How to Eat Healthy at Chili's

by Eliza Martinez

Chili's restaurant has many healthy menu options.

Chili image by photorich from Fotolia.com

Chili's is a family-style restaurant with locations in many states. Their menu features burgers, pasta and a variety of salads that are moderately priced. Eating out always poses the possibility of eating a meal that is too high in fat and calories. According to HelpGuide.org, some restaurant meals contain an entire day's worth of fat, calories and sodium. However, making the right choices at restaurants is fairly simple to do and can make dining out enjoyable without derailing healthy lifestyle habits.

Look at a menu from Chili's. You can get one at the restaurant or go to Chilis.com, and view the menu online. Doing this will give you an idea of the items available so that you can compare some choices before deciding on a meal.

Check out the nutritional information. Some of this may be printed right on the Chili's menu, but its website features a full run down of each menu item. This allows you to see what items are low in fat and calories.

Read the menu carefully. Choose grilled meats over fried ones to cut calories, fat and cholesterol. Choose pasta in tomato sauce rather than creamy ones to reduce saturated fat and calories. Avoid other fried items like french fries, onion rings, hot wings and cheese sticks. For example, order the Grilled Chicken Sandwich over the Buffalo Chicken Ranch Sandwich, which contain 610 versus 1,520 calories, respectively. Have a house salad, instead of fries, to cut even more calories.

Ask for condiments and sauces on the side. This includes mayonnaise, salad dressing and gravy. By using these food items sparingly, you can still enjoy their flavor, but use a reasonable portion size. Place a little bit on your food and push the rest aside. A serving of Chili's Balsamic Citrus Ranch contains 250 calories, so placing it on the side and using a small part of it drastically reduces calorie and fat intake.

Order from the Guiltless Grill menu options. These are items on Chili's menu that are low in fat and calories, but high in fiber. They are grilled and feature fruits and vegetables, making them a much healthier alternative to other menu choices. The Margarita Grilled Chicken, Caribbean Salad and Smoked Chicken Tacos are included in this part of the menu.


  • Box up half your meal to eat later.

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About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.