How to order healthy at an

American

Restaurant

Let’s be honest, it’s tough sticking with your goals when you're faced with so many options at a restaurant. However, with a little research and modification it can be done!

This list of tips and meals at many popular American restaurants can help you have a macro-friendly meal out. Plus, each of these restaurants has a nutrition guide you can find on their website if you’re looking for more options.

Split the difference.

When you order a meal, ask your server roughly how big the portion is. If the meal sounds like too much food, ask for half of the meal to go to prevent overeating.

Follow the light.

Most American restaurants have a healthy, low-calorie or light menu. Check out those options first.

Order a la carte.

Many restaurant entrees are served in large portions, and it’s tempting to want to clear your plate. Then before you know it, you’ve overeaten, so don’t feel limited to the entrees on the menu. One of your best options is to order a protein and two sides that specifically fit your nutrition.

General Tips

What to order at Chili's Bar & Grill

Mains
  • Smoked Bone-In BBQ Chicken breast
    (Smokehouse Menu, single option)

    360 CAL | 43P | 12F | 21C

  • Fresco Salad (no dressing) + Turkey Patty Add-On

    270 CAL | 34P | 13F | 4C
    Tip: We recommend bringing your own salad dressing or asking your server for some lemon and a small serving of olive oil. Just a heads up: 1.5 fl oz of olive oil has 27 grams of fat, so don’t overdo it.

  • Mango-Chile Chicken
    (Lighter Choice Menu)

    490 CAL | 34P | 19F | 49C

Side Options
  • Black Bean Patty

    190 CAL | 17P | 7F | 22C

  • Steamed Broccoli

    40 CAL | 3P | 0F | 8C

  • Mexican Rice

    160 CAL | 3P | 4.5F | 27C

  • Avacado Slices
    (typically for burger add-ons, but ask anyway!)

    80 CAL | 1P | 7F | 4C
    FYI: This powerfood is perfect for any meal at lunch. The monounsaturated fats help keep you full all afternoon, so you don’t snack your way to dinner.

What to order at Applebee's

Mains
  • Plain Grilled Chicken Breast

    190 CAL | 38P | 4F | 0C

  • Pepper-Crusted Sirloin & Whole Grains

    370 CAL | 28P | 10F | 43C
    FYI: The whole grains in this meal will keep you full for quite a while and the complex carbs provide lots of fiber, which aids in digestion.

  • House Salad (no dressing)

    120 CAL | 6P | 6F | 12C

Side Options
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes (not loaded)

    250 CAL | 4P | 1F | 35C

  • Fire-Grilled Veggies

    150 CAL | 2P | 12F | 9C

  • Garlicky Green Beans

    190 CAL | 2P | 15F | 11C

  • Steamed Broccoli

    100 CAL | 3P | 8F | 6C

What to order at Texas Roadhouse

Mains
  • 6 oz or 8 oz USDA Top Sirloin

    250 CAL | 46P | 6F | 3C
    340 CAL | 61P | 8F | 5C

  • Grilled BBQ Chicken

    260 CAL | 46P | 3.5F | 10C

  • 5 oz Grilled Salmon

    320 CAL | 27P | 24F | < 1C
    Tip: Salmon provides some of the best omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and lower your blood pressure. Pair with some steamed vegetables and you’ll be full for hours.

Side Options
  • Fresh Vegetables

    190 CAL | 4P | 15F | 12C
    Tip: We know what you’re thinking: How can vegetables have that much fat? The truth is, most restaurants cook vegetables in oil or butter. We recommend asking for the vegetables plainly steamed, which will make tracking this healthy side so much easier!

  • Green Beans

    100 CAL | 6P | 3F | 13C

  • Baked Sweet Potato

    350 CAL | 6P | 9F | 62C

  • Sauteed Mushrooms

    90 CAL | 3P | 7F | 4C

What to order at Buffalo Wild Wings

Mains
  • 6 Piece Naked Tenders (no sauce)

    280 CAL | 62P | 2F | 1C
    Tip: These are just plain grilled chicken tenders. If you want to add some flavor, opt for one of the dry seasonings or ask for a small order of a signature sauce on the side.

  • Blackened Chicken Breast

    140 CAL | 26P | 2F | 1C

  • Garden Salad (without dressing)

    390 CAL | 13P | 4F | 51C
    Tip: Order this salad with some protein for a filling meal.

Side Options
  • Veggie Boat (with fat-free ranch)

    130 CAL | 2P | .5F | 30C

  • Buffalo Chips

    290 CAL | 4P | 14F | 38C
    Tip: If the portion size is large with these, ask your server if you can have a small order. Chips are easy to overeat.

  • Side Salad (without dressing)

    190 CAL | 7P | 7F | 26C

  • Safe Sauces:

    Hot BBQ (small)
    50 CAL | 1P | 2.5F | 7C

    Medium (small)
    50 CAL | 0P | 4.5F | 3C

    Sweet BBQ (small)
    70 CAL | 0P | 0F | 15C

Restaurants are all about serving customers, so don’t feel guilty about getting creative with your meals or being specific about your dietary needs. Having a meal made for you doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your goals.

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