Eating away from home does not have to spell disaster to your waistline, you just need to make clever, informed choices and with our tips you can easily achieve this.
Close to half of all adults in the UK eat out at least once a day so if you are part of this statistic it is important that you make educated decisions about where and what you eat. Whether you're being wined and dined or having a quick bite in the local take away, keep in mind the following guidelines and you will never need to feel those 'pangs' of guilt again:
• Firstly don't starve yourself if you are going out for dinner in the evening. Have a light breakfast and lunch and eat a small snack 1-2 hours before going for the meal. If you do not eat during the day you will be more likely to overeat at dinner and you may be so hungry that you are unable to savour the delicious food you have just been served.
• Order a salad as it will help to fill you up and can bump up the dietary fibre intake of your meal.
• Ask for salad dressing or sauces to be served on the side. By requesting this you can control how much you want on your food, instead of having excessive amounts that will add unwanted calories to the dish.
• Soup is a great starter. Most soups are low in calories and satisfying so the temptation to overindulge during the main course or dessert is reduced. Remember cream based soups are higher in calories so choose vegetable, bean or lentil-based soups. Also avoid asking for bread with your soup, a couple of slices of bread with your soup will bulk up the calorie content of a potentially very low calorie starter.
• When ordering pasta dishes, look for tomato-based sauces rather than cream-based ones. Tomato sauces are much lower in fat and calories. In addition, the tomato sauce (or marinara sauce) can count as a vegetable.
• Remember 1 tablespoon of oil is a whopping 100 calories so order items that are roasted, grilled, steamed, boiled, stewed or poached. These items are prepared without oil or other cooking fats.
• Enjoy a baked potato, with tasty low calorie toppings, but ask the chef to go easy on the butter, sour cream & bacon bits. Try some salsa on your baked potato for a lower calorie topping.
• And finally the fun bit! Share a dessert or an appetizer with a friend. Half the portion equals half the calories.
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