Let's face it: we are a culture that loves to eat out - at restaurants, at fast-food joints, and even in our cars! It seems we eat anywhere but at home at the dining room table. So even though the food list is easy to use, I know that many of you have to dine out occasionally or even on a regular basis.
When you do so, there are some tips you should keep in mind:
Choose restaurants that you know serve some fresh foods, including salads and grilled meats and chicken.
Don't be shy about asking the kitchen to prepare a food without oil or salt. Remember, oil adds fat calories and salt makes you want them.
Always ask the waiter for your dressing to be served on the side so you can choose the amount to put on your salad.
Refrain from eating bread- you may even want to ask the waiter not to bring it to the table.
Eat your salad before you meal. This way, you fill up on fibre rich greens and will eat less carbohydrates and protein.
If the portions are enormous, decide what amount you will eat and then push the rest to the side of your plate and bring it home.
Choose fruit for dessert. Yes, it's hard to resist finishing off a meal with something sweet, but instead of selecting a high-fat, high-sugar food, satisfy your taste buds with a fruit cup or sorbet that will cleanse your palate and answer the call for something sweet.
For quick take-away dinners, the best options are:
Thai stir fries, salads and clear soups with lots of vegetables
Grilled fish and salad (instead of the normal fish and chips)
When you need to stop at a convenience store or eat at a fast-food restaurant, educate yourself on their fresh, lower kilojoule meals. Essentially all the fast-food chains now offer non-fried options that are lower in calories. For instance, there are salads at McDonald's and Red Rooster. And all of the chains offer grilled chicken options.
One of the best fast-food options is Subway, which offers a great selection of sandwiches and salads with limited amount of calories. They also fill their sandwiches with nutritious, crunchy vegetables that add flavour, fibre, and texture, making the whole eating experience that much more enjoyable and satisfying.
If you can't resist a burger craving, then go for it, but take off the cheese, avoid special sauces, and make the burger "topless"- eat only one side of the bun. Or you can wrap the burger in lettuce and forget the bun entirely.
A harder pill to swallow is my request that you stay away from French fries or chips. They are not only high in calories but almost always filled with trans fat that practically blocks your arteries upon ingestion. If your craving for fries is uncontrollable, then you absolutely must purchase the smallest size.
A general guideline when eating at a fast-food restaurant is to avoid anything fried. You also want to avoid chips, packaged candy, baked goods such as donuts, cakes and muffins, and other high-starch or high-sugar foods that contain bad fats and additives that are unhealthy.
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