Veggie Challenge: I actually had no idea this existed until someone on tumblr told me about! I think I'm going to try it

28 Day Eat Green Challenge: Veg Boot Camp

Teetering on the edge of veg or looking to fine-tune your daily eating habits? Our 28-day plan will have you eating your greens—and your reds, yellows, and oranges—for life.

We’ve all been there: It’s six months into the New Year and that gym membership still hasn’t been activated. And that resolution to kick the meat habit for good? It, too, fell by the wayside, thanks to the neighbor’s pepperoni-pizza-fueled Super Bowl party. You know you want to get healthy and clean up your diet, so which excuse is keeping you from going full-fledge veg? We know, we know. There are so many to choose from!

Dismantling the myths that stand between you and optimal health is no easy feat; after all, well-meaning friends and family have been hurling their unfounded fears at you since you first announced your intention to give meat the heave-ho. Hear them out, but also listen to what the experts have to say: vegetarianism is healthful, delicious, affordable, and time-efficient too.

It’s never too late to turn good intentions into action, and our 28-day plan supports you every step of the way. You’ll find tasty recipes to get you started and menus to tie it all together. First off, doctors and dietitians bust those diehard myths—yes, you’ll get plenty of protein.

THE PROTEIN MYTH: You’ll Wither Away Without Meat

Sometimes, it seems our families exist for the sole purpose of worrying about us, especially when we say nay to the turkey at Thanksgiving, pass on the pot roast at Christmas, or skip the brisket at Passover. “But you used to love my meatloaf,” comes the kitchen chorus. “You’re going to starve. Eat!”

The next time Grandma gives you grief for skipping the skirt steak and heading straight for the baked potato, salad, and grilled vegetables, tell her not to worry—the doctor says it’s OK. “As long as you are eating a variety of plant foods, you’ll easily get all the protein you need,” says Neal D. Barnard, MD, VT‘s Ask the Doc columnist and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The exact amount of protein you need depends largely on your body weight, but it’s roughly 1 gram for every 2.2 pounds. “Protein should hit no less than 50 grams per day, so aim for meals that have at least 12 grams, and snacks with 5 to 7 grams.” advises Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, LDN, who designed our 28-day Veg Boot Camp meal plan to deliver a generous 16 grams of protein per meal. With simple planning, vegetarians can easily access all the protein their bodies require to thrive, says Blatner, but remember to incorporate beans, nuts, and seeds into each of your main meals and most of your snacks: “Beans and lentils are the best sources of protein, and there are so many options.” And don’t forget the humble soybean in its myriad forms: edamame, tofu, and tempeh are satisfying sources of plant-based protein.

THE HUNGER MYTH: You Won’t Feel Satisfied

Someone, somewhere in time, launched a rumor that has stuck like superglue: vegetarians eat only rabbit food. To the contrary, one of the best things vegetarianism has going for it is its sheer variety. Take meat out of the equation and a new world of possibilities opens up: exotic greens, earthy grains, savory mushrooms. The key to feeling satisfied is to think not just quantity, but taste and texture too.

“The pleasure of food has as much to do with mouthfeel as it does with flavor,” says Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of Color Me Vegan andThe 30-Day Vegan Challenge. “For instance, if you’re looking to satisfy your craving for something chewy and meaty, try mushrooms, tempeh, seitan, or whole grains.” Explore new recipes that will allow you to experiment with less familiar foods, and make the process fun by sharing the experience with a friend.

As you ease into vegetarianism and begin to navigate the vast and varied world of vegetarian foods, you might find that some of the things you used to eat are now making you feel too full. Don’t be surprised if your cravings for oily chips and candy bars morph into a hunger for crisp apples and whole-grain crackers; it’s simply another benefit of adopting healthier eating habits.

THE MONEY MYTH: You Can’t Afford It

It’s hard to compete with those cheap, greasy value meals touted at fast-food chains, but creating satisfying, wholesome, and delicious meals from plant foods looks a lot more affordable when you consider the long-term health benefits. Americans spend more than $147 billion per year to combat obesity-related illness—nearly 10 percent of our total health care spending—and that doesn’t include the cost of fighting cancer and other lifestyle-related diseases.

