Your Go-To, Guilt-Free Steakhouse Meal Plan

With Valentine’s Day coming up, having a meal strategy can take the stress out of your romantic dinner plans. I get many questions about what to order in different kinds of restaurants. You should never feel like you can’t go out to a restaurant because there won’t be anything healthy. There is always a healthy choice. Just keep in mind that portion size is everything. If you and that special someone are headed to a steakhouse this weekend, keep these go-to guidelines in mind.

If you like steak, enjoy it. Don’t worry about the fat, but you don’t need the meat covered in butter or sauce (if you love the sauce, get it on the side). Most steaks are huge and one person doesn’t need more than four or five ounces, so split one or ask for a small steak. Ask them to slice it, so you can have little pieces. This might make it easier for you to decide when you’re full, because you can pause after each piece.

Some more tips:

– Start with a salad. Steakhouse foods are rich, so it’s good to fill up with raw veggies first. Steakhouses have a lot of really high-fat salad options, so if you have to have the wedge with blue cheese and bacon or a Caesar salad, share it with someone. If you’re really hungry, get a big mixed-green salad so you can eat more.
– Try one or two bites of the bread with butter, then move it away. You tasted it. Now move on.
– Order one decadent side dish and have a few bites of it. I like the potato, fries, creamed spinach, or macaroni and cheese.
– Order one healthy side dish, like sautéed vegetables.
– Shrimp cocktail and oysters are great options because they are low in calories but feel decadent and special.
– If you can’t resist the restaurant’s “famous” dessert, have a bite or two so you can say whether it was really worth all the hype.

This is an excerpt from Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel, available on