You may pride yourself on your workouts or your fitness routine. You may love the fact that come rain or shine, you go to the gym at least 4 times a week. You may tell anyone who is willing to listen how you ensure that healthy meals are being cooked at home for your family. But you also know deep down that you cannot stop eating out at least once a week, maybe more. What with your large group of friends and Sundays with the family, what’s a social person to do?
The idea here is to be realistic with your self. If you do eat out frequently (yes once a week is frequent enough), don’t lie to your self by saying, ‘it’s ok, just this once, this doesn’t happen everyday’. No it does not happen everyday, but remember that even once a week over time adds to those stubborn pounds.
If you eat out infrequently then by all means indulge your self every once in a while and feel free to ignore the tips below.
Here are some tips on what to order (or what not to order) when you’re going out to eat.
1) Say no to the drink
If the agenda is to step out for a good meal, then say no to the afterthought drink. When the waiter asks you if you would like something to drink, firmly shake your head and say no. Those mocktails, soft drinks, and fruit punch glasses add a huge number of empty calories to your meal in a very subtle way. Before you know it, you will have consumed enough of calories to overtake your entire home cooked meal and then some. Whatever you eat after that is just extra. Keep this in mind the next time a pink creamy drink with an umbrella entices you with her feminine wiles.
2) Eat the appetizers
The appetizers, unless they're fried, are healthier (the paneer, mushroom, or chicken kebabs) than the main meal of creamy gravies and butter soaked naans. Make sure, you eat the appetizers well. There are always healthy choices on every menu for people who are watching what they eat. Try and order some mixed veggies, some greens, and some white meat for starters so that you are 80% full by the time the main course comes around. Needless to say that if you order fried cheese balls for appetizers, the above does not hold true and you only have yourself to blame.
3) Eat the salads
Nowadays, because presentation is king, most meals come with pretty side salads. Help your self to the salads on the table even if everyone else is pretending that they have not seen it and are trying their level best to ignore its existence. This will help satiate your appetite and you will not end up over eating on other far less healthy food.
4) Avoid the Dessert
Ok I’ve hit on a nerve here. This is, by far, the hardest of them all, isn't it? Well, how about sharing. A couple of bites will not harm you too much, but an entire dessert? After eating a sumptuous and satisfying meal, do you really need to eat another meal? How many times have you gone home holding your stomach, groaning and vowing that you will not over indulge the next time? Well now’s the time to make amends. You can substitute dessert by carrying a bar of dark chocolate or some chocolate-coated nuts with you. You can satisfy the sweet craving without going all out. Maybe ask for a cup of coffee instead. It leaves a great after taste and while everyone else is chomping down the dessert you can busy yourself with exploring the exotic flavours of rich coffee.
5) Don’t over eat
If you’ve come to dinner after a long day, hungry, then chances are you will over-eat by eating quickly. Instead try a soup first or grab a handful of nuts before getting to dinner. This will ensure that you can eat slowly without swallowing your food and your stomach will tell you when to stop. Make sure you listen to your body and stop when it tells you to.
So here they are: 5 practical ways to avoid feeling guilty when you eat out. You will be surprised to see how easy they are to implement when you decide to give these 5 tips for eating out a shot.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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