When enjoying a meal at a restaurant it’s easy to forget the calories you can consume in one sitting that one wouldn’t usually if you were having a home cooked meal. During the festive season we are dining out and socialising even more than usual and this is one of the main reason we pack on the kilos during this time of year.
The health conscious have long since adopted some clever habits that enable them to enjoy an evening out without consuming high calorie meals.
Here are 10 of the healthy habits you can adopt now to curb those unwanted calories…
1. As soon as you are seated at your table, make sure to order a glass of water with some lemon (and ice if you prefer). Make sure to finish that glass before the food arrives. This is a clever way to fill you up so you don’t over eat. Also, the water gets your metabolism going in preparation for the meal. Don’t stop there, order a bottle of water for the table and make sure to finish it (even if you finish it on your own) before you leave.
2. Don’t reach for those dinner rolls! In fact, if you’re not strong enough to resist them, rather ask the waitor to remove them from the table.
3. Survey the menu for dishes that have lean meats as their choice of protein – Chicken, fish or beef fillets.
4. If the menu does not make it clear, find out how the meat/fish is prepared, anything deep fried should be steered away from. First prize is grilled or lightly seared protein.
5. Ask your waiter exactly how the dish will be served, if it comes with sauces or dressings of any kind – always ask for it to be served on the side. In this way you can manage how much of it you consume, as this is often where the hidden calories are.
6. Most restaurants now offer gluten free pasta and pizza bases, even cauliflower pizza bases which is a great low carb option. When ordering pastas – order half portions if possible as restaurant portions are always very generous and far too much for one sitting.
7. Choose a healthy side dish – most restaurants will give you a choice of side dishes, especially at dinner time – go for a side salad or steamed / grilled/roasted veggies. If you’re out for lunch, you can go for a carb, but ask for sweet potato if possible, fries and rice I would rather give a miss, unless they have brown rice or sweet potato fries available. The problem with fries and rice, the portion size of these are usually far too big for one person. A good guide for a correct portion for you would be the size of the palm of your hand.
8. The best beverage of choice will always be water, but if you must have something else, try and go for freshly squeezes juices, most restaurants now offer that, try to avoid fizzy drinks, or even ice teas…yes, did you know most ice teas contain just as much even more sugar that a regular Coca-Cola. If you must have alcohol – limit how much you have, after all, dragging yourself out of a restaurant tipsy or drunk is not a good look on anyone. Cocktails especially contain a lot of sugar.
9. Always decide as soon as you sit down whether you’ll have a starter or a dessert if any – never both.
10. Sharing is caring – always share desserts, that way you’ll only ever consume half the calories.
I hope these tips and tricks will help you save yourself from unwanted calories this festive season!