You don’t need to ruin the week’s work or any of your diet intentions if you are going out for a meal. Keep it healthy, nutritious and low in fat with these diet tips for eating out.
Skip the bread rolls
It’s easy to start tucking into the bread basket before even ordering the food, especially if you arrive hungry. Yet these are unnecessary, additional calories that you don’t need before a good meal, especially if you are planning on several courses.
Go for grilled or steamed
Choose grilled or steamed food for the healthier option, served with salad / veg and a carbohydrate such as rice or potatoes.
Avoid anything fried, deep fried or in pastry
Pastry is high in fat so skip the pie, tart or pastry based items. Steer clear of deep fried starters, breaded or battered food and fried main courses – including chips. Although that said, if chips are a favourite and it isn’t a regular occurrence, have them and enjoy them – or ask for a half portion of chips and add extra salad to make it a more balanced, healthier combination.
Ask for sauces and salad dressings to be served separately
Ask for any sauces or salad dressing to served alongside the food so you can gauge how much of them you want to eat, rather than the plate arriving swimming in them. Obviously creamy sauce or dressings are unhealthier than than olive oil or tomato based ones.
Opt for a salad
Salads packed with a variety of ingredients and a good source of protein like fish, meat or cheese are obviously a great choice when you are eating out, especially if working lunches are a part of your job.
Strike a balance and enjoy yourself!
Finally, don’t beat yourself up or ruin the experience of dining out, especially if it is a special treat or celebration. You don’t want to feel like you are missing out or depriving yourself so strike a balance. You can have a dessert or a few glasses of wine if you have stuck to your healthy eating plan all week and exercised regularly. You can go for an extra long walk or an extra exercise class on the day of the meal so you have burnt extra calories; you can ask for a half portion of chips or decide to have a dessert instead of a starter. So enjoy yourself, enjoy the food and enjoy the occasion and get back to your healthy eating plan next week.
By Lynda Hamilton, an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist BSc, BHSc (N&D) at Hamilton Dietetics.
As dietitian in North Sydney Lynda covers Mona Vale, Kogarah, Collaroy Plateau, Dee Why, the Northern Beaches, Palm Beach, Newport, Narrabeen and Avalon.
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