nutrisystem guide to eating out at resturants

The Nutrisystem Guide to Eating Out

Wondering if you’ll get the chance to enjoy meals out with family and friends while following the Nutrisystem diet program? Good news!

You can still enjoy flex meals while following enrolled with their meal delivery service, and they make it super easy to stay on track with their easy-to-follow guide for dining out.

Going out to restaurants can seem like an impossible task when you’re trying to lose weight, but follow Nutrisystem’s guide and you should be able to stay on track to reach your goals!

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the surefire tips that they offer, so you can be fully prepared for your next meal out.

How to Make Smart Choices When Eating at Restaurants

the nutrisystem guide for eating out at resturants

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If you’ve signed up for the Nutrisystem diet program, then you might be ready to use one of those “Flex” meals for a meal out with friends, family, or coworkers.

This is the perfect time to test the waters by making smart eating choices on your own while enjoying a meal with good company.

The good news is, Nutrisystem has your back and is there to teach you how to make these smart choices on your own!

Key Tips for Success

1. Plan Ahead

While not all of us have the same restaurants to choose from, especially those of us living in rural areas, Nutrisystem recommends making a plan before you head out.

This includes things like:

  • Picking a Resturant with Healthy Options (They Have a Big List of Resturants in The Guide)
  • Plan Your Order Before You Go (when possible)
  • Don’t Arrive Starving: Maintain Your Regular Nutrisystem Eating Schedule When You Go – Don’t Skip Meals!

a waitress takes a person's order

2. Placing Your Order

When it comes time to order your food, you may feel overwhelmed, and wonder if you’re even making the right meal choice. There are a few steps you can take to make sure that you’re ordering the right food!

  • Focus on Making the Healthy Choice vs “Getting Your Money’s Worth”
  • Stick With the Order You Decided On Ahead of Time
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Make Special Requests – It’s OK to Ask for Dressing on the Side!
  • Always Order the Smaller Portion – Just Say No to “Supersizing”

PRO TIP: Avoid extras like bread baskets and chips and salsa!

3. Eating Your Meal

a person takes a picture of their  restaurant food

  • Ask for a “To Go” Container Ahead of Time, & Set Aside Some of Your Meal
  • Eat Slowly – By Pacing Yourself You Can Savor Your Food. It Helps to Put Down Your Fork Between Bites.
  • Be Sure to Drink Enough Water
  • Try Leaving Some Food On Your Plate
  • Try to Be the Last One to Finish
  • Ask to Have Plate Removed as Soon as You’re Done Eating

Additional Tips for the Best Experience

A lot this may sound overwhelming, but it really isn’t that hard once you get the hang of it. These are just a few tips for giving yourself the best chance at success.

Here are a few more things to consider to make your restaurant visit awesome:

  • ENJOY Yourself! This is a chance to have fun, prove that you can stick with your goals, and have a great conversation!
  • Focus on the Food: Take to enjoy the food, the flavors, the experience!
  • Go for Max Flavor: Even adding a lemon wedge to your water can take things up a notch, and feel free to ask for extra spices and herbs on your food.
  • Avoid Over-Eating: Stop eating before you get stuffed, and thank me later! Remember, it can take 20 minutes for your brain to realize you’re full, which can easily cause us to eat too much if we aren’t careful.

What Kind of Foods Should You Eat?

food required to prepare a balanced meal

Again, Nutrisystem has your back here too. Wondering what you can even eat when you head out?

Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for what kind of foods to stick with at each meal of the day:


  • Stick with Fiber & Protein
  • Skip the Butter
  • Add Fruit and Veggies
  • Go With Whole Fruit Instead of Juice


  • Avoid the Afternoon Slump: Stick with Lean Protein (Chicken, Fish, Shrimp, Turkey, etc.)
  • Choose Fatty Fish Like Salmon
  • Pile on the Veggies
  • Make Smart Carb Choices – Think Whole Grains, Brown Rice – stick with Nutrisystem SmartCarbs.


  • Portion Control is Key
  • Avoid Stuff with Too Much Fat: Mayo, oils, cheese. Also be careful with the sauces.

Things to Choose Dinner

a salmon filet makes a great healthy choice at dinner

  • Baked
  • Broiled
  • Grilled
  • Herbs & Spices
  • Roasted
  • Rotisserie
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Steamed
  • Sautéed 

Things to Avoid

  • Au gratin
  • Battered
  • Breaded
  • Crispy
  • Fried
  • Gratinée
  • Pan-Fried
  • Scalloped

Apps & Sides

  • Go with the Greens
  • Watch the Sauces
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Is it really a good idea to go with a big basket onion rings?

How Nutrisystem’s Flex Meals Work

a healthy meal you could make at home

Flex Meals weren’t always a part of the Nutrisytem program, but they realize that most people need at least one meal out, or one to cook with family or friends every week.

For this reason, they recently introduce “Weekly Flex Meals”.

These add flexibility to your meal planning each week, and will help you build the healthy eating skills you need keep the weight off for you life.

You’re not going to be on Nutrisystem forever, so at some point you’ll need to be comfortable making your own healthy meals at home. You’ll also need to know what to order when you dine out, so you can continue to keep the weight off.

That’s where the guide comes in, so take advantage of these flex meals every week. Relax, unwind, and let Nutrisystem teach you what it takes to make healthy eating choices!

Final Thoughts

Eating out doesn’t have to be a scary thing when you’re following the diet plan, and with their step-by-guide you’re pretty much guaranteed to be able to maintain your weight loss goals while enjoying a meal out with family or friends.

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PDF Guide

Get the PDF eating out Guide HERE.