Is swimsuit season around the corner? Are you cutting weight for a sport? Your doctor getting on your case about your weight? Sure, it would be nice to eat healthy meals at home, but not everybody has the time to do so. Here are some suggestions on what you can eat at restaurants that will not completely ruin your diet:

Burgers and Brew - It is doubtful that anything on their menu is below 600 calories, but since they are a popular restaurant, you might find yourself there very often. If you happen to be on a diet at the time, the only choice would be the House Salad with chicken added.

Chinese Food - Chinese food (at least the American variety) is often unhealthy. It is frequently fried and high in sodium and/or sugar. The healthiest choices are non-fried and veggie-heavy: Chicken with Mushrooms, String Bean Chicken Breast, Broccoli Beef, Tangy Shrimp, or Mixed Veggies, for example.

Coffee House - A bagel with tuna fish salad on it is probably no more than five hundred calories (avoid a bagel with cheese on it) and you will be getting about 30-40 grams of protein. All for a little over two dollars.

Crepeville - This is another popular restaurant in Davis. Because most of the crepes are filled with sour cream, avocado, and cheeses, you should avoid those. (the "build your own crepe" and should be avoided as well since a crepe practically has half a stick of butter in it ). Go for the turkey sandwich (ask for no mayo for about 90 calories off) and maybe avoid the potatoes that come with the meal. For breakfast, go with the boiled eggs or oatmeal.

Indian Food - Malai means cream and Makhani means butter, so obviously you should avoid anything with those words nearby. Look for some kind of grilled chicken entree.

Italian - Avoid the bread-sticks and any cream-based sauces. Look for anything with the following words: Affogato (steamed or poached), Marinara, pizzaida, pomodoro (tomato-based sauce), Primavera (spring style, fresh veggies and herbs), Fresco (fresh).

Farmer's Kitchen Cafe - If you want a salad that consists of a massive pile of many different healthy vegetables, this is the place to go.

Fish's Wild - Bills itself as a healthy seafood restaurant. The fish is grilled instead of battered and deep-fried. Offerings include salads and sides such as steamed veggies, white rice, and brown rice.

KetMoRee - has a healthy section on their menu with some options.

Manna - Their vegetarian teriyaki has steamed veggies and steamed tofu and comes with a small salad. If you are really calorie-conscious, you can probably ask for the teriyaki sauce and salad dressing on the side.

Monticello - Numerous healthy menu choices featuring local, organic produce and sustainable natural meats, etc. Please let us know if you are vegan, vegetarian or have dietary restrictions and we will do our best to accommodate you.

McDonald's - Yes, you can actually find some healthy things at McDonald's.  Just like the Farmers Market, it makes you fat if you eat the wrong things or too much.  There's a lot of wrong things available, but you can find decent options.  For 420 calories or less, try their: Premium Grilled Chicken Sandwich (420), Honey Mustard Snack Wrap (260), Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (390), Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and balsamic vinaigrette or Italian dressing (220).

Mexican Food - If you want less calories, ask for something without sour cream, cheese, guacamole, or rice. Get something with chicken as well.

Original Steve's - Get a small salad bar trip for $3.25 and load up on boiled eggs, spinach, peas, cucumbers, and other veggies. They also have a fruit salad, pineapples (from a can, but not too bad), and cottage cheese (although eating fruit with cottage cheese is cheaper if you get it from a store).

Redrum Burger - Leaner in fat and with less total calories, bison and ostrich make for healthier alternatives to the standard beef patties.

Subway - The six grams of fat or less group is a good way to start. Avoid extra sauces and condiments such as mayo and cheese. Using a wrap instead of bread saves about ten calories.

Taco Bell - Try and go for things on the Fresco menu. Salsa is substituted for cheese and sauce saving you empty calories. Switching to a crunchy shell will save you twenty calories.

Zia's Delicatessen - Most of their sandwiches here probably contain about six hundred calories. If you want even less calories, ask for no mayo (try mustard instead, which is far fewer calories), do not get any cheeses, and look for a white meat sandwich.

In addition to eating better, you might want to try exercising.

Note: This page is not to be taken as medical or dieting advice.  Well, okay, it is, but not the official kind, more like the chatting with your friend while walking through Central Park kind of advice.


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2011-12-05 19:16:31   "Chinese food is normally unhealthy" is an absurd generalisation. I have no idea what that's supposed to even mean. American-Chinese food (because of their use of various processed/preserved ingredients that aren't available here or something)? The kind in Davis? whaaaaaaaat? —JoyceChu

2011-12-05 19:20:03   I agree! Real Chinese food is very healthy. Americanized Chinese food is not. —jsbmeb

2012-01-22 18:07:27   This page is pretty meat-centric. —NTNMorgan

  • Feel free to add more veggie-friendly options to it. Just hit the edit button up at the top of the page. —JenniferCook