We all know that eating out isn’t easy. Those lengthy drinking sessions, card parties, social chit-chats, evening tea-outs, always translate to copious amounts of food and drink.
And we also know that the food we typically eat when eating out is usually nutritionally worse than the food we eat at home. Fast food outlets are ticking time bombs when it comes to nutrition and health. So, what’s the right way to save yourself from the big bad calorie-full world of outside dining? Follow our list of top 7 rules to healthy fast food.
Grill it! Ask for a grilled vegetable/chicken platter and you should be sorted for that meal. Ask for a dash of your favourite flavouring or simply salt and pepper will also do. Ask them to use olive oil or light dressing, before grilling. Large pieces of mushroom and zucchini or eggplant can be eaten on a stick and grilled. Here are a few grilled recipes, you might be interested in healthy chicken kebabs, tandoori chicken, festive kebab, and green pesto grilled chicken.
Portion your meal: A must for losing weight in a healthy way, portion control stands right in the middle of excess calorie intake and not eating enough. While eating out, stress on the quality, and not the quantity of food. Go for foods which are rich in fiber and proteins as they’ll keep you full and satisfied for long. Try and eat in small portion sizes. If you still feel hungry, go for second, or need be third helping. But overfilling your plate and then eating everything which is kept in front of you is not a great idea when you plan to lose or control weight.
Know your enemy: It is imperative that you fully understand the restaurant you’re about to visit. Make sure the restaurant you’re visiting caters to a healthy palette because you don’t want to be stuck in a place that doesn’t. Also, don’t be fooled by certain food joints ad gimmicks and give in to their labelled ‘healthy’ treats. If you choose to eat at these self-proclaimed health joints, avoid the dressings altogether, choose only whole wheat bread and go in for a slim meat like turkey or tuna. Bottom-line: Be an alert consumer.
Fill yourself with salads and appetizers: The appetizers, unless they’re fried, are healthier (the paneer, mushroom, or chicken kebabs) than the main meal of creamy gravies and butter soaked naans. Make sure, you eat the appetizers well. Try and order some mixed veggies, some greens, and some white meat for starters so that you are 80% full by the time the main course comes around. Also, help yourself to the salads on the table as they’ll help to satiate your appetite and you will not end up over eating on other far less healthy food.
Keep a tab on drinking: Be true to yourself and your diet plan. Don’t let that one drink turn into five or six. Drink only on special occasions and keep a track of what you are eating while you drink and even later. Remember, the key lies in moderation. Drink plenty of water in between the drinks so that you feel fuller. This will keep excess drinking at bay and will stop the cravings for the next glass every few minutes. What you eat while drinking is most important. If you consume a lot of cheese or other high-calorie snacks while drinking, you are most likely to gain weight.
Ditch white cheese for mustard: Go for mustard as a sauce or flavouring agent. About 100 grams of mustard is only 66 Kcal. It is rich in nutrients such as selenium, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acid. Whereas, white cheese such as cheddar has approx 500 Kcal per 100 grams with almost most calories from saturated fat, no dietary fiber and fewer nutrients.
Avoid buffets as far as possible: Buffets are evil not only because of the insane quantity of food they offer, but because of the whole “I have to eat my weight because of the price” mentality most of us have. However, if you must choose buffets, hit the fresh fruits and salad bar first. Go for olive, vinegar and low-fat dressing. Healthy entrees should be your preferred choice. Eat slowly, and resist the urge to go for second/third helpings. And try to avoid eating as if there’s no tomorrow.