Eating Out Whilst Not Breaking Your Healthy Habits
Eating out is an important part of our social health and balance so I don’t want you to cringe at the thought of being asked out to dinner, lunch or even breakfast , so here is the way that you can have your healthy eating as well as a healthy social life.
Many restaurants offer delicious low-fat, low-cholesterol meals. Eating less fat (especially less saturated fat) and less cholesterol is important for your health. That’s because a diet high in saturated fat raises blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
Contrary to popular opinion, dining out is not the devil when it comes to unhealthy food choices. You can enjoy an amazing meal, and even an inexpensive takeaway, without upsetting your health regime or over indulging with calories.
Taking Charge of What you Want to Eat that is Best for Your Health
Ask For Changes to Meals that Suite YOU:
• Checking the ingredients and preparation method of meals with your waiter.
• Asking to replace different ingredients with healthier options. For example: vegetables instead of chips, no butter, if you do not want dairy ask for Soy.
• Requesting sauces or dressings on the side, that way you can control the quantity on your plate.
• Not being swayed by pushy waiters or jibes from your fellow dinners; just order what you want.
Healthy Eating is Happy Eating!!! Happy Eating isn’t about Indulging with Foods that are Bad for YOU
It’s all about portions! Think quality not quantity and keep your meal sizes small by
• Not skipping meals during the day just because you know you’re going out later, it’ll only make you overeat.
• Sharing dishes to keep portions sizes down or ordering two entrees rather than one starter and a main meal. It should work out to be the same price.
• Making sure you have a booking so you can go straight to your table rather than wait at the bar. Drinking before a meal is a big no-no; it’s harder for you to digest food.
• Resisting the urge to order alcohol with your meal; it’ll cut your calories in half!
• Know what is good for you and what is bad for you: By this I mean your health
• Balsamic vinegar dressings, salsa, cocktail, soy or tomato sauce, mustard and lemon.
• Foods which are described as steamed, fresh, baked, roasted, poached, lightly sautéed or stir-fried.
• Lean steaks such as tenderloin, club and sirloin. They range from just six to eight grams of fat per serve.
• Seafood; even the fattest fishes have less fat than the leanest meats.
• Creamy soups, stick to clear ones instead.
• Fatty steak cuts such as rib eye, porterhouse, ribs and brisket. They can range from 20 to 30 grams of fat per serving.
• Quiches and omelettes if processed with cheese.
You’re Dining Out Meal Planner
• Opt for muesli and cereals over sticky Danishes and croissants.
• Ask for eggs poached or boiled.
• Choose brown or wholegrain toast over white. (If gluten or wheat intolerant then ask if they have gluten/wheat free bread)
• Pancakes are better topped with jam, low-fat yoghurt or fruit rather than maple syrup.
• Most muffins are actually high in fat. Look for the low-fat varieties or just skip them altogether.
• English muffins and bagels are good choices, but ask for spreads on the side.
• Sandwiches on wholegrain or brown bread only have one to two grams of fat compared to 12-20 grams for white bread sandwiches.
• Say no to butter, mayonnaise, gravy and cheese.
• Choose turkey or chicken preferably not cold pressed
• In salads skip the croutons and bacon bits and go for tuna or chickpeas instead.
• Fruit is your best option. Sorbets and yoghurts are also good.
• If you absolutely can’t resist a rich chocolate mud cake, share with a friend so you don’t scoff more than your share. And unless it’s a very special occasion, say no to the whipped cream.
Clever Dinner Choices:
So, you’ve made it to your local restaurant and resisted the obligatory glass of wine, but what do you order? Just choose what you’ll enjoy and keep these mantras in mind…
G = Go for it
B = Better not
An Italian love affair:
B — Garlic bread
G — Minestrone soup
G — Mussels in wine or tomato sauce
G — Pastas with tomato-based sauces
B — Pastas with cream or butter-based sauces
B — Ravioli and lasagne stuffed with meat and cheese
B — Parmesan cheese.
G — Vegetarian pasta dishes
G — Pizzas with thin crusts and vegetable toppings
G — Chicken chow Mein
G — Steamed rice
B — Fried rice
G — Steamed vegetables and seafood
B — Egg rolls and fried entrees
B — Sweet and sour pork
B — Kung pao chicken
G — Fortune cookies
G — Pappadums
G — Curries with a vegetable or lentil (dhal) base
B — Curries made with coconut milk
G — Shish kebab
G — Beans
G — Tandoori chicken or fish, steamed
G — Fish or vegetable sushi
B — Shrimp or vegetable tempura
G — Tofu dishes, steamed
G — Rice, Udo and Soba noodles
B — Deep fried pork dishes
G — Soft corn tortillas
G — Salsa and beans
B — Potato skins with cheese
B — Nachos
G — Chicken fajitas and enchiladas
B — Sour cream
B — Beef burritos
Fast food Outlets: Personally I would avoid these if not totally but if that is not possible because of family get-together s Then here are your preferred choices
G — Hungry Jacks grilled chicken burgers
G — Subways low-fat subs
G — McDonald’s salads
B — Shakes, soft drinks and ice-creams from any of the fast food outlets
B — French fries
B — Burgers with added bacon, sauces, cheese or patties
G — Wraps without dressing
B — Chicken nuggets, fried chicken and onion rings
If you suffer from digestive problems such as coeliac, chron’s, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel or diverticulitis or any specific allergies to certain foods or additives it may be important to phone the restaurant ahead of time to notify them of any specific food requirements.
Otherwise as a general rule of thumb avoid: Dairy, Wheat, Gluten, nuts or seeds. I would also avoid red meat and chicken (especially if it is at Dinner time, lunchtime you may be able to handle a small amount) going for fish as your protein of choice if you are not vegan or vegetarian.