Keep Dining Out Healthy
With These 8 Simple Tips

September 20, 2021

Watch Out While You Eat

Daily routines are finally getting back to normal. With the ease of Covid-19 restrictions across the country, outdoor activities seem to have almost revived completely. Many residents have put aside their concerns about dining out, and the results are evident — restaurants, cafes and bars are seeing a spike in customer footfalls after a long time.    

Now, with the option of adding fast foods and other treats back to your menu, you are more likely to give in to your temptations every once in a while. This is nothing to worry about. However, practising safety in terms of healthy food choices and following safety protocols is still crucial for your overall well-being. After all, the pandemic is still lurking and it is important to make sure that we are mindful of our habits. 

Bearing this in mind, here are some tips on how you can have a good time dining out with family and friends:

Prep before your meal

Most restaurant menus are listed online or on food apps. Many large-scale restaurant chains have also listed nutritional information on their websites. It is recommended that you review the menu to ensure that there are healthy eating options too. 

‘Eat All You Want’ buffets can be disastrous for your dietInstead of overfilling your plate to make it worth your money, plan before you approach the buffet counters. Choose the healthiest options by making your first course a salad with plenty of crunchy veggies, fruits, and a low-fat dressing. 

Bear in mind that although Covid-19 vaccines can maximise your protection from contracting the virus, you should still exercise caution while dining out. Before your visit, check the Covid-19 precautionary measures in your city and the seating capacity of the restaurant. Also, make sure that you wear a mask while you are talking and that you only remove it while eating, especially in closed spaces. 

Go for healthy options

People enjoy eating restaurant food because it’s delicious. Here's why. Most restaurant dishes are generally full of saturated fats, high in salt or sugar, or refined grains. 

Also, the preparation process is just as important as the ingredients that go into making your dish. Order dishes that are either grilled, boiled, or baked as these are comparatively healthier options. Avoid deep-fried foods. Instead, you can opt for grilled chicken or fish. 

It’s best to avoid white products as they tend to be processed, refined, and devoid of nutrients and fibre. Instead, opt for brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, or soba noodles. 
Finish eating your main course before deciding that you’d like to order dessert. If you choose to have dessert, opt for frozen yoghurts or low-fat ice creams instead of cookies, pies, and cakes. Try ordering smaller sizes that you can share with your fellow diners.

Read the labels carefully & customise your meal

Watch out for healthy claims of foods labelled as gluten-free, sugar-free, or paleo. These labels don’t imply that these options are healthy. There can be added sugars and fats lurking in them as other ingredients. Read the menu and description carefully. When in doubt, you may ask your server for the preparation details. 

If the menu does not offer healthy options, instruct your waiter to keep the salt, butter, or sugar content to a minimum. Another option is to substitute the sides provided with the main meal. For instance, opt for a salad on the side instead of wedges or fries. 

Engage in mindful eating

The key to mindful eating is to immerse yourself in the taste of the food. Engage your senses completely and pay close attention to the colour, texture, and aroma. As you savour the food, chew slowly to taste the essence of the flavours. 

Also, one tends to binge when eating out. With plate sizes having increased over time, portion sizes have increased too. You might have grown up with the notion that you need to eat everything on your plate. But if you do, you might be overeating. Simply have half the portion and ask for the rest to be packed as a takeaway. 

It’s important to think of the entire dining experience, your diet and the safety constraints implemented by restaurants. Being mindful of this can ensure that you have a good time responsibly. 

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