Fit Friday: Tips for making Eating Out Healthier!

Eating out is at the center of America's obesity epidemic.
The portions sizes, fried food, and drinks are causing weight to skyrocket.

That being said, going out to eat is one of my favorite things in the world!
I look forward to it every week!
However, healthy eating is a lifestyle. 
I have learned how to eat and what to put into my body to maintain that healthy lifestyle even when eating out.

This does not mean you can't splurge now and then!
Where is the fun in eating out if you can't get your favorite thing on the menu!? (aka pizza and chips and salsa)
Life is to be enjoyed!

Here are some tips that work for me when going out to eat to keep it semi- healthy:)

1. Always ask to put dressing and spreads on the side.
This is totally a post for another day because I have a lot to say on this but BEWARE of certain salads ladies! Because of the dressing certain salads are like disguised Big Macs.

Caesar salads are terrible. (and I love caesar dressing!!)
Some caesar salads have twice the amount of fat of a big cheeseburger.
You think you are doing your body a favor by ordering salad but you might as well be ordering a burger and fries.
I won't even go into my beloved Cafe Rio Salad dressing.:(

As for sandwiches I worked at a popular lunch cafe and trust me, some of the sandwiches have up to 40 grams of fat just because of spreads!
Moral of the story, ask for sauce on the side.
That way you can control how much you put on.

Also, always ask about their lighter dressing or spread options for salads and sandwiches!
Every restaurant will usually have a secret lighter option!

2. Drink Water
This is a simple one and I know I have mentioned this before but I am not a soda drinker.
There is the occasional time where my husband and I will go out for pizza and I will sip his root-beer but we usually just stick with water.
It's cheeper AND you don't drink your calories away.

3. Ask for no butter on the bun.
I LOVE sandwiches and paninis!
They are my thing!
However, MOST places put butter on your bread!- (something else I learned while working at "this" lunch cafe)
I know a lot of fast food restaurants load butter on their burger buns also. (if you are a burger lover)
It's not something you would think to say but
to save from some fat and calories I always say NO BUTTER ON THE BUN, regardless of if I know it comes with it or not.

4. Make sure it's grilled and not breaded or fried.
There are A LOT of fancy ways to say something is fried or breaded without actually saying it.
I always ask it the meat or seafood is grilled.

If I am at an Italian restaurant and I find a pasta on the menu I love but it is with breaded chicken, I just ask to substitute it with grilled chicken.
They will make it exactly how you want it!

5. Ask about different side choices.
Most restaurants have fruit or a side salad as a side option rather than french fries!
Sometimes it's just not listed on the menu.
For example at that "popular lunch cafe" I worked at, every sandwich came with potato chips but we had Baked Lays as an option, they were just not listed on the menu.

6. Control your eating portions.
This is also a post for another day because there is a lot to talk about but somehow America has turned one serving size equal to 10 serving sizes!
Like Cheesecake Factory- my husband and I's favorite restaurant ever-
Have you seen some of their portion sizes!?!?!?!
Split something, or limit yourself to half of it and take it home for later.
There has been one too many dates nights I come home and feel like I ate a horse.

Please don't think I am some crazy person and don't enjoy my food when I go out!
Trust me, food is the apple to my eye and I can put down a serious dish of food!
Hence why I workout so I can eat what I feel like eating!
These are just ways to make it healthier and still feel well at the end of the night rather than feeling like you ate your night away! :)

Happy Friday from me and my little sidekick!

I have gotten several emails asking specific questions (I love reading your emails so thank you!) 
so I'm going to start this question thing at the end of certain posts relating to the topic.
 Please answer them (a couple of them or all of them!)- I LOVE reading your comments & it will help me for future posts to know how to address certain topics!:) As always thank you for reading! xoxoxo

*What's your favorite restaurant??
UMMM I love everything so that's hard but probably Cheesecake Factory (not for the cheesecake- just the food ha) and BRIO or P.F. Changs (ok yeah i'm terrible at choosing. I love all food!)

*Are you a soda drinker?? If so, what's your favorite kind?

*If you could "splurge" on anything food wise what would it be??
Um cheese PIZZA haha

*How many times a week do you eat out??
Usually 2-3 times. One sometimes 2 of those being dinner on the weekends.:)

Karina Marie Powell


  1. I love EVERY restaurant too, so that's a tough question. But Mexican food is probably my most favorite and I'm obsessed with Chuy's so I'd have to go with them!