“We are spending less than half as much of our incomes on food today than we did 40 years ago, but we spend three times as much on medical care,” says family physician Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of the bestselling book Eat to Live. “Instead of buying good-quality, healthful food, we eat ourselves into chronic diseases that cost a fortune to control with drugs, and the drugs don’t work very well and have side effects too.”

Budget-conscious shoppers needn’t feel compelled to shop at high-end natural-food chains; farmers’ markets are an affordable source for fresh produce, and buying beans, rice, and other staples in bulk lets you bypass the added expense inherent in packaging.

THE TIME MYTH: You’re Too Busy

If you’ve got a can opener and a knife, you can get a healthful veg meal on the table in the time it takes to check your e-mail. “Dinner can be as simple as heating a can of lentil soup with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables to increase its nutrient power,” says Jennifer Reilly, RD, a Washington-based nutritionist. “Have that with some whole-grain crackers and you’ve got dinner in less than 6 minutes!” Stock your fridge and pantry with go-to staples, such as black beans, pasta sauce, tortillas, avocado, and hummus. With a little practice, you’ll be mixing, matching, and eating better meals and snacks in no time flat.

THE NUTRITION MYTH: You Won’t Get All the Vitamins and Minerals You Need

If your version of vegetarianism is built on a base of French fries, potato chips, and fried mozzarella sticks, well, maybe there’s something to this myth. The junk food trap is an easy one to fall into; everywhere we go—the supermarket, the mall, the movies—we’re seduced by the call of high-fat, nutrient-deficient convenience foods and fast-food meals.

“Everyone should be careful to meet their nutritional needs, no matter what diet they are on,” asserts Fuhrman. “Vegetarians and omnivores alike often eat lots of junk food, white flour, and too much sugar and salt. We only get one body, and don’t get a new one after we screw it up. Consuming whole, natural plant foods and avoiding processed foods are the answer to achieving a long, healthy life.”


1. For the Animals With every piece of chicken, cow, pig, turkey, duck, lamb, or veal calf you don’t eat, you are opting out of a system that slaughters roughly 10 billion land animals for food each year in America, according to estimates from the Humane Society of the United States. (That’s not even counting fish.) Vegan diets take the notion one step further by eschewing all animal products, including eggs and dairy.

2. For the Environment “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” an oft-referenced 2006 report issued by the United Nations, had some environmentalists choking on their cheeseburgers: The livestock sector generates more than 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Factory farms are also major contributors to land erosion and water pollution.

3. For Your Health Vegetarians have a lower risk of colon and bowel cancers, and some studies suggest a link between plant-based diets and reduced instances of Alzheimer’s disease. Going veg also offers significant improvements to quality of life. “In our research studies, we see changes almost instantly,” says Neal D. Barnard, MD. “Within the first day or two, digestion improves. After a few weeks, blood pressure and cholesterol are noticeably improved, and if a person has diabetes, it is usually dramatically better too.”

Healthy Eating Tip: Add greens to anything you can. This is a bowl of leftover chicken tortilla soup from a Mexican restaurant. I heated it up for lunch today and added a handful of organic spinach. I added half of a diced avocado on top after removing from the heat. Now it is a much healthier version of the soup. The key is to keep fresh produce in your kitchen so it is convenient to add it in all sorts of dishes. Enjoy!

New Tips & Ideas!

Hi Everyone!

As I have posted before, I am studying to be a Registered Dietitian which means I am apart of (The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics)! On there, I am working as a Kids Eat Right Campaign Member in order to spread the message of healthy eating to adults and children. My part comes in by posting on social media weekly tips in order to help get those messages across! The goal of this campaign is to get quality nutrition ideas across to families in order to reduce obesity. This concept stems from the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move”initiative to help fight childhood obesity. My posts will be on Mondays, and you can check out the campaign at!

