With the public holidays at hand, eating out is often one of the things on the to-do list. Eating out is synonymous with a good meal and the company of your friends, family or loved ones!
... Unfortunately eating out often leads to bad food choices ending up in weight gain!
Whether it is breakfast with the family, pizza with the boys or a romantic night out, one should be equipped with the following tips to make better food choices when eating out:
- Avoid ordering before-the meal "extras" like cocktails, appetizers, bread and butter because these are often sources of extra fat, sodium and kilojoules. Eliminate the temptation of picking on the bread, by sending back the breadbasket.
Sauces, Salads and Salad Dressings
- Start your meal with a salad packed with greens, to help control hunger but remember to be selective at salad bars. Choose fresh greens, raw vegetables, fresh fruits and reduced-fat, low-fat, light or fat-free dressings. Avoid cheeses, croutons, marinated salads, bacon bits, pasta salads and fruit salads with whipped cream.
- Ask that sauces and salad dressing be served on the side, so that you can control the quantity you consume.
Opt for Healthier Choices
- Instead of fried fish or chicken, rather opt for baked, boiled or grilled.
- Inquire about healthy substitutes. For example, if a dish comes with French fries or onion rings, ask whether you can exchange it for a baked potato with vegetables or steamed rice.
Be Beverage Wise
- Stay away from the high sugary drinks like cocktails and soft drinks, rather opt for water (with mint or lime), light wine or unsweetened ice tea.
Size Does Count
- Choose a “small" or "medium" portion. This rule relates to main dishes, side dishes and beverages.
- Instead of heading for the "all-you-can-eat" buffet, order an item from the menu.
- Share a main dish with a friend.
- Take leftovers home in a "doggy bag” or set aside half of it before starting your meal.
- Resign from the "clean your plate club" - when you've eaten enough, leave the rest!
Remember to enjoy each taste and aroma. Do not rush the meal!
The Dietitian's Life Xx