How to Eat Well When It’s a Challenge

Do you ever find yourself without healthy options for eating out? It’s hard when you’re driving and see only fast-food restaurants. If you’re in an airport and want a sit-down restaurant, you’ll probably be limited to the big chains.

We all know that it’s harder to eat healthy and stick to your diet at a restaurant than at home. Chains, even those without a drive-thru window, can be extra dicey, with oversized portions, high fat and sky-high sodium.

We’re not promoting fast food or any particular chain – but sometimes, you do get stuck in a food desert. Keep a few principles in mind and you should be OK.

  • Look for “light” offerings at places like Denny’s.
  • Watch out for enormous entrees. Split main dishes with a companion.
  • Order dressing on the side.
  • Favor baked or grilled fish and chicken.
  • Get fruit or side salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water or tea instead of soda (even diet soda).

From EatThis.comThe Food Network, and Good Housekeeping, here’s a fast-food sampling to get you thinking about not-so-terrible options.

  • Arby’s: Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad. 240 calories, 13g fat
  • Burger King: Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Skip the honey mustard sauce. 430 calories, 11g fat, 40g protein
  • McDonald’s Classic Cheeseburger. 300 calories, 12g fat
  • Olive Garden: Herb-grilled salmon and broccoli. 460 calories, 29g fat, 960mg sodium, 26g protein
  • Panera: Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. 410 calories, 21g fat, 540mg sodium, 32g protein


Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.

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