    No soda for me thank you, I'd rather have dessert! :) Plus the carbonation always makes me feel really full and uncomfortable.

    My splurges are always things like burgers and fries, I can't pass up a good juicy burger!

    I'm like you, I try to eat at home for all my meals during the week so we can enjoy going out on the weekends!

    Great post!

    1. Oh my gosh I just have to tell you that my in-laws are obsessed with chuys! We LOVE that place and we go all the time! I totally should have added that into my tops. LOVE mexican food!
      I'm with you with the "rather have dessert thing!"

  2. Love these answers. I couldn't agree with them more. I ALWAYS ask for the dressing on the side. Crazy story! Today, I was ordering a salad from Rumbi. With the ranch dressing it was 600 calories. Without the ranch dressing & the tortilla strips? 300!!! Cut that in half mostly from the dressing. Isn't that crazy? Ah!

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  4. Quick question. Did you do the Insanity DVDs while you were pregnant? If so, did you modify at all?

    Thanks so much!! :D

  5. I was wondering if you continued to do the Insanity DVDs while you were pregnant. If so, did you modify at all? Thanks! :D

  6. My fave restaurant is probably BJ's, if you dont have one near you there is one in Pearland, & Sugarland....not sure if the Woodlands has one or not. Its a must try but def. not good for ya!

    I am not a soda girl, no thanks. I drink water all day everyday about 10-12 tall glasses if not more. I allow myself 1-2 drinks that are not water on a daily, usually reserved for coffee and juice. But normally its just coffee in the morning and water all day. Only time I drink coke is when I order a whiskey lol which is rare these days.

    Splurges are burgers & fries...partial to Papa's Burger, Prince's & Chesters (here in Houston) but rarely do I ever actually get that change.

    We never eat out, mainly because I cook all the time. Nothing better than learning a trade & controlling what goes in your mouth!

    Love the fitness/health posts! Keep 'em coming!

    1. Ok, I have been to BJ's!! They have good BBQ chicken pizza! It's only like 10 minutes from my house! So good! My husband loves all things burgers so I understand!

      Um totally with you on the water thing!

  7. love this karina!

    I love Olive garden, and the cheese cake café ( Canada), yum yum, but last year after I found out my cesar salad was 1800cal!! I started getting dressing ont he side too, and I dip the end of my fork in it, I save SOOO many calories!!

    I never buy pop because... well I love it LOL! So I never try to have it in the house, however, there are days where only a ice cold diet coke will do. My husband hates, hates that I drink diet pop.. he's right, but its my guilty pleasure! LOL

    spurges for me is mcdonalds, I know, I know, it's sooo gross but at least once a year I have to have a quaterpounder with bacon.. I regret it later!!!

    We are a family of 5, so I do cook most days, but at least once a week, we go out, or grab pizza for Friday night or something like that!

    I do eat well most of the time.. so why on earth can't I lose this 30lbs! LOL!

  8. My favorite restaurant might also be cheesecake factory but yeah, holy cow those food portions are crazy! Food splurges for me are grilled cheese sandwiches from 5 guys! Mmmmmm! and I am totally not a soda drinker either but I'll sip Eric's root bear when he gets it. I probably eat out twice a week. Sometimes more if I meet Eric for lunch somewhere.

  9. A few things things I would love to hear about is a post on what to do once you have lost weight. How do you wean off calorie counting and onto your own feet?

    Secondly, your thoughts on organic food. It seems based on what you write that you just try to eat good foods, regardless of organic or not, but I'd love to hear.

    Lastly, I love when you write favorite snacks/foods. It gives me new ideas!

  10. I would love your thoughts on three things:

    1.) Once you've lost weight, how do you go back to not calorie counting? Any tricks to maintaining weight and making that transition easy?

    2.) Do you try to eat organic or just a good variety of healthy foods?

    3.) I love hearing your favorite foods. It gives me ideas to try out!

  11. *What's your favorite restaurant??
    Most likely a Thai restaurant!

    *Are you a soda drinker?? If so, what's your favorite kind?
    NA - don't drink soda

    *If you could "splurge" on anything food wise what would it be??
    Pasta & pastries

    *How many times a week do you eat out??
    2-3 times during the week.