Thank you so much, and I hope you enjoy this journey I am embarking in. Please repost these messages and spread healthy eating tips to all! :)

Healthy Eating tips
  1. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and no single food supplies them all. Your daily food selection should include bread and other whole-grain products; fruits; vegetables; dairy products; and meat, poultry, fish and other protein foods. How much you should eat depends on your calorie needs. Use the Food Guide Pyramid and the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels as handy references.
  2. Enjoy plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Surveys show most Americans don’t eat enough of these foods. Do you eat 6-11 servings from the bread, rice, cereal and pasta group, 3 of which should be whole grains? Do you eat 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables? If you don’t enjoy some of these at first, give them another chance. Look through cookbooks for tasty ways to prepare unfamiliar foods.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight. The weight that’s right for you depends on many factors including your sex, height, age and heredity. Excess body fat increases your chances for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some types of cancer and other illnesses. But being too thin can increase your risk for osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities and other health problems. If you’re constantly losing and regaining weight, a registered dietitian can help you develop sensible eating habits for successful weight management. Regular exercise is also important to maintaining a healthy weight.
  4. Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes reasonable, it’s easier to eat the foods you want and stay healthy. Did you know the recommended serving of cooked meat is 3 ounces, similar in size to a deck of playing cards? A medium piece of fruit is 1 serving and a cup of pasta equals 2 servings. A pint of ice cream contains 4 servings. Refer to the Food Guide Pyramid for information on recommended serving sizes.
  5. Eat regular meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in overeating. When you’re very hungry, it’s also tempting to forget about good nutrition. Snacking between meals can help curb hunger, but don’t eat so much that your snack becomes an entire meal.
Healthy Eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
  • Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
  • Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
How to Lose Belly Fat

Tip 1 - Healthier Eating

This isn’t so much a tip but rather common sense. Everybody knows that if they eat healthy food they will not only lose weight but feel better also. The problem is though that we are surrounded by many unhealthy choices everyday and it’s not so easy sometimes to just say no. If we feel we have to give up something it can make us crave it more. And if we abstain from something when we do eventually eat it we do tend to go crazy and over indulge leaving us in no better position than when we started.

The easiest way I’ve found is to make small steps. Start cutting down on the junk foods, fast foods and takeaways. Try to add salads to your meals and snack on fruit when you get hungry. Get a good recipe book and starting cooking healthy meals for you and you’re family instead of ordering in a pizza. You can even make healthy pizza’s!

Just take it little by little and one step at a time. Don’t over complicate things and don’t feel as though you’re missing out on anything. Just add healthy choices when you can and enjoy it because your body will thank you for it.

Tip 2 - Exercise

For some people the mention of exercise can be very daunting and even feel depressing. If you think of exercise with the wrong mindset then you are on the fast track to failure. Exercise can be a great form of socialising, fun and as a bonus it will help you lose weight, burn fat and make you feel much better. It’s all about finding the right exercise modality that is fun for you and something that you know you’d enjoy doing a few times a week. At the end of the day if it’s something you love doing then you’ll stick with it.

There are so many forms of exercise that you’re really spoilt for choice. You could try KickBoxing, Tai Chi, Yoga, Zumba, Swimming, Cross Training, Basketball, Pilates, Soccer, Aerobics, MMA Training, Rebounding, Gymnastics, Free Running, Breakdancing, etc. the options are almost endless.

There are also many instructional DVD’s that are amazing that can help get you in shape in no time at home. All you have to do is put in a little effort and find something that you’re passionate about and you’ll see the results in no time.

Tip 3 - Drink Water

It’s amazing how many people never actually drink water as it is an essential part to losing weight and burning off excess fat. Our bodies are made up of between 55-75% water so it stands to reason that we need it in our diet. Water regulates our body temperature and provides us with the means for nutrients to travel to our organs and tissues. It also helps to eliminate waste away from our bodies.

Most people these days when they are thirsty go straight for a soda or an energy drink when they really should be consuming the most natural drink on the planet. Try to cut down on soft drinks and sugary drinks and replace them with water when you can. You don’t have to cut everyting out but try to take the healthy option where possible.

Tip 4 - Reduce Sugar

Sugar is found in almost every man made food product on the market. It’s in our bread, cereal, ready meals, sauces, soups, sweets, etc. If you drink coffee with a few spoons of sugar in say eight times a day then try to replace 4 of those with water, green tea or any other healthier choice. The same goes with food. Rather than buy that can of soup or ready meal try to make your own versions. 

