free food will only be more difficult the hungrier you are. Avoid arriving famished by having a light snack before going out (a few nuts, anyone?), or be ready to decline the chips and salsa or breadsticks as soon as you’re seated. You can do it.   
  6. Ditch the dessert. When plates are about to be cleared, ask yourself a simple question: “Am I full?” If you’re being honest, waving off the double-chocolate mudslide pie with extra ice cream is easy. If you arrive home with a hankering for dessert, top off your night with a refreshing scoop of sorbet, a small piece of chocolate, or fresh berries.  
  7. Think inside the box. For those mindful about calories, here’s an old trick but a good one: When ordering, also ask your server to bring a to-go box. Place half of your meal in the box when it arrives, and take the rest home to enjoy later.

Visit for free online tools and resources to help you better manage your health.

As a PacificSource member, you can access CaféWell, an online health engagement portal. To get started, sign into InTouch. Then, go to Benefits, and select Wellness—CaféWell.