Eating out is very common in today’s world. You don’t want to be the stranger by always refusing to go out to eat with friends, family, and colleagues in an attempt to eat good home-cooked meals and stick to your health goals. Also, people travel more than they used to before, whether for work or pleasure. However, it is possible to have a balanced and healthy lifestyle while still eating out. All it takes is making the right decisions.
While eating in a restaurant or food cafe or buffet, we may not know which food options are loaded with fat and calories. This becomes difficult for people weight loss programs or those with clinical conditions. But that doesn’t mean they don’t go out to eat. Today there are healthier options available in restaurants and food cafes and good choices can be made at buffets.
Just following the simple guidelines below will help you make healthy, guilt-free food choices:
1. Skip the fancy drinks
Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages add only to the calories in a meal. Margaritas, pina coladas, and other fancy drinks are loaded with sugar. If a drink is a must, a glass of wine or a simple martini may be an option. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, buttermilk, jal jeera, or a light lemonade can keep unwanted calories at bay. However, running water is always the best option.
2. Appetizers and soups
Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer entirely. Steamed appetizers like momos, grilled chicken, dimsums, etc. they are good options. When choosing soups, the best options are broth- or tomato-based soups. Cream soups, soups, and pureed soups may contain heavy cream or egg yolks.
3. Tips for salads
Those who opt for salads before the main course tend to eat fewer calories overall. However, avoid cream cheese, honey-based dressings, cheese, potatoes, bacon, fried noodles, croutons, etc. in salads as they are high in calories. Instead, squeeze a lemon or try rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar. If you want to order a dressing-based salad, ask for the dressing on the side, as the amount of dressing you put on the salad will be under your control. A salad with just a few veggies, corn, lean meat, or beans could be a great filling. French fries can also be a great option in place of salad to help you avoid eating more calories later.
4. Watch the portion sizes
In restaurants, since the ordered plate is usually enough for 2-3 people, divide the plate with your partner instead of eating the entire portion yourself. If you are in a fast food restaurant, order the small meal instead of the large one. Let go of the fries and carbonated drinks.
5. make your meals low in fat
When you go out to eat at a restaurant, always check how the food is prepared. Check to see if food is broiled, poached, broiled, baked, or steamed, as it tends to be lower in fat than foods that are fried. Limit foods that come with cream sauce or gravy. Avoid or have butter, sour cream, gravy, and sauces served on the side. This will allow you to control the amount you eat, as they are high in fat and calories. When ordering burgers and sandwiches, avoid ordering them with cheese, bacon, and other sweet sauces and opt for whole grain or multigrain bread with added vegetables. With sandwich meals, choose water and fruit or plain yogurt if available, rather than sugary or carbonated drinks, potato chips, and potato chips. Choose seafood, chicken, or lean red meats over fatty or processed meats.
6. Add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
At a fast food restaurant, ask if the fries can be substituted for fruits or salads. Order more veggies with pizza, sandwiches, etc. Indian, Thai, and Japanese restaurants have many vegetarian options available. Always opt for brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat or multigrain bread and tortillas instead of white rice, pasta or white bread.
7. Beware of overeating at a buffet
Go through the entire buffet before you start filling your plate. Always start with a soup (not creamy, based on broth), fill the plate with greens; opt for non-fried and less oily options. Instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, opt for plain water, buttermilk, or jal jeera. Skip the butter / oil laden kulchas, puris, parathas, butter nan and order plain wheat rotis. Instead of desserts, opt for a plate of freshly cut fruit. Always wait 5-10 minutes before ordering a second serving.
8. Be mindful of what you eat while traveling
Large portions are not consumed at the hotel’s breakfast buffets. Have a healthy combination of carbohydrate and protein rich foods with some fresh fruits. Choose healthier foods at meal times. Always drink plenty of water while traveling, as that is an aspect that is often neglected. Pack healthy snack options like toasted makhanas, nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, dried fruits like dates, anjeer, apricots, raisins, etc. to avoid unhealthy snacks. Instead of drinking carbonated beverages, always check the availability of coconut water, buttermilk, etc. Fresh fruits are also a good option to avoid enjoying fried foods and other unhealthy foods.
Dining out in no way means setting aside your health goals. Following the tips above will allow you to enjoy eating out with less guilt and will keep you happy and satisfied. Today, healthy options are available when one wants to eat out, however guidance is needed on how to choose the right foods. In addition to people pursuing their health goals today, we see companies investing in the health of their employees through their corporate wellness programs as their executives and other employees in the field are constantly on the go. Eating out doesn’t have to be unpleasant – you can enjoy good health with the right choices. Also for some people it becomes difficult in weight loss programs or those with clinical conditions. But that doesn’t mean they don’t go out to eat. Today there are healthier options available in restaurants and food cafes and good choices can be made at buffets.