Over time you will notice a massive difference in your tastebuds and your waistline. I know quite a few people who have lost quite a bit of weight just by giving up coke and other soft drinks and drinking water or other healthier choices instead, and that’s without changing what they eat. Just be sensible with it and you will no doubt see the difference.

Tip 5 - Intermittent Fasting

This is one of my favourite ways to lose stomach fat and although it’s simple it’s very effective. One or twice a week you will not eat for a period of 24 hours. This may seem crazy at first but it’s actually quite easy and you still get to eat everyday. Intermittent fasting has been proven to:

Reduce blood pressure
Reduce blood sugar
Improve insulin sensitivity
Decrease body fat and body weight
Increase growth hormone levels Which helps to increase muscle and burn fat

First you choose your fasting day, we’ll for example use Monday. You can eat as normal all day Monday until say 5pm. You will then not consume any food until 5pm the next day which will be Tuesday. After 5pm Tuesday you continue eating as you normally would until you decide to do a fast day again.

You don’t have to choose 5pm as yout time, it’s totally up to you and whatever suits your lifestyle. The important part is not to ingest any calories over the 24 hour period. You may drink water, green tea, even coffee with a splash of milk over the 24 hours. If you do drink coffee try not to drink too much. Water and green tea are your best choices. Also during your 24 hour fast don’t just sit around and get bored. Try to do something productive with your time until it’s time to eat again.

This type of program has been a well kept fat loss secret with female fitness models and male bodybuilders over the past 20 years. It is not about putting your body into starvation mode but a sensible and proven way that will create a calorie deficit that will allow your body to burn fat naturally and boost your metabolism.

Tip 6 - Reduce Wheat

Here’s another great way how to lose stomach fat. While researching the internet for ways to lose weight fast I read about a man named Dr. William Davis. He said that people who give up wheat lose a pound of day for the first 10 days. 

After reading that I decided to give it a go and I lost almost a stone in 3 weeks. I basically stopped eating bread, pasta, cereal and anything else that contained any wheat. It was a little difficult at first but it helped me get creative with meals and made me realise how much I relied on bread to fill myself up.

I don’t abstain from eating wheat anymore but I do eat a lot less than I used to and when I do eat bread, pasta or pizza I enjoy it and don’t feel guilty. 

Its easy, reduce the amount of wheat that you eat over a period of time or even try giving up wheat for a few days and see how you feel. Just experiment with it, your body knows what it needs, listen to it.

12 Healthy Eating tips

1. Build a better plate. In the fall of 2011, nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues at Harvard Health Publications unveiled the Healthy Eating Plate (see below), a visual guide to healthful eating that improves on the government’s “MyPlate.” Both guides are meant to simplify the task of planning healthy meals. The Healthy Eating Plate is made up of one-half vegetables and fruits, one-quarter whole grains, and one-quarter healthy protein. “Whole” and “healthy” are important words here. Refined grains (think white breads, pastas, and rice) have less fiber and fewer nutrients than whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and brown rice (see No. 4). Healthy proteins include fish, poultry, beans, and nuts — but not red meats or processed meats. Many studies have shown that red meats and especially processed meats are linked with colorectal cancer — and that you can lower your risk for heart disease by replacing either type of meat with healthier protein sources. So eat red meats sparingly (selecting the leanest cuts), and avoid processed meats altogether. Hint: To learn more about the Healthy Eating Plate, go

2. Pile on the vegetables and fruit. Vegetables and fruits are high in fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals as well as hundreds of beneficial plant chemicals (phytochemicals) that you can’t get in supplements (see No. 8). Diets rich in vegetables and fruit can benefit the heart by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation and improving insulin resistance and blood vessel function. In long-term observational studies, people who eat more fruits and vegetables have a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight gain, and those who eat more fruit also have a lower risk of stroke. Hint: Fresh fruits and vegetables are great, but don’t avoid the frozen kind (or dried fruit or canned fruits and vegetables minus the heavy syrup or salt) when they’re more convenient.

