Eating out at restaurants can be very challenging when you are trying to avoid certain foods, or trying to lose weight. Here the top 5 strategies for choosing healthier options when you are eating out.

1. Ask for the Gluten Free Menu. The Gluten Free Menu makes it easy to narrow your choices down to the healthier options and avoid large meals based on heavy carbohydrates, such as pasta.

2. Look to the salads first. Many restaurants offer large, meal sized salads that can be very filling. Choose one with a meat option, such as steak or chicken. The protein will help make you feel full and creates a well rounded meal. Try to avoid dressings with a dairy base, ask for a vinaigrette dressing or a mustard based dressing instead.

3. Mexican food, or Mexican influenced menu items are a great option. Mexican restaurants typically offer a corn tortilla option. Focus on dishes such as Fajitas and tacos. Both offer lots of meat and vegetables, and it is easy to avoid the heavy creams. Many chain restaurants offer Fajitas. If they do not have a corn tortilla option ask for large pieces of lettuce and wrap the fajita in lettuce.

4. The bunless hamburger. Hamburgers are a staple item at most restaurants and they are a classic favourite. They are also pretty healthy when you do not include the bun. Make sure you ask how the patty is made. If it includes bread crumbs you may want to avoid it, and the patties should be made fresh. Have the hamburger with a side salad instead of french fries and you have a well rounded meal.

5. Meat and vegetable entree. Most restaurants offer a dish that is simply a meat and vegetable with a little sauce. This is an excellent option for anyone that is trying to eat a bit healthier. Try to avoid the potato side dish as they often include a lot of cream or cheese. Also potatoes are very starchy. Our digestive system has a challenging time digesting starchy vegetables and proteins together efficiently.