5 Nutrition Tips for Dining Out

Peer pressure to dine out as part of your job is a very real thing.  Sometimes it’s date night and dining out is a great change of pace.

No matter what your scenario is, dining out can be a challenge.  Here are a few tactics for you to stay on point with your goals when it comes to going out to eat.

1 – Being Perfect While Dining Out

With the exception of being in some sort of a weight loss challenge or [maybe] you have a big event coming up, you do not need to be 100% for 100% of the time.  In fact, that is irresponsible.


If you chose to be 100% for 100% of the time, what happens when you miss the mark once?  Your thoughts immediately go to, “well, I just messed up.  What am I even doing this for?”  That’s when you fall completely off the rails.

The better option?  Start with the 80/20 rule.  Maybe make it 70/30 or 90/10.  The point is to give yourself some wiggle room because wiggle room is a chance to not be perfect and to get right back on the wagon if you fall off.

As long as you’re staying within your 80/20, let loose a little when you are going out to eat!  This brings me to…

2 – Choice = Power

Don’t just let food choices just happen to you.  If you are focusing on sticking to your 80/20 rule then you also get to pick where and when you indulge.  Let’s do some quick math:

3 meals per day x 7 days = 21 meals per week
21 meals per week x 20% = roughly 4 meals

What this means is 4 meals per week you can choose to indulge.  This way accidents don’t just happen to you.  Now, the 20% is there so if something does just happen, you can get right back on the wagon.

3 – Decide Before You Have To Decide

You know that feeling when you go to the grocery store hungry and you end up buying everything?

It works the same way at a restaurant.  Plus, you go to a restaurant hungry, on purpose.  That’s the point!

So, take a look at the menu and decide what you want to eat before you ever go there.  You can make better decisions this way and save yourself from doing something you will wish you didn’t.

4 – You’re Buying

Since you are the one who is paying the restaurant for the meal, and unless it is specifically stated somewhere on the menu, swap some things out:

Want some veggies instead of those fries?  Ask.
Rather have your burger lettuce wrapped instead of on a bun?  Ask.
Want the sauce but would rather have it on the side?  Ask.

The point is, as long as you’re polite when you ask, just ask.  This is your meal, after all.

5 – Minimize Liquid Calories

This one is going to hurt some feelings…

Liquid calories are unnecessary – sugary drinks and alcohol.  There are a myriad of health and recovery reasons why to avoid them but for staying goals focused, liquid calories sabotage.

That being said, if your drink or two falls within your 20%, then by all means.  But if you drink enough that your hangover carries over to the next day… well, then you are threatening to fall outside your 80/20 range.  You may very well find your way back to that same headspace of, “why do I even try to eat well?”

The point is don’t make decisions like a child:  “I want this and I want this now.”

It Is Time

My goal is to give you something actionable that you could use today.

Dining out, soon? Pick one and try it out!  Even more interesting is the fact that you could use these rules with your entire week of meals regardless if you are eating out or not.

If you find yourself lacking the accountability to stay with the 80/20 rule, we’d be happy to help!  We have rockstar nutrition coaches who would love to sit down with you and learn about your goals and help you succeed.  Click HERE to set up your free consult.

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