Just because you're trying to eat healthier doesn't mean you can never go out to eat with your friends or family. Instead of getting frustrated and throwing caution to the wind, just do a little research ahead of time to identify healthy restaurants near you and menu options that fit in with your nutrition goals.
We've scoured popular restaurant menus to give you a head start with 15 healthy dishes that will fit into most eating plans. And don't worry, even if you do make a less-than-ideal choice at one meal, that doesn't mean you have to give up on healthy eating. Just go right back to your plan at the very next meal and don't waste time feeling guilty!
15 Healthy Restaurant Choices1. Applebee's: Cedar Grilled Salmon
(340 calories/22 g fat/2 g carbs/1 g fiber/0 g sugar/35 g protein)
Salmon is a delicious way to boost your intake of protein, omega-3s and healthy fats. This satisfying dish comes with a side of veggies and multigrain rice.
2. Subway: 6" Oven-Roasted Chicken6. Arby's: Roast Turkey Farmhouse Salad
(320 calories/5 g fat/46 g carbs/5 g fiber/8 g sugar/23 g protein)
Stick to the veggie toppings and skip the cheese and mayo to keep this tasty sub within the healthy range.
3. Panda Express: Broccoli Beef
(150 calories/7 g fat/13 g carbs/2 g fiber/9 g protein)
Satisfy your Chinese food cravings with tender beef and fresh broccoli in a ginger soy sauce, without sending your calorie intake skyrocketing.
4. Wendy's: Small Chili and Side Salad
(Combined 430 calories/23 g fat/35 g carbs/6 g fiber/22 g protein)
This protein-packed combo is the perfect mix of warm comfort food and crisp, fresh greens.
5. First Watch: Healthy Turkey Omelet
(580 calories/13 g fat/71 g carbs/7 g fiber/50 g protein)
This egg white delight is served with tasty turkey, fresh tomatoes, spinach, feta and roasted onions. Ask for an English Muffin instead of the nine-grain bread they now serve with it.
(230 calories/13 g fat/8 g carbs/2 g fiber/22 g protein)
This quick-serve restaurant salad option offers a nice variation with the roasted turkey. Limit the cheese and bacon to reduce the sodium and fat content.
7. Jimmy John's: Turkey Tom with Tomato, Cucumber, Jimmy's Mustard and Sprouts
(365 calories/2.5 g fat/56 g carbs/4 g fiber/26 g protein)
This satisfying lunch will give you the protein boost you need to power through the afternoon. To cut the carb content, ditch the French bread and choose the "unwich" lettuce wrap option.
8. Chili's: Classic 6 oz. Sirloin with Grilled Avocado
(420 calories/20 g fat/23 g carbs/39 g protein)
Order this steak without the steak seasoning or butter and ask for a double portion of steamed broccoli in place of the standard sides and you'll have a delicious steak dinner for less than 500 calories.
9. IHOP: Egg White Vegetable Omelet with Mixed Fruit
(380 calories/20 g fat/29 g carbs/29 g protein)
When you're invited out for breakfast and need a low-calorie option, consider this protein-packed omelet with fresh fruit.
10. Outback Steakhouse: Grilled Chicken on the Barbie
(312 calories/3.6 g fat/11 g carbs/56 g protein)
Here's proof that you can enjoy dinner at a steakhouse without busting your calorie budget. Seasoned, wood-fired chicken breast is paired with BBQ sauce and seasonal veggies.
11. P.F. Chang's: Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
(470 calories/21 g fat/39 g carbs/3 g fiber/34 g protein)
This tasty vegetarian option combines seared tofu, green option, mint and water chestnuts over crispy rice sticks.
12. Starbucks: Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal
(220 calories/2.5 g fat/43 g carbs/5 g protein)
This blend of rolled and steel-cut oats is flavored with blueberries and agave syrup. This very low-sodium, nutrient-rich cereal can be a healthy option any time of the day.
13. Chick-fil-A: Grilled Market Salad
(200 calories/6 g fat/15 g carbs/25 g protein)
Who says a salad can't be satisfying? Topped with grilled chicken and a medley of fresh veggies, this sensible choice pairs nicely with their light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
14. Panera: Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread
(350 calories/18 g fat/55 g carbs/6 g protein)
When you have to have bread, choose this healthier sandwich. Fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, baby arugula and basil pesto sauce are served on whole-grain flatbread.
15. Bob Evans: Broasted Two Piece White Chicken Dinner
(479 calories/19 g fat/8 g carbs/57 g protein)
This protein-packed, low-carb dinner will keep you satisfied for less than 500 calories.
What are your favorite healthier restaurant options?