Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

With a little knowledge and preparation, you can turn a restaurant meal from a death threat to a healthy choice.

Here are our tips for eating lunch or dinner in a restaurant or cafe:

  • Don’t leave portion control up to your willpower: it’s easy to keep eating until you can’t eat anymore. Order half portions or entrée size whenever possible.
  • Order dressing and sauces on the side: A restaurant can make something as healthy as a salad unhealthy by covering it in dressing.
  • Avoid “all-you-can-eat” places.
  • Order water right away-start sipping. Much of what we mistake as hunger is often merely thirst.
  • Always get your salad dressings on the side. Instead of pouring it on top, dip your fork in the dressing before taking a bite.
  • Unhealthy preparation words on the menu = buttery, breaded, buttered, fried, pan-fried, creamed, scalloped, au gratin, a la mode.
  • Healthy preparation words on the menu = grilled, baked, steamed, broiled, poached, stir-fried, roasted, blackened.
  • Eat slowly, take your time. Enjoy and savour one bite at a time. Put your fork down between bites, or take a sip of water.
  • Concentrate on the conversation, not your food. If you’re talking, it takes longer to eat and helps you feel full before stuffing yourself.
  • Always have vegetables or salad on the side NEVER chips

Aim for lots of colour in the form of vegetables and salads and a good source of protein and you can’t go wrong!! If you have trained hard for the last 6 days and had a training session that day, then reward yourself with a glass of wine or beer to savour over your meal.

Healthy choices when eating International Cuisine:

CHINESE – Avoid foods that have been deep-fried or cooked in batter. Select steamed rice instead of fried rice, as well as vegetable, tofu, seafood and braised meat dishes. Ask for no MSG.

GREEK –Try Greek salads, stuffed vine or cabbage leaves, spinach dishes, stuffed vegetables, any seafood dishes and lamb.

INDIAN – Choose a variety of curries based on lentils, legumes, vegetables and seafood, instead of just ordering mainly meat dishes. Skip the deep-fried entrees e.g. curry puffs.

ITALIAN – Choose pasta or risotto with tomato-based sauces and vegetables or seafood or meat. Avoid cream-based pasta and meat dishes as they have high fat content. Enjoy a variety of vegetables and salads.

JAPANESE – Many Japanese dishes are suitable for the healthy eaters as they are made up of rice, vegetables, fish and seafood and lean meats (e.g sushi). However, avoid tempure (foods such as vegetables dipped in batter and deep fried and other deep fried foods as these will be higher in fat than many of the other menu items)

THAI – Many dishes such as sour soups, stir-fries, steamed dishes and various hotpots are examples of dishes that may be low in fat. Choose a dish with lots of vegetables such as beans, bamboo shoots and eggplant, served with steamed rice. Coconut based dishes are also excellent choices.

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