Use this restaurant guide to enjoy eating out without wrecking your diet.

Going out to a restaurant doesn’t mean you have to leave your real food philosophy at home. You can still eat out without blowing your diet.

This week, when you eat at a restaurant practice ordering real wholesome food (like the dishes below):

MEXICAN 

  • Choose: Grilled shrimp, steak or chicken fajitas with corn tortillas and fresh guacamole
  • Avoid: Heavy cheese/saucy entrées, refried beans, white rice, sugary margaritas

ITALIAN 

  • Choose: Pasta (whole grain if available) with marinara and grilled chicken or shrimp, and add a large garden salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Avoid: Cheesy/saucy entrées, white bread (including garlic bread), heavy desserts

ASIAN 

  • Choose: Steamed dumplings, brown rice (when available) and lightly stir-fried vegetables
  • Avoid: Fried appetizers, fried white rice, heavily saucy/glazed meats, poultry and vegetables

STEAKHOUSE 

  • Choose: Grilled chicken, steak or shrimp with a small baked potato (with a pat of butter and fresh chives) and steamed vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Avoid: Battered and fried foods, salads made with iceberg lettuce, burgers and sandwiches on white bread with heavy condiments

PIZZA PLACE 

  • Choose: Thin crust (whole grain when available), heavy vegetable toppings and easy on the cheese, and a crisp side salad with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of pepper
  • Avoid: Breadsticks, deep dish/thick crust, processed meats such as sausage and pepperoni.

BREAKFAST DINER 

  • Choose: Simply prepared eggs (fried, hard boiled, poached) with whole-grain toast or breakfast potatoes and a side of sliced tomatoes or fresh fruit
  • Avoid: Heavy omelets, processed meats such as sausages and bacon, white-flour versions of French toast, pancakes and waffles

SANDWICH SHOP 

  • Choose: Whole-grain bread with grilled chicken or hummus and extra vegetable toppings such as spinach, tomatoes and cucumbers, and add a piece of fruit or a side salad with oil and vinegar
  • Avoid: White bread and rolls, heavy sauces and dressings, cookies, chips

SALAD BAR 

  • Choose: A base of colorful fresh vegetables, and add lean proteins such as beans, hard-boiled eggs and grilled chicken; include a starchy ingredient such as roasted potatoes or sweet corn, and top with a few tablespoons of nuts or sunflower seeds and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar
  • Avoid: White-pasta salads, heavy dressings, white-bread croutons, vegetables soaked in sauces