When it comes to dining out, one can easily get swayed from their diet with all the possible delicacies that are up for ordering. We’ve all been there – we’ve arrived at a restaurant, looked at the menu and thought, Well, today can just be my cheat day. Nothing wrong with that, but if this happens three or four times a week, it could take a toll on the healthy diet you’ve been trying to get on with. Below are some tips and tricks to help to make eating out guilt free.
Don’t go out starving!
Now, if you go out on an empty stomach, you will definitely (99% of the time, that is) eat your heart out without even realising it – until you feel your tummy bulging through your jeans and realise it’s time to stop.
So eat something before dining out – not a meal but a small snack. Some fruit or a cup of yoghurt are good options. That way, you can make sound judgements while ordering.
Beware of calorie-loaded, cream-based soups (especially those with added cheese, bacon and/or butter). They can easily pack in around 300 calories per cup.
Opt for vegetable or broth-based soups, but beware of their sodium content. Some broths can contain up to 900mg of sodium per cup. That’s around 36% of your daily sodium intake! Tomato, pea and vegetable soups are nutritious, low-calorie options.
Salads are generally loaded with greens, but those calories from the dressing can easily add up. Two tablespoons of Caesar salad dressing can add up to 110 calories to your salad! And many restaurants use much more than that amount of dressing over their salads.
Opt for healthier dressing options such as olive oil and vinegar and order dressing on the side. This way, you are in control of how much of the dressing you consume and how many calories you intake.
You might want to reduce your red-meat consumption if you dine out frequently. Red meats such as pork, beef and lamb are high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
Opt for fish instead. It has lower calories, cholesterol and saturated fats. Mercury levels are a concern, so 2–3 servings of fish such as salmon, tinned light tuna or cod per week can be consumed.
Opt for healthier cooking methods. Order dishes that are either steamed, grilled, broiled, baked or poached instead of fried. This can really reduce the calorie count of your dish. Don’t hesitate to ask the server if the kitchen is able to switch up their cooking method for you.
Okay, okay, this one’s going to be a bit tough to avoid. We feel the pain of every sweet-toothed person out there who just cannot resist that beautiful, molten chocolate lava cake. But, when it comes to our health, one must take action! Even a slice of blueberry cheesecake can contain around 360 calories, similar to that of a portion of chocolate lava cake.
A better alternative could be having a cup of fruit topped with a small amount of whipped cream. If you’re really craving an indulgent dessert, you could have a small scoop of ice cream. One cup of ice cream contains around 150–250 calories, depending on the flavour. Opting for smaller portions of your favourite dessert can ease your desire and satisfy your sweet tooth without adding too many numbers to your daily calorie count. Also, share – you know what they say: sharing is caring! It’ll help you to maintain your diet and you’ll be able to enjoy different kinds of foods.
Eatology serves you healthy meals every Monday–Saturday, allowing for a flexible delivery schedule. We also provide a nutrition-consultation service to help in guiding you on the non-diet days when eating out is a must.