Restaurant food looks, smells and tastes absolutely delightful and enticing, and that means sometimes your diet may go for a toss when the menu features dishes that are soaked in butter and smothered in rich gravies. These dishes may not contain enough whole grains, vegetables and fruits, compromising their nutritional value. If not cautious, eating out can greatly sabotage your diet plan. Conversely, it does not mean that you never can enjoy another restaurant meal!
7 Practical tips for smart prudent choices when dining out
When you eat out, you are not in charge of the ingredients that are being used, the cooking methods employed, as well as the portion sizes served — all these can lead to greater calorie intake and it can be nightmare for weight-watchers. Here’s a guide to ordering smartly at your favorite restaurant.
1.Pick the right restaurant: Check out which restaurants serve healthy fare; where you’re less likely to be lured into indulging in fried and sugary foods.
2.Choosing dishes: Ask your waiter to explain the ingredients of the dish and how it's cooked. As a rule, select dishes that are grilled, steamed, roasted, or stir-fried. Steer clear of foods which are described as buttery, crispy, fried and au gratin. Instead of opting for a deep-fried food items such as koftas and pakoras, go for tandoori food preparations such as kebabs and tikkas.
3.Pass over the obvious crooks: Butter, sugar and white bread or food with maida (all-purpose flour) as the main ingredient should be avoided. These make your blood glucose levels oscillate and make you put on weight around the belly. Always ask for multi-grained bread, a whole wheat tandoori roti, or flat breads made from alternate flour such as jowar, nachni, maize and bajra.
4.Avoid adding extra salt: Also, do not reach out for the salt shaker, in its place use fresh lime juice, powdered pepper and herbs to heighten the flavour of your meal.Alternatively, you could also opt for a low-sodium salt alternative.
5.Portion sizes are very crucial: Make sure that you fill 75 % of your plate with plant-based foods and include one portion size of lean protein – cottage cheese, legumes, grilled chicken, or fish.
6.Eat slowly and mindfully:You need to taste and savour your food. Eat slowly and mindfully, loving each bite and stopping when satisfied. Satiety tends to increase over the next 30 minutes after eating. So, don’t stuff yourself!
7.Drink smart: Stay away from soda and sugary drinks. Instead enjoy a glass of lime water, pudina paani or chaas with the meal, with just a dash of some low-sodium salt for taste. Make smarter choices by paying attention to ingredients of your drinks including cocktails and mocktails.
If you love dining out, do not fret that you have to quit eating out altogether in order to watch your diet and stay healthy. With a little research and savvy replacements, you can order meals which are a worthy indulgence for an evening out with friends or family.
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