3. Go for the good fats. At one time, we were told to eat less fat, but now we know that it’s mainly the type of fat that counts. The most beneficial sources are plants and fish. You can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol by eating mostly polyunsaturated fats (including vegetable oils and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, seeds and nuts, and canola oil) and monounsaturated fats (in avocados and many plant-based oils, such as olive oil and canola oil). Saturated fats (found mostly in dairy and meat products) and trans fats (hydrogenated fat found in many fried and baked goods) boost LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, increasing your risk of heart disease. Worse still, trans fats reduce your “good” HDL cholesterol. Hint: As long as you replace bad fats with good ones, you can get up to 35% of your calories from fat.

4. Replace refined grains and potatoes with whole grains. Whole grains retain the bran and germ of the natural grain, providing healthful fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Many of these substances are removed from refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, and are barely present in starches such as potatoes. Starches and refined carbohydrates are digested quickly, causing surges in insulin and blood sugar, boosting triglycerides, and lowering HDL cholesterol. These changes increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The rapid rise and fall of blood sugar and insulin can also make you hungry, raising the risk of weight gain. Potatoes aren’t all bad; they’re a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. But eat them only occasionally, in small amounts, and with the skins on (that’s where the fiber is). Hint: Be adventurous. In addition to whole wheat and brown rice, try quinoa, millet, farro, and amaranth. Some of these whole grains can be cooked like hot cereal or rice, and some are ground into flour for baking.

"Carb-check" your breads and cereals

Some carbohydrates are good for health and others aren’t. The worst carbohydrate sources use highly refined grains and sugars. The best have whole or minimally processed grains. One way to identify a good carb source is to divide the number of grams of carbohydrate per serving by the number of grams of fiber. Aim for less than 10 for breads and under five for cereals.

5. Eliminate liquid sugars. Sugar-sweetened beverages — non-diet sodas, sugary fruit drinks, iced teas with added sugar, and sports drinks — provide calories and little else. There’s good evidence that these drinks can raise the threshold for satiety (feeling full), thereby increasing the amount you eat and promoting weight gain. A 2011 Harvard study found that sugar-sweetened beverages were one of the dietary components most strongly linked to long-term weight gain among healthy women and men. What about 100% fruit juice with no added sugar? Even all-natural fruit juice has a lot of calories. The Healthy Eating Plate guidelines suggest you drink no more than one small glass a day (say, 4 to 6 ounces). Hint: Add carbonated water to your “one small glass” for full-glass satisfaction.

6. Drink enough water. Many foods contain water, so you may get enough every day without making a special effort. But it can be helpful to drink water (or another no-calorie liquid, such as black tea, coffee, or carbonated water) with meals or as an alternative to snacking. A reasonable goal is 4 to 6 cups of water a day.Hint: As you add whole grains to your diet, water helps move the fiber smoothly through your digestive tract, reducing the chances of constipation.

7. Learn to like less sodium. The body needs sodium for proper muscle and nerve function and fluid balance, but excessive amounts can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease and stroke. The dangers of a salty diet (salt is 40% sodium) are greatest in people over age 50, African Americans, and women. You’ll do yourself a favor if you wean your taste buds from a yen for salt. Limit your daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) — the amount in one teaspoonful of salt. If you have high blood pressure or are at risk for it, get no more than 1,500 mg per day. Hint: Most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed and restaurant foods. Instead, choose fresh, unprocessed foods, and prepare them yourself. Read the nutrition content on labels and make sure that the per-serving sodium content is less than the calories per serving.

8. Rethink supplements. It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from food rather than supplements, but this can be hard, especially if you’re cutting calories or your energy needs are low. We showed how to meet almost all your nutrient needs through food alone, even if you’re consuming 1,500 calories or less per day ( The key is choosing nutrient-dense foods, such as leafy greens, low-fat yogurt, dried beans, whole grains, and salmon. The only problem is vitamin D. Here a supplement is probably a good idea, because it’s difficult to get the recommended daily intake (600 to 800 IU) through foods. Hint: You can get enough calcium on a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet by eating low-fat dairy products and nondairy foods such as canned salmon, tofu, sesame seeds, dark leafy greens like collards and kale, and legumes such as pinto and kidney beans.

