Have you ever gone out to eat and made a special request for your food to be prepared in a more healthy manner? Sometimes you’ll get lucky and the restaurant will bend over backwards for you. Sometimes you’ll get no sympathy – it’s their way or the highway.

But there is a solution that will get your food prepared properly in most cases. You just have to stretch the truth a little bit…

“I’m highly allergic to trans fats, I almost suffocated last time I went out to eat due to my throat swelling up. Could you please cook mine with organic extra virgin coconut oil?” 😉

That’s just one example, feel free to make up your own and embellish it. It’s best to emphasize how you’ll cause a big scene (by throwing up, passing out, choking, etc.) so the restaurant realizes it will be easier to comply with your request than to clean up the mess if they don’t!

“Is that really necessary?”

Yes it is. You never really know how the food is prepared, despite what it says in the menu. For example, your ‘grilled chicken’ could come from a flat-top griddle instead of an open flame grill. If that’s the case, it’s getting coated in oil like any other pan-fried dish. (In which case you might as well grab some fast food!)

Even your steamed veggies may have been sitting in a container with butter or oil before being steamed. If they absorbed oil, that’s a lot of extra calories you weren’t expecting!

Salt and butter are everywhere.

When you say that you’re allergic to something, that’s what will really catch everyone’s attention.

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to restaurants, and it’s hard to know what to do about it.

Be clear, and be nice, but don’t be afraid to exaggerate.

Oh and it couldn’t hurt to also have your phone sitting on the table with the Yelp app open…

Show References

What special requests do you make in the pursuit of healthy eating? I’d love to hear them in the comments section!
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Levi Bloom is an experienced endurance athlete who has been training and competing for over 17 years. A former Cat 1 road and mountain bike racer (professional class on the regional circuit), he is now a cycling coach (USA Cycling Level 3 Certified) and sports nutrition coach (Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified).

4 Comments
  1. Thanks for these tips. I was especially surprised to hear about the grilled food and the salads. It’s ashamed that you can be under the impression that you’re receiving healthy food, when in fact you’re unwittingly receiving unhealthy food.

  2. Thanks for pointing out that article. Really enjoyed it. But I have to say, a lot of the ‘issues’ are part of the deal.

    If you really want to ensure you are eating exactly what you want, cook it yourself.

    Resteraunts are in the business of feeding people, yes. But there’s also more. I go to a resteraunt for the experience. If you start asking for all of these special things, it’s going to take longer to prepare your food. Are you going to be happy if you’re there for a long time waiting?

    Once again. If you want something cooked a certain way, cook it yourself.

    • @Mike

      Yeah, when I go out to eat, I do like to order straight off the menu when possible. They’re the experts on any particular dish, so I want to experience it that way. And it’s easier all around.

      But if I was traveling for work, for instance, and I had no means to prepare my own food, I’d have to pay closer attention to the details.

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