Part of the reason you will be successful on any diet plan is due to the choices you make. It is easy to say you’re going to follow a diet when you’re reading it sitting at home. But in the real world, following that diet you so carefully planned out is where things start to rapidly fall apart.

Let’s be realistic. Yes, you need to bring your food with you every day, cook your oatmeal every morning, and be sure to get in a few healthy protein snacks throughout the day, but you can’t always control what lunch meetings you have, or what restaurant your friend’s birthday dinner may be at.

But even if go out occasionally, you can still eat healthy and make the right choices to keep you within striking distance of your set diet and your physique goals — no matter where you are or what you eat.

It can be simple, as long as you make the right choices, and it doesn’t always have to be boring either. This post will review a few of the top food choices you can use to replace those less than favorable foods the next time you’re out and about. Here are five favorable food choices!

1. Chicken or Burgers

If you are dieting and on par the majority of the time, you will most likely have chicken as a staple in your diet plan. You might think burgers are off limits, but they don’t have to be.

Instead of the triple-decker cheeseburger with a side of fries, opt for the 100 percent 8 oz sirloin burger, topped with nothing more than vegetables and mustard and served on a whole-wheat bun or even bunless! And instead of that side of fries, why not have a small garden salad with a little balsamic dressing?

Yeah, that cheesy tower of goodness might be calling your name, but you will be thanking yourself later when you have saved a ton of calories.

2. Deep Dish or Flat Bread

Although the deep-dish pizza might be tempting, you need to strike this food right off the list. Just one slice packs 350 calories! If you must indulge in the heavenly food of pizza, swap the deep dish for a whole-wheat thin crust, or a gluten-free crust and load it up with your favorite veggie toppings—and go light on the cheese and heavy on the grilled chicken! Order the individual size and start your meal with a green leafy salad to fill you up before the main course comes.

3. Creamy or Balsamic

Salads sound healthy, but many are not. These choices should be obvious. Do not eat the Caesar salad loaded in creamy dressing, bacon, fatty cheese and croutons. There really is nothing good about this salad! Matter of fact, forget about any salad that contains creamy dressing, cheese or bread in the mix!

Stick to the garden variety, topped with lots of veggies, nuts, seeds, chicken or steak and light vinaigrette dressing. And whenever possible ask for dressing on the side. Better yet, ask for olive oil and balsamic vinegar, so you can mix it yourself.

4. Brown Rice or Pasta

Creamy alfredo might sound divine, but those words should never leave your lips. If pasta is on your craving hit list, never choose a cream-based sauce. Choose tomato- or pesto-based sauces that are lighter and less calorie dense. Swap white pasta for whole wheat, brown rice or even veggie or gluten-free rice pasta. These options are high in fiber and provide a source of complex carbohydrates. Lastly, make this a side dish, not a main course. Ask for a half portion, share with a friend, or ask for half of the dish to be packed up even before it gets to your table.

5. Soft Serve or Smoothie

Need a cool sweet treat? A smoothie is a good way to do the trick, but watch the added liquid calories! Smoothies can push into the calorie range of a cheeseburger if you are not careful.

Ask for light frozen yogurt instead of full-fat ice cream. Be sure they use fresh or frozen fruit that hasn’t been sweetened with syrup and whenever possible add a protein boost with a scoop of whey protein. And although you might be tempted to get the extra large size, stick to a small instead.