How to eat out without piling on the calories

  • Abhinav Verma, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 16, 2015 13:15 IST

Eating out can be a tricky if you are on a diet plan, and looking to lose weight. With never-ending menus comprising myriad cuisines, it is often difficult to identify food that’s low on calorie. More often than not, we end up making the wrong choice. But fear not, here’s your wise guide to eating out healthy and choosing food that’s healthy without compromising on flavours.

Pre-party starvation

The worst thing you could do is going to a party with an empty stomach. It will make you a glutton who is going to devour everything that is served to you. One tends to make poor food choices when extremely hungry. Opt for a healthy snack such as an apple 20-30 minutes before you reach the party. Serotonin level tends to drop when you are empty stomach. Hence you start to feel anxious and stressed when you go without eating for a longer period of time. That’s how binge eating starts. Scan the menu

The key to smart food selection is to patiently scan the menu. Carefully look at it and plan what you are going to eat, how much you are going to eat and how you are going to pace yourself while eating. These steps are important to consider, because they prevent you from overeating and your plate from overflowing with food.

Choose healtheir snacks over fried finger food.

Alcohol strategy

When it comes to alcohol consumption, always have a strategy in mind. The first rule is that you don’t mix your drinks. If you have made a choice of going for beer, then stick to it. Alternate your drink with a glass of water to keep yourself hydrated. Most importantly, go slow with your drink and don’t drink on an empty stomach.

Pick light food

Go for steamed, grilled, and sauteed meat and fish and avoid fried finger snacks. Also, say no to heavy dips. They are extremely high in calories. You can also go for salads, but avoid ones that are over-sauced. Go for those that have lighter dressings.

A fruit-based dessert is a better option than syrup-soaked sweets.

Fruity deserts

Desserts are irresistible and are the ideal way to finish your course. Fruit-based desserts such as fruit yoghurt sorbets are light on the stomach and are a wiser choice than syrup-soaked rasgullas and fried desserts such as jalebis.

Don’t hover around food

If you are finished with your meals, then don’t roam around the dinner area because you will end up overeating. Divert your attention by engaging in a conversation with your friends and family.

Eat enough Make sure that you eat enough, so that you don’t have to eat when you reach home. Because then you will end up eating all over again. So eat in moderation, pace your meal and enjoy.

(Inputs by Ritika Samaddar, nutritionist)

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