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a bowl of squash soup with pumpkin seeds for eating healthy at restaurants
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9 Restaurant Meals That Won’t Blow Your Diet

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When trying to stick to a diet, it’s common to think you can’t eat out. Nothing could be further from the truth. With a little planning, learn how you can start eating healthy at restaurants without feeling deprived. Just keep these tips in mind: heavy on the veggies, include lean protein, and go light on the carbs.

Plate with shrimp pasta and vegetables
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Pasta with Shrimp

If you love carbs, there’s good news. Eating pasta and eating healthy are not mutually exclusive. You can even eat Italian. Try whole-wheat pasta with shrimp and veggies the next time you are eating in an Italian restaurant. Add a light sprinkling of Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Cut your portion in half and take the rest home.
Mu Shu chicken with chopsticks next to the plate
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Mu Shu Chicken with Vegetables

Your Chinese food craving doesn’t have to torpedo your diet. Consider ordering mu shu chicken with vegetables for a lighter meal. It’s full of veggies and packed with protein, with a few carbs provided by the thin pancakes. Skip the pancakes if you’re eating low-carb or Paleo.
A large salad with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers
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Salad Bar Restaurant

No brainier, right? How can you go wrong in a salad bar or make-your-own-salad restaurant? All too easily, unfortunately. Creamy salad dressings, toppings like bacon and croutons, and before you know it, you’ve got a calorie-filled meal. Make veggies and protein the stars of your salad, dressed with lemon juice or vinegar and olive oil instead of creams.
Ceviche prepared with sweet potatoes and vegetables
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Ceviche with a Side Salad

Peruvian food is a growing trend, something to rejoice about for anyone who likes extra flavor but not excess calories. Ceviche – raw fish marinated in citrus juices and cilantro – is your go-to meal at a Peruvian restaurant. This flavorful, protein-packed dish paired with a salad gives you a complete, well-balanced meal.
A bowl of pumpkin soup with roasted pumpkin seeds on top
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Salad, Soup, Veggies, and Lean Protein

With their locally sourced food and fresh takes on old favorites, farm-to-table restaurants are gaining popularity. But, as with any restaurant, there is danger around every corner. A vegetable-based soup, a salad, veggies and lean protein such as grass-fed steak or pasture-raised chicken will keep you out of trouble. Make sure there's no added cream with your soup.
Grilled fish with pesto sauce with a side of vegetables
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Grilled Fish with Salad

This is a staple dish you can find in almost any restaurant. Fresh fish, fresh veggies, and fresh lemon. It’s hard to get something tastier and lower in calories than that.
Shrimp tacos prepared on top of lettuce
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Shrimp or Chicken Tacos with Lettuce Cups

Tacos are a great way to get plenty of veggies and lean protein. Choose shrimp or fish, add the veggies of your choice and pack it all in a lettuce cup. Even vegetarians can get in on the taco party, choose black beans or pinto beans as your protein.
A veggie omelet on a plate with peas and spinach
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Veggie Omelet or Frittata

A veggie omelet or frittata is an easy option for late-night dining or breakfast after your morning run. Pack it with veggies and get extra points when you ask for tomatoes instead of breakfast potatoes.
A cheeseburger and veggies wrapped in a lettuce bun
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Hamburger with a Lettuce Bun

A hamburger on lettuce bun not only lets you cut calories and carbs but gives you a new take on the traditional burger. The piping hot burger on the crisp, cool lettuce "bun" creates a flavor and texture contrast that is a unique as it is tasty. This is an excellent way to continue eating healthy at restaurants. That way,  you stay on track with your diet.
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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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