9. Dine mindfully. Taking time to savor your food not only makes eating more enjoyable, it can also help control your appetite. Your sense of fullness and satisfaction depends on hormonal signals from your digestive tract. If you eat too quickly, your brain may not receive the signals that say you’re full. Try putting down your fork between bites and chewing more slowly. Tune in to your food’s aroma, taste, and texture, and stop eating when you feel full. Some small studies suggest that this approach may help some people make healthier food choices. Hint: To start, try taking one mindful bite at the beginning of each meal — a sort of eating speed bump.

10. Keep alcohol under control. Many studies link moderate alcohol consumption (for women, no more than one drink per day) to heart benefits, including a reduced risk of heart attack, increases in “good” HDL cholesterol, and reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, gallstones, and dementia. One drink per day also slightly increases your risk for breast cancer, and the risk increases steadily the more alcohol you consume. There are plenty of other ways to get heart benefits, so if you don’t like alcohol, don’t have it. But if you enjoy an occasional cocktail or a glass of wine with dinner, you need to weigh the risks and benefits in light of your own situation. Hint: If you find that one drink often turns into two or more, consider quitting or getting help to cut back. For help, go to

11. Eat breakfast. It’s easy to skip breakfast when you’re in a rush, aren’t hungry, or want to cut calories. But a healthy morning meal makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, which can lower your risk of overeating and impulse snacking. (Eating breakfast every day is one characteristic common to participants in the National Weight Control Registry, who’ve lost at least 30 pounds and kept the weight off longer than a year.) Hint: A healthy, balanced breakfast is moderate in size and includes healthy protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, and fruit — for example, an egg, whole-wheat toast, and strawberries. If you like cereal, have whole-grain cereal with fruit and low-fat yogurt or milk.

12. Plan for a snack attack. Snacking isn’t an essential part of a healthy eating plan, but try telling that to a rumbling stomach at midafternoon. A healthy snack can boost energy levels by stabilizing blood sugar while giving you an added dose of healthful nutrients. But unplanned, impulsive snacking often takes the form of cookies, chips, or candy bars. So prepare healthy snacks ahead of time, and keep them handy at home or in your office. Limit calories to about 100 to 150 per snack. Good choices include a small bunch of grapes, a banana, or other fruit; a handful of unsalted nuts or sunflower seeds; and plain nonfat yogurt with a few raspberries or strawberries tossed in. Hint: Before giving in to a snack attack, drink an 8-ounce glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes to see if you’re still hungry.

Tips for Eating Healthy When Eating out

  • As a beverage choice, ask for water or order fat-free or low-fat milk, unsweetened tea, or other drinks without added sugars.
  • Ask for whole-wheat bread for sandwiches.
  • In a restaurant, start your meal with a salad packed with veggies, to help control hunger and feel satisfied sooner.
  • Ask for salad dressing to be served on the side. Then use only as much as you want.
  • Choose main dishes that include vegetables, such as stir fries, kebobs, or pasta with a tomato sauce.
  • Order steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Choose a small” or “medium” portion. This includes main dishes, side dishes, and beverages.
  • Order an item from the menu instead heading for the “all-you-can-eat” buffet.
  • If main portions at a restaurant are larger than you want, try one of these strategies to keep from overeating:
    • Order an appetizer-sized portion or a side dish instead of an entrée.
    • Share a main dish with a friend.
    • If you can chill the extra food right away, take leftovers home in a “doggy bag.”
    • When your food is delivered, set aside or pack half of it to go immediately.
    • Resign from the “clean your plate club” - when you’ve eaten enough, leave the rest.
  • To keep your meal moderate in calories, fat, and sugars:
    • Ask for salad dressing to be served “on the side” so you can add only as much as you want.
    • Order foods that do not have creamy sauces or gravies
    • Add little or no butter to your food.
    • Choose fruits for dessert most often.
  • On long commutes or shopping trips, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, low-fat string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts to help you avoid stopping for sweet or fatty snacks.