If you’re a foodie, trying out new food at various restaurants and eateries can be a source of joy for you. But how do you sustain eating out regularly if you want to watch your health? Dining out is often associated with unhealthy fast food or expensive, too-rich food. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are eight tips for you to eat healthy when you dine out of the safety of your own home. Even if you’re not really a foodie but have to dine outside thanks to work and travel, or simply because you don’t enjoy cooking, these tips will make your dining experience much healthier and more sustainable!
Scan the Menus
Do some online sleuthing before you head out. When you’re narrowing down restaurants, scan the online menu and About Us pages to see how they approach cooking. Many restaurants pride themselves on using less oil and healthier ingredients and will happily tell you so. Fine dining restaurant Urban Tandoor, for example, uses less oil in their recipes, fresh ingredients and no artificial colours, and their website makes this clear. Additionally, if a restaurant’s menu seems filled with butter, cheese, and fried food and that is not your cup of tea, you can proactively choose a different place before you step out.
Ask the Servers
The wait staff are trained to answer questions about the food served by the restaurant. Ask whether the food is going to use a lot of butter, cheese, or ingredients you’re not comfortable with. Be polite. Choose according to what they tell you. Don’t worry if you feel uncomfortable the first time. As long as you ask politely and show you defer to their opinion, the servers will gladly share what they know to be the healthiest option for your needs.
Choose the Dish Wisely
In general, ensure you eat food that is ‘pan-fried’, ‘crisp’, ‘creamy’ and ‘breaded’ sparingly. If you like this style of cooking, you don’t need to avoid it all the time. Just remember to not always order this type of cooked food. Instead, opt for grilled, steamed, baked or seared food that is lower-calorie and healthier.
Look for Protein
Meat is filling at a smaller quantity because it is high in protein. Choose leaner cuts of beef. You can also opt for other healthier options such as flank or skirt steak, filet mignon and tenderloin. Chicken is another great protein option, especially chicken breast recipes. Meat is a better option than empty carbs such as bread or pasta.
Eat a Light Snack Before You Head Out
This might seem counterintuitive. Why would you eat before going out to eat? The principle is the same as not waiting to shop until you’re very hungry. If you get to the restaurant starving, your food choices will reflect that. You’ll load up on rich, high carb and high sugar dishes instead of sticking to your resolve of eating healthier. So, have a quick, light snack that won’t fill you up but will keep away the sharp hunger pangs that will make you choose unwisely.
Don’t let the spectre of unhealthy food impede your joy of fine dining! Use these tips to choose your meal and your eatery wisely and you’ll be able to eat out often without harming your waistline or your health.