Five tips for eating out

Five tips for eating out

If we have a challenging job, we often lack the time and energy to go grocery shopping and cook. Canteens and restaurants, bakers and butchers or a snack from the corner shop are welcome, time-saving alternatives. However,  it is a good idea to watch what you are eating when you’re eating out. Those who are well informed about healthy eating do not need to worry about gaining excess pounds when eating out.

Tip 1: Breakfast like a king

Breakfast is the first meal of the day. To start the day with plenty of nutrients and energy, you should therefore eat healthy food for breakfast and avoid eating out. Ideal choices include wholegrain cereals like multi-grain bread, chappatis or rolls, muesli, oats or whole wheat cereal, milk and dairy products and fruits.

If you start the day in high gear by eating this kind of food, you will avoid an energy dip by mid-morning and will be less tempted to reach for those processed, high-calorie snacks served at restaurants. If ravenous hunger attacks, you might absent-mindedly reach for whatever food is at hand. These often contain more energy than you need and will ultimately cause you to put on weight. However, if you simply can't eat first thing in the morning, at least drink a glass of milk, chocolate milk, fruit juice or a milkshake and carry a second, packed breakfast with you.

Tip 2: Eating right at the restaurants

It is possible to be calorie-aware in restaurants and canteens. Enjoy a light soup, eg a vegetable broth or tomato soup (with no cream) as a starter. The liquid will fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Also choose a vegetarian dish for your main meal, such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, boiled potatoes and plenty of vegetables or salad. But make sure that your meal is not covered in a thick layer of sauce or grilled cheese. Opt for baked potatoes rather than the fried or roasted versions. Otherwise, the fat content will increase significantly. Ideally, meat and fish should be enjoyed without fat-absorbing breadcrumbs and should be steamed, baked or grilled. And simply cut away visible rinds of fat. You can ask for the sauce to be served separately. In this way, you can choose how much you want to eat.

Head for the salad buffet and help yourself to a large plate of salad with a few slices of whole wheat bread at the side. Avoid creamy salad dressings - these often contain a lot of fat. This would be a good example of a lunch which is not too heavy but keeps feel full for longer.

Tip 3: Fast food as a snack for the calorie-aware

Lunch from a snack bar, bakery is a quick option, but is often unbalanced and full of calories. Low-calorie meals are, however, also available. Make careful choices, eg

  • Filled breads, rolls - ideally with salad, or vegetables. And ask the server to make your sandwich with no or less butter or salad cream

  • Plates of salad with fruits/vegetables, low fat yoghurt dressings; accompanied by whole wheat bread

  • Vegetable soup and one-pot dishes, accompanied by whole wheat bread

  • Vegetable dishes with whole wheat chapattis

Tip 4: Enjoy alcohol in moderation.

It can be difficult to avoid the temptation of a glass of wine or a cold beer, particularly at the end of the day. Enjoy this luxury - but only occasionally and no more than one glass. And be aware that alcohol contains almost as much energy as fat. Also: Alcohol-free beer contains fewer calories than alcoholic varieties. Compare the bottle labels - the calorie contents are listed there.

Tip 5: Fruit or a dairy product for dessert.

If you want to eat something sweet after your meal, choose fruits over other desserts served. Fruit can fulfil your cravings for sweetness. Those watching their calories should, however, bear in mind that some fruits like bananas and mangoes also contain calories.  Ideally, you should choose a variety of fruits and eat three to four portions of fruit everyday. Alternatively, you could also choose a low-fat yoghurt for dessert. Occasionally, you can also treat yourself to a small piece of cake or a chocolate bar, eg a KITKAT finger or MUNCH

Do you have some spare time after your dessert? Then take a walk in the fresh air to help your digestion, increase blood flow and increase your metabolism.