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Eating Out, Make the Right Choices

Skip the fancy drinks

Both, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks add to only calories in a meal. The margaritas, pina coladas and the other fancy drinks are laden with sugar. If a drink is must, a glass of wine or a simple martini can be an option. For those preferring a non alcoholic drink, buttermilk, jal jeera or a light lemonade can keep away the unwanted calories. However, plain water is always the best option.

Appetizers and Soups

Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer altogether. Steamed appetizers like momos, grilled chicken, dimsums, etc are good options. When choosing soups the best choices are broth-based or tomato-based soups. Cream soups, chowders and pureed soups can contain heavy cream or egg yolks.

Salad tips

Those opting for salads before the main course tend to eat fewer overall calories. However, avoid creamy cheese, honey based dressings, cheese, potatoes, bacon, fried noodles, croutons etc in salads as they are high in calories. Instead, squeeze a lemon or try rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar. If you want to order a dressing based salad ask for the dressing on the side as then the amount of dressing you put in the salad will be in your control. A salad with just some vegetables, corn, lean meat or beans could be a great filler. Stir fries can also be a great option instead of the salad to help you avoid eating more calories later.

Watch the portion sizes

At restaurants, since the dish ordered is usually sufficient for 2-3 people, split the dish with your partner instead of eating the entire portion yourself. If you are at a fast food restaurant, order the small sized meal instead of the large sized one. Let go of the fries and the carbonated beverages.

Make your meals low in fat

When you go out at a restaurant to eat always check how the food is prepared. Check whether the food is broiled, poached, grilled, baked, or steamed as it tends to be lower in fat than foods that are fried. Limit foods that come with cream sauce or gravy. Avoid or have butter, sour cream, gravy, and sauces served on the side. This will allow you to control how much you eat as they are high in fat and calories. While ordering for burgers and sandwiches avoid ordering them with cheese, bacon, and other sweet sauces and opt for whole wheat or multigrain bread with added vegetables. With sandwich meals, choose water and fruit or plain yogurt if they’re available, rather than sugary or carbonated drinks, chips, and fries. Choose seafood, chicken, or lean red meat rather than fatty or processed meats.

Add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

At fast food restaurant ask if french fries can be replaced by fruit or salad. Order extra vegetables with pizza, sandwiches etc. Indian, Thai and Japanese restaurants have a lot of vegetarian options available. Always opt for brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat or multigrain bread and tortillas instead of white rice, pasta, or white bread.

Be aware of overeating at a buffet

Check the entire buffet before you start filling your plate. Always start with a soup (non-creamy, broth based), fill the plate with veggies; opt for non-fried and less oily options. Instead of sugar sweetened beverages opt for plain water, buttermilk or jal jeera. Avoid butter / oil laden kulchas, puris, parathas, butter nan and ask for plain wheat rotis. Instead of desserts go for fresh cut fruit plate. Always wait for 5 to 10 minutes before going for a second helping.