Dining out in restaurants while on a weight loss regime may seem a daunting task. The information here will show you that restaurant dining is not only doable but delicious. It will make your dining experiences pleasurable as well as give you strategies and workable solutions for making healthier choices. Enjoy reading these tips…..
1. Have a small meal at home before moving out for a dining out experience
Hunger will sabotage any good intentions, so eat something before you go to avoid having to fight both temptation and hunger. You could have things like fruits, sandwiches, veg rolls, roasted grams, steamed corn etc . Or you could have them in the car on the way. This would make you avoid unnecessary eating and overindulgence in food outside. Also keep a bottle of water with lemon juice to keep you hydrated on your way. If you could not manage to eat anything before, order something healthy as soon as you are seated, such as a salad, a soup without cream, or some fruit.
2. Always Ask and Tell
Talk to the staff, manager or chef of restaurants you visit to get their help in identifying items on their menu that are the best options for your dietary needs and preferences. Also tell the staff about your choices- ask them to serve your salad without dressing, soup and dal without cream or butter, your main dish with lesser salt,etc. Good restaurants and hotels value their customers; they would certainly listen to your requests. It would be wise to choose a restaurant which is known to you and where you are a valued customer. If the restaurant is unknown to you, phone ahead to determine if you can get a healthful meal. And take a note that restaurant business is based on consumer demand. Only when we stop ordering unhealthy food will restaurants stop serving them and start providing healthier stuff .
3. Virtually all restaurants offer or can be made to offer healthy menu items
If you know what to look for and opt to customize your meal, you can have a nutritious meal whenever, wherever. You just need to be aware, observant and inquisitive. You should avoid going to restaurants at the peak hour if you want yourself to be heard and the chef to be accommodating.
4. Stop eating when you are sufficiently full
Listen to the cues your body gives you. Always eat when hungry and stop when sufficiently full. Don’t starve, don’t stuff. You should wait for 10 minutes after eating your portion and then ask yourself whether you still need to eat more or you are done. This will stop you from overeating.
5. Limit alcohol consumption
Inhibitions decrease as alcohol intake increases. Try ordering a bottle of mineral water when you order a drink. Sometimes we drink alcohol unconsciously when involved in conversation over dinner. Having some mineral water available will give you a nonalcoholic alternative.
6. Menu selection when eating out-
· Always start your meal with a green salad. Ensure that it is without dressing and there should be no extra salt on salad. Order salad dressings and other sauces on the side. And when choosing a dressing, opt for vinaigrette rather than a cream-based dressing. When ordering soups opt for clear soups instead of cream based soups. They serve as great appetizers for meals. Most of the soups are low calorie and will fill you up.
· Look for items on the menu that are baked, grilled, dry-sautéed, broiled, poached, or steamed. These cooking techniques use less fat in the food preparation and are generally lower in calories.
· When ordering for the bread baskets always opt for tandoori roti, missi roti instead of naan. Always ask the waiters to serve the chapatti in cut pieces so that you can control your portions.
· Order dhal instead of rich curries. Ask the waiters to serve you dhal without butter or cream. If you are ordering rich gravies then wait for sometime for the gravy to settle down then remove the top layer of oil from it.
· If you’re in the mood for pasta, look for tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based sauces. Tomato-based sauces are much lower in fat and calories. In addition, the tomato sauce can count as a vegetable!
· When ordering raitas, ask the waiters to make it salt-free and avoid boondi raita. Instead opt for vegetable raita.
· Fish and seafood dishes are great choices for the diet-conscious diner, but keep in mind to order them baked, broiled, sautéed, poached, steamed or grilled rather than fried. When ordering grilled fish or vegetables, ask that the food be grilled without butter and oil. Most of the time grilled fish and vegetables may be marinated in oil and/or butter before grilling. For meat dishes, look for leaner cuts, such as skinless chicken breasts, tandoori chicken.
· Share an appetizer or a dessert with a friend. Half the dish equals half the calories. If you have a craving dessert, opt for something lower in calories and fat, like fresh fruit, fresh fruit topped with just 1 spoon of ice cream or with thin custard or a non- fat frozen dessert. In fact your non- fat frozen dessert can be had at an ice cream parlour outside where you can walk down. That’ll mean some exercise too!