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How to Eat Healthy Eating Out!

One thing that most people worry about when going through a complete diet and workout program like P90X or Insanity is eating out. You can’t eat at home every night, and there are going to be many times where you are going to be forced to eat out, whether it’s for a family event or get together. Most people fear eating out because restaurants anymore don’t have many healthy food options. You never know what the food is cooked in or how many calories you’re going to be consuming, and I’ve discovered even the “healthy” stuff really isn’t all that healthy. However, from being on a strict diet for so long, I’ve figured out some ways to make eating out healthier and more enjoyable.

Before I started P90X, I literally ate out 3-4 times per week. When I did eat out, it wasn’t healthy food, and I usually got fried chicken fingers and French fries loaded with cheese and bacon, or I would get something like pizza or spaghetti, which we all know are loaded with unhealthy carbs. When I started P90X, I knew that I had to change my diet, and that meant when I ate out as well. I’ve learned how to make adjustments while eating out so that I could be comfortable in what I was putting into my body. Here are some healthy tips for eating out.

(1) Watch the salads. When most people order a salad at a restaurant, they believe they are eating something that’s good for them. Well, not anymore. Restaurants tend to load their salads with cheese, bacon, croutons, and fatty dressings. Salads can easily be just as unhealthy for you as the worst food on the menu! If you do decide to order a salad, make sure you (1) make sure the chicken on the salad is not breaded or buttered, (2) ask for no cheese, (3) ask for no croutons, and (4) stick with a light or fat-free dressing. When you do these things, you can feel comfortable that you’re eating something that is healthy for you.

(2) You can’t go wrong with grilled chicken and veggies. Just about every restaurant has a grilled chicken and vegetable dinner option. However, to make these foods taste better, restaurants usually soak the chicken and veggies in butter and oil, which can quickly turn this healthy meal into an unhealthy one. Make sure that you ask for no butter!

(3) Look for a healthy food section. Most restaurants are beginning to understand that there are some people who DO like to eat healthy, so they have created a healthy food section in their menu! Even though these sections may be small, they can help you choose a healthy meal. Some restaurants that have added this to their menu include Applebee’s, Panera, Friday’s, IHOP, and Bob Evans.

(4) Watch the carbs! Most restaurants like to give out free bread before the meals, and usually it’s only white bread, which is a simple carb. For those of you who don’t know, simple carbs are digested into the system very quickly, increasing insulin levels and promoting fat storage. Always ask for whole grain or whole wheat bread. However, even if there are whole grain options, always limit the amount you consume!

(5) Go for the fish! Most restaurants have fish available on their menu like halibut, salmon, etc., which is very healthy for you, just as long as it’s not soaked in oil and butter.

Remember, there ARE ways to eat healthy while eating out! Never feel bad for asking the waiter or waitress to make sure no butter is added to your food!

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  1. hey josh
    ive tried to send u a message a few times already but u wouldnt reply, so heres my question, can i cheat meals like an oreo now and then or like a chip( can wheat thins b a snack?) and for p90x ive already done 5 days however the only video that has made me sore is chest and back, is this okay or do i need to try harder. and my last question is can i take breaks between every 5 pull ups? thx in advance

  2. Wayne /

    Thx Josh! I’m on day 64 and for the first time since starting P90X I will be out of town (D. C., should be fun). I am nervous about not having as much control of the nutrition plan for the next week, so your post is very timely. I’m on the plane now, and I’m saying to myself “Grilled Chicken and steamed veggies, Fish and steamed veggies”. I can do this! Bring it D.C.!!! And of course I’ve got my backpack full of Shakeology, almonds, protein bars, and jerky too. I refuse to get sidetracked. Keeping my eyes on the prize…

  3. Haha stay committed man!

  4. I don’t recommend cheating, and I always respond to each message with 24 hours, so more and likely I didn’t receive it. Also, you need to push yourself with the pull-ups. If you can do 7, then do 7. Don’t cheat yourself!

  5. Hey Josh! I am starting p90x on Monday and I am working third shift currently. I want to work out before I go to bed and I get home about 8:30 am. I want to stick to the diet but not really sure how I should schedule my meals and working out. I normally go to bed between 10-11 am and get about at about 5 pm and nap 930 pm-11 pm. Can you help me figure out what will work?

  6. Keith /

    I have a Motorola Droid and there are some neat apps on there that you can actually search establishments and their menus to get the breakdown on the food they offer. We recently ate at a chain restaurant and after about 20 min of looking thru their menu on the phone, I was able to pick something that was pretty healthy. I always try to choose a grilled chicken meal with steamed veggies, if available.

  7. Josh /

    Thanks for sharing man!

  8. Josh /

    You are going to have to schedule your day just as you would if you worked during the day!

  9. Anthony /

    Hey Josh,
    I am thinking about getting P90X, but I’m not sure it fits me. I am 5’10” 165lbs and I do have tone. I would like to build more mass and of course be cut. I see a lot of results where overweight people get ripped, but will P90X meet my needs? If you have any tips that would help to make sure that I get bigger not just more cut that would be great too.

  10. Josh /

    Hey Anthony! YES, P90X will work for you! You need to check out the two posts in the “Workouts” section about gaining mass with P90X. Let me know if you decide to order it! If you order from this site, I will become your coach and help you through the program.

  11. Tyler /

    Hey I am starting the p90x soon. There are 12 videos how can I fit them all in one week. If so do u do one workout a week. If u can tell me ur calendar of what u workout and what days

  12. Josh /

    You should receive a Fitness Guide that explains how to follow the program.

  13. Preston /

    Hey coach, i have a question for you. I’m going on a date this Saturday and we’re going to a sushi restaurant. I was wondering if sushi is ok to have while I’m on my strict diet to lose weight. I was thinking of cutting down on the carbs during the day so it kind of evens out at dinner. What are your thoughts? Ears open. 🙂 thanks coach, you’re the man!

  14. Josh /

    Yeah man you can cut back on the carbs throughout the day if you’re going to eat the white rice, which isn’t the greatest for you. Unfortunately, I don’t think sushi places have brown rice. You might want to ask, though.

  15. Sean /

    On top of everything in Josh’s post – i’ve started eating only half the portions at restaurants too, and boxing the rest for another day. usually the meal portions at restaurants are HUGE (and you still overpay – just sayin’)… so i’ll eat half the veggies, half the chicken, etc. and just save the rest for another day… much better than eating it all in one sitting!

  16. Josh /

    @Sean. Yeah, you’re absolutely right! It’s sad because that’s one of the reasons for our obesity problems. Restaurants have made it so hard for us to eat healthy while eating out.

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