Eating out is enjoyable and sociable, so your food choices should be just that.
While I promote weight loss to be about moving more, eating less and generally following a balanced healthy approach – having a bit of what you fancy is key to long term consistency. Without this we deprive ourselves of those treats which usually results in actually eating more of it! I personally can’t live without crisps, they are my guilty pleasure – which is why I would never go a week or even a few days without them. I also love a dessert when eating out and can’t possible go without – even if I am stuffed!
If weight loss is your goal then simply cut back on your calorie intake a few days prior and after your evening out – so you have saved those calories to consume at your pleasure with no guilt! However if you are still trying to be healthy while eating out or if your lifestyle choices mean you eat out regularly, below are some tips and also healthier choices to choose from.
- Don’t go out starving hungry, you will tend to eat way too much
- Choose dishes that are not fried or cooked in fat
- Choose jacket potatoes rather than fries, or alternatively have a side salad
- Choose high carbohydrate meals – rice or pasta
- Avoid rich and creamy sauces
- Order salad/vegetables without dressings
- Eat rolls etc without the butter
- Avoid creamy desserts and cheeses
Here are some tips to help you choose what and where to eat:
|Restaurant||Good choices||Not so good choices|
|Pizza||Tomato and vegetable pizza toppings on a wholemeal base.||Salami, mince, pepperoni and extra cheese toppings.|
|Hamburger||Plain grilled hamburger, or flame-grilled chicken.||Most burger’s, French fries, doughnuts and apple pie.|
|Indian||Chicken Tikka, Rogan josh, Shashlick, dahl and dry or vegetable curries. Plain rice, naan bread, tandoori chicken and mango.||Meat or chicken dansak, korma or madras. Samosas and onion bhajis. Chapatti puri, or paratha made with fat.|
|Chinese||Chicken, vegetable or prawn chop suey. Stir-fry vegetables, seafood or chicken. Plain rice and noodles.||Duck dishes, sweet and sour pork, fried rice and noodles. Prawn crackers, fried noodles or rice.|
|French||Grilled meat, poultry or fish.||Cream sauces, buttered vegetables and pastry dishes.|
|Italian||Pasta with tomato-based sauces or seafood sauces. Risotto, grilled chicken or fish. Tortellini with ricotta cheese.||Pasta with cream or butter-based sauces. Spaghetti Bolognese or Carbonara. Zabaglione.|
|Steak||Grilled steak, salad and jacket potato. Fruit.||Breaded or fried fish, garlic mushrooms and garlic bread. Also scampi, puddings.|
|Mexican||Bean burrito. Tortillas with beans or vegetables. Bean tostada and salad.||Anything with a chilli-beef filling. Tortilla chips. Anything deep fried.|