By: Rich Tavetian, Guest Writer
Ah yes.. Charleston, South Carolina. You historic, delicious town of friendly people and fattening fried foods.
Is it just me or is it hard to eat healthy here?
I’m not gonna lie, when I first moved here I ate like an animal and tasted every single morsel of fried foods and delicious southern cuisine there is to offer here in town.
However, unfortunately it caught up to my waistline after 5 years of living here.
I had a hard “come to Jesus” moment with myself and realized although I am a self-proclaimed “foodie” I needed to make a change to the way I was eating here.
What you’re about to read is the list of my favorite spots to help you on your weight loss journey while living or visiting the Holy City.
I know what you’re thinking.. “great, another article telling me how to eat ‘healthy'”.
Nope, I’m not your nutrition police.
I assume you already know what you need to do to “eat healthy” and maintain a comfortable weight, but the real question is: are you really doing it and holding yourself accountable?
This article is meant to help you make better decisions in the moment when you go out to eat.. most importantly to help you put yourself in a better situation to make better decisions before going out to eat.
These restaurants have helped me truly lose weight by giving me delicious, yet still healthy options in the Lowcountry.
Oh.. and by the way I’m still on my personal weight loss journey as of writing this and am determined to get down to a more comfortable weight but these places have really helped me A LOT along the way.
Disclaimer: No matter where you are on your weight loss, weight gain, or maintenance journey please realize I am NOT a doctor or licensed dietician. You are taking this advice at your own risk and your personal situation and food allergies should be evaluated by your doctor before taking any advice I have written below.
So here it is!! My list of best restaurants in Charleston for weight loss (in alphabetical order):
- Caviar & Bananas: Opt for the salad bar instead of sandwiches and baked goods (although tempting). They also have some great tasty grilled chicken in the case.
- Clean Eatz (several locations): You can’t go wrong with anything they have there.. I am a big proponent of their cafe for a quick bite and their actual meal plan meals. These meal plans alone have helped me get some serious weight off by helping me with portion control and increasing my vegetables and protein intake.
- Clean Juice (several locations): Their shakes are good but may sometimes feel like they need more additional flavor, opt for their protein shakes and add some supplements from their list of boosters. I’m also a huge fan of their wheatgrass shots.
- East Bay Deli: Instead of sandwiches and wraps, opt for the one-time salad bar and add a side of grilled chicken or side of lean meat for protein, opt for oil and vinegar side instead of sugary dressings.
- Gnome Cafe: Has some great vegan food like their BLT sandwich and seitan sandwich but opt for less fried foods.
- Grocery Store Salad Bars
- Earth Fare (organic salad bar with a great selection. Be careful not to be tempted by the pizza!)
- Harris Teeter (always pretty solid salad bar with fresh vegetables. I always go for the grilled chicken, veggies, and salad greens)
- Whole Foods (pricier but worth it if you’re in a pinch and need something good.)
- Huriyali: Great smoothies but look for lower sugar options wherever possible. The acai bowls are tempting but be careful with the sugar content.
- Kairos Mediterranean: Great spot for a hearty but not overflowing meal. Just watch the pita bread and sugary sodas (even though they’re cane sugar they can quickly contribute to weight gain. I like to get a salad bowl with chicken, baba ganoush, hummus, red pepper feta and vegetables.
- Nutrition Clubs (opt for protein shakes and teas as a snack)
- Palmetto Nutrition
- Synergy Nutrition
- Nova Nutrition
- Holy City Nutrition
- Island Vibe Nutrition
- Poke Shops: Good but I usually hold off or get minimal white rice for lower refined carbohydrates. Focus on getting the salmon with vegetables.
- Poke Bros
- Neon Tiger: Vegan and healthy veggie options but opt for less fried foods. Arguably one of the best vegan restaurants in Charleston, it’s stylish and inviting. Pizza is delicious but watch the portion and their falafel is delicious.
- Verde: Salads are great and filling but be careful with the sugary dressings! I like the buffalo caulipower salad.
You can find him on Instagram. He answers every Instagram DM, come say hello!
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