Are you one of those foodies who step into a restaurant to satisfy your gastronomical cravings? Well, you may eat to your heart’s fill but keep an eye on the possible health issues arising out of this habit. Of course, the other option is to be selective about which food you will dig into. Leaf this article to get some helpful insights.
Eating food at a restaurant may seem like a welcome change from your daily routine of cooking and doing the dishes. For a foodie nothing can seem more exciting than receiving your favorite food on a platter and digging into it. However, in most cases, succumbing to your food cravings at your favorite restaurant can lead to unwelcome changes in your appearance, and can also affect your health in the long run. Does that mean you should quit visiting your favorite joint or downing your favorite snack? Hell no, the key here is to use your brain. Eat smart. Here are some tips to eat healthy at a restaurant.
Eating Healthy at Restaurants
It is difficult to know the cooking methods practiced by chefs in restaurants behind closed doors of their kitchen. Similarly, most of the unhealthy ingredients might get camouflaged by the delicious taste and aroma of the food. This is why you might need to keep a tab on what you eat to ensure that your food intake is nutritious. Else you might just pile on the pounds.
We tend to start our meals with beverages or may consume them in between our meals. Most of us are addicted to consuming cold beverages at regular intervals. Read below to know how to choose your beverages.
- Opt for some fresh fruit juices and mocktails while dining at restaurants. Fruits are packed with fructose and antioxidants that are highly nutritious for your body. At times, sipping fresh fruit juices between meals induces better digestion.
- As far as possible, stay away from aerated drinks, as they are highly sweetened and acidic in nature. Opt for a glass of iced tea, or some freshly prepared lemonade instead.
- Make sure to consume plenty of water. Water is not only essential for hydrating your body, but also for reducing hunger considerably.
Here is What You can Opt For
- It is ideal to stick to soups and starters made from fresh vegetables, fish and white meat. Ensure that your meal is free from preservatives.
- When eating buffet meals, opt for plenty of salads made from sprouts and green vegetables.
- Opt for healthy meals that contain nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, in right proportion.
Here is What You can Avoid
- Avoid consuming salt over and above the cooking salt with which your meal has been cooked.
- Check with the restaurant staff to understand the quantity of trans-fat and saturated fat present in your meal.
- Avoid consuming food that has high proportion of artificial food colors.
- Avoid consuming meals that are deep-fried, cooked in rich creamy sauces, pan-fried and batter-dipped.
- Avoid food prepared in high amounts of butter and other fattening agents.
- Avoid food that includes high proportion of bread and other yeast-based bakery products.
- Avoid foods like bacon which are high in fat and contain very little nutrition factor.
Most sweet-toothed people, like me, await for desserts as the most exciting part of a meal at restaurants. While restaurant menus offer you a list of mouth-watering desserts, you need to be alert about the number of calories packed in them.
- As far as calories are concerned, avoid sweets fried in clarified butter, or the ones with high proportion of sugar, chocolate and cream.
- Opt for desserts with natural sweetness like a mixed fruit dish. There are bound to be some healthy desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth on the restaurant menu.
Some Parting Suggestions
Reading the above suggestions, you might start wondering if you are actually going to have a hearty meal at a restaurant. Fear not, for there are some easy ways to understand your appetite and eat accordingly.
- Buffet meals are costly and therefore, there are higher chances of you trying to eat extra food to get value for money. Opt to order food from an ‘À la carte’ menu while at a restaurant. This gives you freedom to choose food that is healthy and suitable to your requirements. Another suggestion is to opt for a smaller plate so that you eat smaller portions.
- Take short breaks between your starters, main course and desserts. This will help you to figure out if you are really hungry before you order something new.
- Speak with the Maitre d’ of the restaurant to understand if they have any healthy foods on their menu. You may ask them about the contents of their food preparation, and request for slight modifications to suit your requirement.
- My next suggestion requires one to exercise self-control while eating. You are the best judge of your appetite. All I need to say is that you should stop eating the moment your body signals to you that you have eaten enough. e.g. burping or a full sensation in your tummy. Never load yourself with extra food when you do not need it.
Smooth isn’t it? These were such simple ways to eat healthy and eat out at the same time. With a keen attention to the details of every delicacy reaching your plate, you will in fact save yourself from the guilt of putting on weight.