25 Tips to Order Healthy Choices at Any Restaurant

Updated: Mar. 02, 2021

Going out for Chinese, Italian, Mexican or fast food can derail your weight loss efforts, but it doesn’t have to. Learn how to order at each restaurant.

Relaxed adults people having dinner and respectful waiter
Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

4 quick tips to ordering in any restaurant

1. Learn to order better.
2. Be careful where you eat. No all-you-can-eat buffets or steakhouses with enormous portions
3. Make friends with the waitperson. She can tell you about any dish.
4. Order Creatively. Soup, salad and an appetizer can stand in for a full meal. Extra vegetables can replace french fries.

Read more about ordering in any restaurant

Dinner with friends at the table. View from above. Chinese food with chopsticks. fish, meat, pork, potatoes.
Liudmila Kotvitckaia/Shutterstock

6 tips to ordering Chinese

5. Ask for brown rice.
6. Start your meal with wonton, egg drop, or hot-and-sour soup.
7. When it comes to entrées, order from the ‘health’ menu.
8. Make sure you order plenty of vegetables.
9. Take advantage of the bean curd (tofu).
10. Plan to take home leftovers.

Read more about ordering healthy Chinese food and find out the most calorie-laden dishes.

Traditional Neapolitan Pizza

4 tips to ordering Italian

11. Ask the waitperson not to bring the breadbasket.
12. If you want pasta, order a dish from the appetizer section of the menu, or share.
13. If it’s on the menu, order simple grilled beef, veal, pork, chicken, fish, or shellfish.
14. For dessert, ask for fresh berries or fruit ice, if it’s available, or a small plate of cookies to share.

Read more about ordering healthy Italian food and find out the most calorie-laden dishes

Mexican food. Beef Fajitas - Traditional dish of Mexico.
Irina Klyuchnikova/Shutterstock

6 tips to ordering Mexican

15. Ask the waitperson to take away the tortilla chips.
16. Order a healthy starter instead.
17. For an entrée, look to fajitas.
18. Order tacos or burritos without high-fat sour cream.
19. As a side dish, go for rice and beans instead of Mexican rice.
20. Have dessert at home.

Read more about ordering healthy Mexican food and find out the most calorie-laden dishes

Sitting in the park and eat fast food

5 tips to ordering fast food

21. Opt for simple grilled fare, if you can find it.
22. A simple hamburger isn’t bad either — if you order the smallest one without cheese or mayonnaise.
23. Order a la carte.
24. Take advantage of the salads but watch for fried chicken and fatty dressings.
25. Have yogurt.

Read more about ordering healthy fast food and find out the most calorie-laden dishes

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest