Healthy Eating Out – The Fat Kid Inside Guide

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How has your healthy 2013 resolution been going? Good, bad? Don’t lie now!

I know it can be hard at times, but nothing great ever comes of easy sailing. That last push of energy, the force of restraint, the power of concentration, these are all things that lead to a better you.

You want to quit? Or have you quit already? Given Up? Is it too hard? Well I don’t care, it’s not my body and health, its yours. If you have let go, you’re only disappointing yourself and proving that you are someone who can’t commit.

I know that’s mean, but people were mean to me and that’s how I got to where I am now. There is nothing pretty about losing weight, nothing majestic or glorious, but it feels damn good and I do hope that you are happy with your current health or that you soon will be.

This is why I do what I do. To help people help themselves and also to talk about my passion for food.

As you’ve guessed it, this is a health related post. To help you along your journey.

One of the biggest downfalls I see in people trying to lead a healthy lifestyle is when they are forced to eat out, they believe that they have no other option then to eat all the unhealthy stuff. However, whether you’re eating with your family/boss/colleagues or you are going out for a meal alone and don’t know what to choose, use this list as a guide.

First the general guide

Good: Steamed, Pan Fried, Vegetables, Protein, Salads (however be careful, in some restaurants salads can be really fatty if the components are deep fried, candied or with a really bad sauce), Grilled food is great, soups are usually ok if they are clear. For breakfast, stick to fruit and eggs, you don’t need anything else.

Bad: Too much sauce (when there is sauce you can be sure that there are some hidden unhealthy ingredients – order it on the side as much as possible, even “dry” barbecue has a sauce on it), vinaigrettes that are based on other ingredients than vinegar and oil, anything with STARCH/GRAINS (pasta, rice, bread, noodles, granola, cereal…), cream, too much butter, too much oil, cuts of meat that are very fatty or have been stewed way too long (osso bucco, short ribs, baby back ribs, prok belly, Lechon, peking duck…), sodium and over salted items (corned beef). Just because its vegan or vegetarian doesnt make it healthy (vegans eat alot of grains, carbs and beans), you can’t eat anything you want for breakfast.

Other Considerations: drink only water, don’t touch the bread basket, desserts are ALWAYS a no no unless its just fruit, alcohol is fattening, red wine is ok, a little butter never killed anyone,

Now in restaurants

Chinese Restaurants

The Good: There are lots of great choices, Chinese people love steamed items and you can grab any of those, they also have some great stir fries (just ask them to go light on the oil) and make sure the components are healthy, Chinese people also love their vegetables (kangkong, pechay…). There are also lots of great seafood choices. Just remember not deep fried and without a thick sauce, you should be good to go.

The Bad: Watch out for MSG, too much soy sauce, oyster sauce etc (all sodium bombs), stay away from the rice, the deep fried food, dumplings, rice noodles, thick soups, crab fat, egg rolls, kung pao chicken…

The Ugly: The worst in Chinese restaurant is probably the loaded fried rice, stir fried noodles, the sweet desserts and the deep fried sauced items.

Thai Restaurants

The Good: All the soups are generally good, just don’t eat them with rice (small portions on the coconut based broths). Satay is a great protein. Curries are also good post workout food, just go easy on the fish sauce. Lots of grilled meats, steamed seafood, fresh vegetable stir fries. Oh and go spicy!!! Best healthy curry? Gaeng Pah.

The Bad: Stay away from the deep fried items, the rice, the sticky rice with mango..

The Ugly: Anything deep fried, pad thai, the deep fried fish.

Spanish Restaurants

The Good: Stick to the salads and the grilled meats. If it’s swimming in olive oil eat it in moderation.

The Bad: Bread, too much olive oil in certain dishes, rice, deep fried items.

The Ugly: Paella.

Italian Restaurants – No you are not obliged to eat pasta.

The Good: You actually have a lot of choices here. Most Italian restaurants always have a grilled selection of meats and seafood that can be ordered with vegetables. The Salad selection (olive oil and balsamic dressing please) are quite healthy. Or even dishes such as meat stews, meatballs with sauce, veal, etc. are good for you.

The Bad: Stay away from pasta, potatoes, pizza, bread and any starch. Creamy stews or sauces.

The Ugly: Risotto, it’s all cheese, fat and carbs.

Japanese restaurants – Heaven

The Good: ANY Sashimi, pickled vegetables, fried vegetables, salads (without the mayonnaise), meat and seafood skewers, broth soups. Just go easy on the soy sauce.

The Bad: noodles, anything with rice, crabsticks, unagi, tempura and anything deep fried.

The Ugly: ramen, chicken karaage, sushi and makis.

Continental Restaurants

The Good: Grilled meats and vegetables are generally ok, just stay away from thick creamy sauces and always ask for the starch/grains to be removed.     Steakhouses fall into this category and they usually have a great selection of purely grilled meats with a buttered vegetable side dish.

The Bad: Sauces, Bread, all starch, potatoes, grain heavy…

The Ugly: Bread and Butter

Filipino Restaurants

The Good: We actually have a lot of steamed vegetable dishes that are usually available (grilled eggplant, sayote…). Our soups are also a good choice (Sinigang, Bulalo..) as long as they are not eaten with rice. The grilled meats and fish are perfect to eat anytime, with just a little lime/calamansi Sarap!

The Bad: Really Fatty cuts of meat (pork belly…), stay away of anything with sauce, ask if there is sugar in the dish, rice, noodles, deep fried items.

The Ugly: Adobo, Kare Kare, Fried Chicken…



    1. Jenna January 31, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Great post! So far I’ve been really sticking to my strict but balanced diet. And your recipe posts are really helpful, so thanks! Keep them going,hehe

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:46 am

        thanks Jenna

    1. Hanna January 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Reading this one makes me want to cry. My reason for eating out all fall in the BAD category and YES! When you’re in an Italian restaurant, you are obliged to eat pasta! YOU ARE. YOU ARE. PERIOD. HAHAHA! :(( :((

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:47 am

        haha that was the point

    1. Ey January 31, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Wooowww! Thanks for this Erwan! Now I know what’s good, bad and ugly about my health. I really love your site! Just keep going. Godbless. More power! :)

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

        thanks Ey

    1. joy anne January 31, 2013 at 11:15 am

      This will really help me with the healthy diet I just started. Thank you for posting this. Now I know what food to avoid.

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

        thanks Joy Anne

    1. Ann January 31, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Wow! This is my first time to read your blog. It’s so cool. I actually know the feeling of being so big. :( it’s not a good feeling. One year ago I started to run and watch my diet. So far I’ve lost 30kg only, because I can’t stop my cheat days! :( I hope it’s not too much too ask if you have a suggested everyday meal for a office girl like me? Thanks Erwan! God bless! :)

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

        thanks Ann!

    1. Joy Apanay January 31, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      Hi Erwan, this will help a lot.. Now i can control what to eat when i’m in different restaurant. Healthy living is it :)

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:49 am

        thanks Joy

    1. James January 31, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Looks like there’s a lot that I have to avoid based on what I just read. Although as long I’m doing stuff like eating in moderation, going for the good stuff always and staying away from the really bad stuff can go a long way.


      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:49 am


    1. Sherihan Atari January 31, 2013 at 3:55 pm

      I’ve been reading your blog. Many people noticed that I lose weight :) Thank you for the inspiration,guidelines,tips,everything. It is very helpful. Thank you Erwan :) keep it up, you have a great blog.

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:50 am

        thats great, keep going

    1. TM January 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      i sensed the good, the bad and the ugly items are from one of the well-known diets like Paleo. i think this guide is not for the very active 3-to-4-per-week-workout kind of person.

      1. Erwan January 31, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        I workout every day sometimes twice a day, both intense crossfit sessions and endurance sports (triathlons) and I’m Paleo. So yes, it’s possible. You don’t need starch to workout 3-4 times a week. And their are some good carb sources in vegetables and fruit, you don’t need grains for carbs. I only take extra carb and starch for really long more than 2 hour sessions

      1. Erwan January 31, 2013 at 10:23 pm

        And 3 to 4 times a week is not very active haha. Every day is very active

        1. DJ Yabis | Dream Euro Trip February 4, 2013 at 6:37 am

          Hi Erwan. Great post! I’m Paleo for almost a month now and I’m doing great. The thing is I don’t want to lose weight since I’m not really fat. It’s more a lifestyle choice. But I lost some weight since I started. Is this normal? Should I eat more? I don’t want to lose weight =(

          1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:51 am

            you want to get lean. up your protein intake.

    1. Reese January 31, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Great post! I loved this line: “There is nothing pretty about losing weight, nothing majestic or glorious, but it feels damn good and I do hope that you are happy with your current health or that you soon will be.”

      Everytime my body feels like quitting from a workout, I tell myself that I need to push harder to get where I want to be. I won’t get that strong and lithe body by just inhaling junk and wishing for it while watching tv :)

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:51 am

        there you go

    1. Rose January 31, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      This is so helpful! Thank you! BTW, I made the quick Lamb dinner and it was a success! Hope to post a pic up soon of it!

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:52 am

        thanks Rose!

    1. Ervin February 1, 2013 at 1:04 am

      You might want to change “The Chinese PEOPLE..” to just “The Chinese..” It sounds politically incorrect.

      1. Erwan February 1, 2013 at 1:07 am

        No it isn’t. I also use French people, Filipino people, American people… It may be redundant but in no way is it insulting.

    1. Paolo February 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      This is absolutely useful! I have half a mind of busting out these guidelines when head to a restaurant. thanks for this erwan ^_^

      keep ’em coming!

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:53 am

        thanks bud

    1. kat February 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      erwan, why bother going to an italian restaurant when you’re not supposed to eat pasta & pizza? HELLO?

      1. aimee February 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm

        Thanks for this very helpful guide :)
        Although its hard to follow but I have to for my health ;)

      1. Koch February 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        Because according to the article, it’s all about healthy eating out. :) Besides there is more to Italian food than pasta and pizza.

        1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:53 am

          because there is more to Italian food than pizza and pasta

    1. Jonas Labagala February 3, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Hello! and my usual greeting.. YO! :D

      I’m a food blogger and I do love exploring new flavors and dishes.

      Well in this entry, I can say that this is really helpful especially those who wants to have a good body figure (well I once had that!). But about what to eat, maybe in the bad and ugly sides, it’s better to eat them in moderation.

      And I’m kinda guilty that I eat mostly on the bad and ugly sides! haha! But of course, I can only eat them if I feel that I wanna eat them.

      Right now, I’m trimming down my rice intake, I’m now watchful on what to eat and I drink water before meals for me to eat only few portions of every food that I eat. Just last Saturday, I started doing my exercises too just to bring back my slim figure I once had before. But of course, my love of food will not cease to exist and it’s why I’m a food blogger! haha!

      Well, I’ll be reading your blog entries If I have a chance.

      From a fellow food blogger,
      Jonas. :D

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:54 am

        thnaks Man

    1. Sofie M. February 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      Dear Erwan,

      I’ve been lurking or more to say a stalker to your social networks, just to be updated on your diet rather healthy eating habits that somewhat may inspire a hopeless nutcase like me who struggles in weigh loss. With that said, yes, you are effective.

      I know that you have a blog, but I don’t have the courage to read everything and make a shortcut to enter the exact subject i want to learn in search box, why? because I am cynical. I am scared… I thought that you are a socialite debonaire that has shortcuts using medical procedure… maybe because you are in the limelight. But I was wrong and glad I am. I spent the entire day reading your blog, faced my demons and cried a bucket upon reading your blog.

      Yes, it is a food blog and I was crying. You just beat Paulo Coelho and Nicholas Sparks! I took notes and made some of your written words as my new mantra. I know you are no expert but sharing and having a passion in this area is truly a heaven sent to woman like me who want to smash the mirror every time I see my self and binge. I hope I can stop being an emotional eater and start anew… to change my life forever not because of vanity reason but health wise to fight PCOS.

      All my life, my dream is to be a mother and being fat, hitting obesity level 1 makes it all impossible for now.

      Cheers to your blog!

      Sincerely yours,

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:55 am

        keep fighting.

    1. Ailyn G February 4, 2013 at 5:43 am

      Hi Erwan, this blog is really helpful. Just wanted to ask if you can recommend a healthy drink. I know this is a food blog but im watching every food i eat and if theres healthy food, there should be healthy drink.( except water). they said soda is not good. So just wondering:) thank you.

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:56 am

        just stick to water

    1. Koch February 4, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      I am going to the Philippines in March and it’s my first time. I am looking forward to trying out Filippino food. Can you suggest a good restaurant? It would be really helpful. Thank you.

      1. kich February 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

        Gerrys grill and order crispy pata. Inihaw na liempo. Bulalo. Sisig. Those are erwan’s fave.

        1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:56 am

          I don’t like Gerry’s. Try Abe or XO46

    1. Jason February 5, 2013 at 7:16 am

      Honestly, I guess being in a Chinese restaurant is really a problem for Chinese because you can say that Chinese people eats rice everyday, literally. Its kinda hard to take rice off the menu. Just saying “/

      1. Ailyn G February 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

        Well you can eat noodles instead of rice. Just saying :)

        1. Erwan February 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

          Usually noodles on Chinese restos are made or rice or flour so it’s the same thing. You Both can do without noodle or rice, no one is forcing that down your throat.

          1. Ailyn G February 5, 2013 at 7:37 pm

            Oh I didn’t know that it’s the same thing. I’m doing the wrong diet that’s why I’m not losing weight but thanks for the info though. It helps a lot.

          1. Erwan February 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm

            Heres what you do to take out the rice, order congee and ask them to take out the rice.

            Order wonton noodle soup and ask them to take out the noodles.

            Order hakaw but tell them to take out the rice wrap.

            1. Ailyn G February 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

              I’ll definitely do that. Thanks a lot Erwan :)

    1. Lorenzo February 12, 2013 at 5:21 am

      I don’t understand why is that bad anything with RICE? I have to live with my family always eat more rices everyday, hmm… i don’t know you’re not eating rice sometimes. I will cook in the future with my wife but not children yet. I love your blogs that i learn to understand, bro! :)

      1. Erwan February 25, 2013 at 2:58 am

        hey man, look at all the diseases we have in our country, alot of it is because of our diet.

    1. Jodie February 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

      Very helpful! Thanks! I was waiting for the fast food part haha! I know fast food is all ugly

    1. Clawy March 14, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Just read this post & realized that everything I’ve been eating in the restaurants fall under either bad or ugly. Just started doing crossfit & a lil bit of weight training last January. I’ve toned up a bit. I realized after reading your blog that if I wanna trim down I gotta eat clean. Working out & training is so much easier than eating clean. But if I wanna reach my goal i gotta do the legwork right? Today I had my first, yes my first taste of broccoli (I don’t eat veggies) & some turnip sticks with vinaigrette (I think it was just vinegar & some garlic not really sure. It tasted actually quite good.

      From now on I’ll continue lurking in your blog to get some recipe’s that are easy to do, healthy, and at the same time delicious. I want to have a cheat day too. But for now I gotta work hard to earn a cheat day. Thanks for sharing your healthy lifestyle. Keep it up.

    1. Bea March 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Hi Erwan, thanks for posting this list!

    1. Jon Paul May 28, 2013 at 12:39 am

      I agree with you, Hanna, about having to eat pasta in an Italian restaurant…apparently it is a legal requirement! :)

    1. Marylou May 30, 2013 at 3:27 am

      Thanks Erwan, I have found this really useful in my efforts to get healthy. And the fact that it is backed up by your own personal experience lends it a lot of credibility!

    1. Kaye July 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for’s really helpful..Oh my I need to stop eating rice! I can do this..I love your blog

    1. Angel August 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

      I am really glad that I browsed your blog and read this article. I had been eating the wrong food all along! HAHA. no wonder I haven’t lost any weight. Staying away from rice wasn’t good enough lol . Thanks Erwan! Your blog, a big help!




I gained weight because of a sedentary lifestyle and overly indulging in foods I knew were bad for me, eating out too often, taking the easy route (microwavable dishes) and not caring what went in my body, before I knew it reached 240 lbs. I lost weight through pure dedication, tireless hours of hard work and yes, food. I cooked my way to fitness, making sure to only feed myself tasty well prepared dishes with all the right stuff, the perfect fuel, taking me down to 150lbs. Of course I indulge from time to time, as the fat kid still lurks inside of me; here you will find a little bit of everything for the sole purpose of sharing my passion for food and life.





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