It is a usual practice to take our families out on weekend for dinner for the most of us. This gives us a break from the routine. Eating out trend is catching up in our country, take always, eating on the roadside dhabas, Chinese fast foods are on rise in the town luring us to eat out on regular basis. It’s difficult to withhold the temptation of eating out for the most us, unless we are very much health cautious. In this age of nuclear family structure family of kid or two are more liberal compared to earlier joint family structure. They enjoy more freedom and cooking at home has become an old trend. In the cities almost every day people get the parcels from the takeaway restaurants, in our own society there are 75% people eat at home once in a while as attending of various parties on daily basis for business and socializing became inevitable.
Now that you know that you cannot avoid eating out for some or the other reason it is better to follow some simple rules when you are eating out which will maintain your nutritious diet and lessen the chances of food related concerns.
TIP # 1 Look before you leap
There is a rise on chain of restaurants mushrooming into our cities with many national and international brands opening their restaurants. We always try to visit the new place to try it out, and in such scenario it is ideal to check out a website of the restaurant we are planning to visit as most restaurants and restaurant chains post nutritional information about their food offerings on their web sites. If you decide what you can and should order before you arrive, it will make it easier to avoid the less nutritious, higher calorie options.
TIP # 2 Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating means paying attention to what you eat, savoring each bite, while choosing foods that are both nourishing and enjoyable. Being mindful about food also means eating until you are not quite full, but not one bite more, though it is very hard to do if you cannot control your taste buds. Mindful eating relaxes you so you digest better, slows down the pleasure and makes you feel more satisfied.
TIP # 3 “Undress” your food
While choosing your menu be careful about the highly caloric additions such as salad dressings, cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. If you are eating at the KFC avoid more mayonnaise and if you are eating at Dominos it is advisable to not to add extra cheese to your thick pan pizza. While eating in restaurant choose the menu carefully to avoid more greasy food.
TIP # 4 Avoid buffets
Eating in buffets makes you drop your control over the quality, as you have been offered the unlimited options, even if you start with choosing healthy salads and soup of your choice avoiding the temptation becomes very difficult as everything is in front of your and served on a platter for you to go and pick up. In such case if the temptations are not in front of you, you are less likely to overindulge in eating.
TIP # 5 Make careful menu selection
Many restaurants indicate the healthy choices on their menu but this is not necessary on many fast food outlets. It is good idea to choose your menu carefully from the range of food choices offered in it.
TIP # 6 Don’t be afraid to special order
Most restaurants have plenty of things that are good for you, but they are served in heavy sauces or deep fried. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask if things are fried or cooked in oil or butter, if they are, see if you can order them in a more healthy way.
TIP # 7 Watch your portion size
At a typical restaurant, a single serving provides enough calories for at least two meals. If you are alone and can’t order a smaller portion, it is a good rule of thumb to leave at least one-third to one-half of the meal on your plate. Or, separate your meal before you start eating so that you create a distinction between what you are going to eat in the restaurant and what you want to take home. Ordering something that will reheat easily will provide you with a delicious lunch or dinner the next day. At fast food chains, avoid combo meals as they often have larger portions and extra calories.
TIP # 8 Share
You don’t have to order many portions of the food. Sharing starters, appetizers main course and desserts with dining partners is a great idea. It allows you to sample something that you really want to have while also helping you avoids the temptation to overindulge. It is still important to make good menu choices, but sharing might make dessert (or something else indulgent) more of an option.
TIP # 9 Order the sauce and dressing separately
If you ask for sauces, butter and dressings on the side, you can control the amount that you eat. Often you can use less than is normally used and still enjoy the same taste.
TIP # 10 Think of the big picture
Think of eating out in the context of your whole diet. If it is a special occasion, or you know you want to order your favorite meal at a nice restaurant, cut back on your earlier meals that day. Moderation is always key, but planning ahead can help you relax and enjoy your dining out experience without sacrificing good nutrition or diet control.
The tips mentioned above will surely save you from adding lots of calories to your diet but it will also save you from the stomach upset next day. It will save you lot of money and buy you peace of mind. With the changing trends we cannot avoid eating out but following the proper steps can help you a lot to be in control. If you have any tips to suggest please do leave it in your comments.