10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Eating Out

10 Tips for Eating Healthy While Eating Out

Kar Kei Wong by Kar Kei Wong on May 18, 2016
Why you should care

Eating out doesn’t necessarily have to throw our your diet – here’s how to make the right choices!

It’s easy(ier) to eat healthy when you’re eating in, but how do you resist the call of a fried tempura prawn at your favourite Jap restaurant?

The last thing you want to do is screw up your diet after managing to stay disciplined all week. But then again, the last-est thing you want is to ditch your friend’s birthday dinner celebration!

Good news is, most restaurants actually have healthy options you haven’t considered. So grab a fork and munch on these tips (and real food) the next time you’re eating out:

1 Eat Slowly

The same rule applies whether you’re dining at home or in public. Don’t stuff your face! Take time to savour your food. It takes about 20 minutes for the signals to reach your brain telling you that you’re full. You will also likely be more satisfied when you can fully appreciate the flavours, lowering your chances of overeating.

2 Skip the Free Starters

bread appetiser

Stay away from the complimentary bread basket or peanut appetisers. You’d want to save your calories for the dishes you actually want to order instead of wasting them on food you don’t love, just because they’re served for free. 

3 Water Is Your Best Friend

Dining out already leaves you with less control over what goes into your food, so the last thing you need is a juice or soda with unsuspecting calories. Kill two birds with one stone by ordering plain water – it’s cheaper and you get to skip the unnecessary liquid calories!

4 Healthy Swapping

Go for lean white meats to fulfil your protein requirement. Always pick roasted or grilled (preferably by flame) meats, and if you’re looking to stay absolutely disciplined, avoid eating the skin. Swap your sausages and bacons for hams which are a healthier alternative.

When it comes to your carbs, choose steamed or boiled rice and noodles over fried options. Instead of oil-loaded fries or butter-jacked mash, opt for grilled potato jackets. If you’re going for pasta, choose sauces that are vegetable or tomato-based rather than their cream or cheese cousins.

5 Learn the Vocabulary

Avoid ordering any food that has the words, “creamy”, “breaded”, “crisp”, “sauced, “stuffed”, “sauteed”, “pan-fried”, “a la mode” or “au fromage”. All these usually contain extra oils, fats, or ingredients that you’d want to skip during a healthy diet.
You can also watch your sodium intake by skipping smoked menu items, as well as anything with teriyaki or soy sauce.

6 Watch Your Sides

fruit salad

The healthiest side dishes are without a doubt, fruits and vegetables. Order your fibres – they will fill you up and keep you on track!

Having said that, bear in mind that not all salads are necessarily healthy. Do not fall victim to coleslaw, potato salads, pasta salads, and Caesar salads! These are usually packed with tons of mayo and hence, hidden fat.

7 Separate Your Sauces

Always request for your sauces to be served separately from the course. Using it as a dip will keep you from consuming more than you need. If you can avoid it entirely, even better. The same goes for salad dressings!

8 Size Matters

sharing pizza

Ordering all the right food can still mess up your diet plan if you’re not mindful of portion sizes. To avoid overeating, separate portions of a large serving onto a sharing plate. As people tend to finish what’s on their plate, it’s best to start with a smaller portion on your plate. You can share the extras with friends and family for brownie points.

9 Plan Ahead

It pays to be prepared. If you know you’re going out for dinner, you may want to take a lighter lunch or eat healthier snacks before you head out the door. You will have better appetite control and reduce the risk of temptation.

A quick search of the menu before going also can’t hurt. As more and more restaurant websites are updating their nutrition facts online, a quick search will help you decide what to order in advance.

10 Dress Up

A night out calls for a great outfit. Get dolled up, have fun, and treat yourself once in a while! But just as treats go, they shouldn’t be indulged in everyday, lest they lose their magic!

Why you should care

Eating out doesn’t necessarily have to throw our your diet – here’s how to make the right choices!

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