How does eating out too often land you in trouble?

Research done in America shows that people in the age group of 18-30 years who have more than two eat-out meals per week for a period of years, have, on average, nearly 4.5 KGs extra weight than their counterparts who have less eating out sessions

If you love to eat out, you could end up having too many calories and/or eating unhealthy food stuff on a regular basis and gain too much weight!

But,we at FHI,  love good food and hence have some research backed suggestions for you foodies, so that you can eat good food and yet keep your weight in control and be in good health, find these tips below :

What are ways to follow ‘ smart eating’ when eating out?

Do not starve yourself before the outing

It is good idea to have a glass of milk and a fruit before heading out, so that your palate dictates what you eat instead of your hunger!

Order a healthy appetizer:

  • Order salad or steamed vegetables etc. along with the entrée dish
  • Get the salad dressing separately and add it yourself or ask for low calorie/low fat substitute of salad dressing
  • Ordering a big bowl of cream based or thick soup can give you substantial calories, try to go for clear soups or reduce the portion size

These will help you get filled up a little bit, so that you do not stuff yourself up, instead you should enjoy the food for its taste and avoid the guilt trip after!

Order a healthy drink:

  • Make a habit of considering healthy drink options such as diet colas, mocktails with no sugar/syrup etc. before ordering your cola/7 Up etc.; 300 ml can of coke provides, 132 calories, all in the form of simple carbs and little else, substituting it with diet coke saves up these calories, and allows you to eat 1/3rd brownie or 1/2 slice of banana cake, which have lesser simple sugars than the coke and have many good nutrients
  • Try all artificial sweeteners a few times in your tea/coffee and then choose one, which you should use regularly,  all of artificial sweeteners are safe, contrary to floating misinformation, (check out sweeteners)
  • In tea and coffee, added flavours such as hazelnut etc. add sugar as well, therefore avoid them on regular basis and indulge once in awhile
  • Mind the calories in your alcoholic drinks also, (check out the table of calories and safe limits for alcoholic drinks), especially cocktails can be full of sugar/syrups etc., so chose healthier versions

Have less unhealthy carbs and more protein and healthy carbs

Indians eat too many carbs and while eating out these are mostly unhealthy ones. Read tips on eating healthy carbs for Indians

Reduce the portion size:

Research shows that if served with large portion sizes, people eat more but report similar level of fullness when compared to being served smaller portions; One study found that subjects consumed 221 kcal more (56%) when served a large portion of a high-energy-dense entrée, compared to a small portion of a low-energy-dense entrée

Therefore:

  • Order half- portions ,or
  • Share a meal, or
  • Have some of the meal packed before you begin eating

 Go for food cooked in a healthy way:

  • Deep fried food tastes good, but it can load up too many calories and also harmful substances, so avoid having them more than once or twice a month. Read more about deep fried food and health
  • Go for baked, roasted, smoked, grilled or steamed stuff rather than deep fried, as much as you can
  • Choose a sauce or gravy which has less calories and eat less gravy/sauce of high calorie options, because this is the part of the meal which can secretly add many calories unintentionally

Seek information and ask for substitution:

  • If your favorite eatery gives out nutritional information of its food, (e.g. KFC, Pizza hut etc.) check it out some time and make mental note to order the stuff that is healthier and also to your liking
  • While ordering, ask the chef/waiter to replace butter, ghee with vegetable oil, put less oil and add sugar etc.

While at home also you can end up eating too much, learn how to avoid overeating

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on diet

CHECK OUT: Our references for recommendations on weight management