Eating out healthfully is difficult for everyone, and even more so for our athletes. Check out some of these tips from our Sports Dietitians to navigate all the options out there to help fuel your body optimally regardless of if you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior.

Mix & Match

Skip the regular meal combo options. Go for mix and match of your sides to include healthier options rather than the high fat, 500 calorie French fries. Replace it with a side salad or fruit option instead.

No Brainer Beverages

Stick with water. Sodas provide no nutritive value and are not the type of carbohydrates your body and muscles need to fuel.

Choose a Kids Meal

Channel your inner child and select a Kids Meal option instead. Smaller portions make for a lower fat and calorie profile. Most fast food restaurants now offer healthier sides like fresh fruit with Kids Meals as well.

Go for the Grill

Opt-in for grilled items over fried foods. Choosing lower fat proteins gives your body better protein bang for your buck. Think about this, a 6 piece regular chicken nugget is ~200 calories for 20 grams of protein but a 6 piece grilled chicken nugget order cuts the calories in almost half to ~100 calories for the same amount of protein.

It is best to do your research at places that you may frequent (many list their nutrient information online) so you know what is healthiest to order. However, if you are new to the restaurant in question, here are some examples of navigating common restaurant fares:

  • Mexican Food: Pick the fajitas with a lean protein and grilled veggies.
  • Burgers/Sandwiches: Go for a lean protein (grilled chicken, lean turkey meat), reduced-fat condiments, and lots of fresh veggies. Skip the chips or French fries.

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