With a wedding coming up on the horizon, you are bound to be invited to dine out at restaurants many times by family and friends! Eating out usually means having little control over what is in your meal, and how large the portion is.
In general, restaurant meals tend to contain high calories, salt and fat intakes. Above that, studies have come to show that eating with friends actually tempts people to overeat as they become less focused on what and how much they are eating. However, fear not! With some knowledge and thought, eating out can be both an entertaining and healthy experience!
First of all: the breadbasket, which we all love! Having it removed from the table altogether would be a wise choice.
Moving on to starters, the best advice would be to skip the starter menu, as it will only add calories to your meal. However, if you are out to treat yourself, consider ordering these choices:
-Salad: Ask for dressing on the side so you can control the amount. Also try choosing vinegar sauces as opposed to creamy ones.
-Soup: Try to go for the clear variety, avoid creamy soups that have high calories.
-Fish or Shrimps: Choose grilled over fried.
Next, let’s talk about the main course.
-Choose side orders of vegetables to fill up on the healthy stuff.
-If eating a sandwich, opt for brown or wholemeal bread. Avoid mayonnaise.
-Cut off any visible fat from meat to keep saturated fat intake down.
-Opt for dishes that are grilled, baked or steamed as opposed to fried or battered. (As with the starter salad, you can ask for the sauce to accompany your meal separately).
-If you are a pasta lover, avoid dishes with creamy or cheesy sauces, or ones mixed with lots of oils. Tomato or vegetable-based sauces are a healthier choice.
-Opt for vegetables instead of starchy sides like potatoes. However if you do feel like having some carbs, make sure you ask for grilled or baked, not fried.
And the grand finale, dessert! Normally, try choosing between either a starter or dessert before you begin your meal.
-Share your dessert with a friend!
-Treat yourself to fruit salads, a scoop of frozen yoghurt, sorbets or baked apple desserts.
-Steer clear of high sugar desserts like cheesecakes, crème brulee, full fat ice cream and toffee puddings! Remember every calorie counts!
As a rule in general, before eating, drink a big glass of water as a lot of time thirst is easily mistaken for hunger. However, most importantly, remember that your waiter is there to serve you, so don’t be afraid to have your meal altered to suit your needs! Look for healthier options on the menu and if you aren’t sure what something contains, speak up!
Yours in Health,