When you're following a clean eating diet, eating out at restaurants can be challenging, to say the least. Whether you're traveling or meeting friends for dinner, here are three tips for eating cleaner while dining out.

1. Study the menu ahead of time. Before I step foot in the door of a restaurant, I always try to check out the menu online ahead of time. If the full menu isn't posted on their website, I check the restaurant's Facebook or Twitter accounts for daily specials. Have a plan ahead of time, especially if you have special orders or questions about the menu. Avoid pasta, and look for dishes that are inherently wholesome, such as grilled seafood, veggie-packed omelets (sans cheese) or other egg-based dishes, and main dish salads. Here's a guide on ordering clean at various types of restaurants, from fast casual to fast food burger joints. If you can't find a clean entrée on the menu, order a couple sides (roasted veggies, side salad with vinaigrette, fresh fruit, maybe a whole grain?) and a cleaner appetizer, tapas style.

2. Choose the right restaurant. Seek out locally-owned restaurants that focus on fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Ask the staff questions about ingredients used and what exactly is in a dish. Or, try one of these top 10 chain restaurants for clean eating.

3. Don't stress. Aim to eat cleaner while dining out. Not every meal will be perfectly clean everyday, and that is OK. Do your best and make your next meal as clean as possible.