You think you have this whole healthy eating thing down. You've been looking up recipes, planning out meals, and you're feeling healthier already. And then it happens. The dreaded text. "Let's go out to eat tomorrow."

You're already picturing your new diet plan going down the drain. But don't panic. There are ways to go out to eat and still eat healthy, no matter what restaurant your friends decide to go to.

  • 1

    Aim for balance

    Look for an entree and sides that contain a lean protein, veggies, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Try chicken, some broccoli, and a sweet potato. Drizzle it in olive oil.

    LA Times via Getty Images
  • 2

    Change it Up

    Don't be afraid to ask for modifications- have meat grilled instead of fried, substitute whole-wheat pasta for white, and replace sour cream with guac.

    Getty Images
  • 3

    Watch your Portions

    Separate your food in half. Eat one half and save the other for later.

    Getty Images
  • 4

    Order First

    You're more likely to order what you've planned if you're not being tempted by everyone else's order.

  • 5

    Look at the Menu Beforehand

    Most restaurants have their menus online with nutrition information so you can plan ahead. There are also websites such as eatthis.com and cookinglight.com that give you your best options for chain restaurants.

    Getty Images