Eating Defensively: 8 tips for eating well at restaurants

restaurant with glasses and plates on it


Whether you’re an athlete who wants to keep a diet or just using the sport of swimming to stay fit, eating defensively when going out is always a challenge. You still want to have fun with your friends or companions but you don’t want to lose all the progress you have gained over the pass weeks or months.

Luckily, restaurants are making it easier and easier to eat healthy. Most chefs are generally more than happy to modify a dish to fit your nutritional needs. So don’t be shy to ask the waiter for your meal to be fixed to your preference.

Below are a few tips on how to get the most out of any menu at a restaurant.




     Tip #1:

  • Don’t go to a restaurant ravenously hungry. (This is the same for grocery shopping) Have a small snack before you leave the house. By taking the edge off your hunger you will be more in control of what you order and will not be impulse eating.

           Tip #2:

  • Beware of breadbaskets and chips and salsa with queso at restaurants. Most “complimentary” dishes are highly refined or deep fried which is not good for your health. For instance, French bread has a GI of 95. Also it is easy to eat several pieces of chips or bread and butter before the entrée even arrives.

     Tip #3:

  • Make smart choice at the salad bar. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits with low-fat cottage cheese, turkey, steamed seafood and kidney beans. Use light dressing or olive oil and a slash of vinegar or lemon juice for a great flavor.

     Tip #4:

  • When ordering sandwiches stay away from white bread. Order whole-grain bread with either mustard, low fat mayonnaise, light ranch dressing, or a splash of light Italian dressing as a spread for taste.

     Tip #5:

  • At breakfast, have an omelets, scrambled eggs with French toast made with eggs whites and fewer eggs yolks. Have your French toast made with whole-wheat bread and use fresh fruits as toppings. Also order any sauce or dressing on the side so that you can control the amount used.

     Tip #6:

  • Look for foods that are steamed, broiled, blackened, grilled, roasted or served in their own juices. Also, order any sauce or dressing on the side so that you can control the amount used.

     Tip #7:

  • If the portion are large, take half of it home to eat at a later time or split the entrée with your companion. Check to see if you can get the same in a smaller portion at a reduced price.

     Tip #8:

  • If you can’t resist desserts, you should. But if you really want a dessert share it with your friends or friends. And remember, light and low fat desserts can be very high in carbs and calories or be very high in sugars.


If you have any question about swimming or nutrition you want answered check out my “ask Caryle” page for more info. Until next time.


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