Dining on a Diet: Healthy Restaurant Meals at Your Favorite Chains

If you’re like most Americans, you’ve been on a diet at some point. But what happens when you have a special occasion, want to go out with friends, or just are craving some of your favorites? You don’t have to give up time with friends. Here are a few healthy staples at some of your favorite chain restaurants, perfect for your next big outing, birthday dinner, or special occasion.


Chipotle: Chicken Salad

Chipotle is one of the best chains to find healthy food. As a company, Chipotle removed GMOs from the menu and created bowls and meals revolving around customers with diets and food allergies. While the tortillas are laden with salt and preservatives, try a salad! A romaine-based salad, with chicken, beans, and cheese to top it off, is a great, well-balanced meal that won’t break your diet or your wallet.

Moe’s: Homewrecker Jr.

Want a burrito? Moe’s offers a healthy, low-calorie meal in the Homewrecker Jr. While it’s not as large as the regular Homewrecker burrito, the Homewrecker Jr. offers all the same fillings and toppings as the full-size Homewrecker. If you’re getting the Jr., the burrito comes in at a whopping 490 calories, so you might want to skip the chips that come with it. However, the chicken in the Homewrecker Jr. includes 16 grams of protein, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re getting a well-balanced meal.

Ruby Tuesday: Petite Sirloin

If you’re headed out to more of a sit-down meal, try the Petite Sirloin at Ruby Tuesday. It’s a lean cut of beef served alongside a serving of steamed broccoli. The meat is an excellent source of Omega-3’s and iron, making it a healthy alternative to a lot of the traditional healthy meals served with chicken. Don’t like broccoli? Try another healthy side, like the unlimited salad bar, sweet potatoes, green beans, or grilled zucchini.

Long John Silvers: Eight-Piece Shrimp with Rice and Green Beans

Craving some shellfish, but don’t want to get anything deep-fried? This 275-calorie meal, which features a serving of rice, some green beans, and eight pieces of grilled shrimp, is a quick option. While it does contain 41 grams of carbohydrates, the 19 grams of protein from the shrimp balances out the hefty serving of carbs.

Starbucks: Spinach and Feta Wrap

Alongside a black coffee or low-fat espresso drink, a spinach and feta wrap from Starbucks is a healthy, quick lunch. It’s got a bunch of balanced macronutrients, and six wonderful grams of fiber, so you are bound to feel full for the rest of the day (which is excellent if you’re on a diet!) The wrap also includes a full serving of vegetables and plenty of whole grains, too, making it a healthy, filling addition to your diet.

Applebee’s: Napa Chicken and Portobello

While Applebee’s has a lot of choices under 600 calories, many of the portions are too small to satisfy your hunger. The size of this protein-heavy option, though, is perfect for the next time you go out to dinner. The 50 grams of protein in the chicken, served on top of a bed of mixed steamed vegetables, is a healthy, non-traditional entree option.

McDonald’s: Egg White Delight McMuffin

This 250-calorie breakfast sandwich, complete with protein, healthy fats, and grains, is a healthy, filling way to start the day. One McMuffin has 16 grams of fat (six grams of which are trans fats,) 36 grams of protein, and eight grams of fiber. If that wasn’t enticing enough, it only costs around $3, making it an affordable breakfast option. If you need two of these to fill up, no problem! The two sandwiches only run you 500 calories, a healthy amount for breakfast.

Have a recommendation? Want to see more of these? Leave a comment down below!

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