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Monday, January 20, 2014

Healthy Swaps: How To Diet When Dining Out

Dining out when you’re dieting can be an absolute nightmare - there’s so much temptation to fall off the dieting wagon, especially when you’re surrounded by non-dieting friends. While your nearest and dearest may mean well, they can often be what makes you indulge a little too much when out for a meal!

If you’re planning on booking a meal at a nice restaurant in the near future and you want to make sure you stick to your diet, you can still enjoy yourself. There are lots of healthy options on restaurant menus now, as these establishments want to be able to provide their customers with the best options.

Here are some great ideas to keep you going while dining out:

Switch and Swap

You can easily carry out some healthy swaps to make sure your meal is as diet-friendly as possible. Simply by taking out the high fat options and replacing them with dishes that will better suit your diet, you can succeed.

For instance, you could:

-- Ask your waiter to remove the skin from your chicken breast

-- Choose lean meats such as ham or fish - although you’ll need to make sure you remove the batter if the fish has been fried!

-- Go for foods that are traditionally seen as vegetarian - meals prepared with pulses, such as lentils or chickpeas, are very low in fat but are extremely filling

-- Opt for boiled rice, rather than fried rice

-- Select sauces that are tomato or vegetable based - stay away from cheese sauces, they can be very fatty!

-- Have a salad on the side instead of your usual plate of chips

-- Ask for salad dressing to be provided on the side in a small dish, that way you can monitor how much you eat

Additional Tips

Of course, it’s not always as easy as making these healthy swaps. It can still be very difficult to resist, which is why it’s important you know how to stay strong!

Follow these tips to ensure you don’t slip up:

-- Don’t order your starter, main and pudding all in one go. It can be better to wait until after your main course to see if you want a pudding and, if you do, choose one that’s healthier, such as a fruit salad or frozen yoghurt

-- Always try to find out about the calorie counts of the items on the menu you’re interested in, so you can go into your meal knowing exactly how many you’re consuming. Even if you plan on being ‘bad’, it’s better to know precisely what kind of damage you’ve done so you can work extra hard to offset it later in the week

-- Rather than having a starter, add some sides to your main meal - but make sure they’re healthy! Vegetables (that aren’t cooked in oil) or roast potatoes (again, try to make sure they’re without oil) can be ideal

-- Order a glass of water or some fruit juice with your meal rather than alcohol or soda

-- Stay away from salt - it can be incredibly unhealthy. You can always ask the waiter to make sure no salt is added to your meal during the cooking process

Dieting while dining out doesn’t have to be horrible, you can always find some way to make your meal that little bit healthier.

This guest post was written by Aurora Johnson on behalf of The Light, Leeds, a retail complex with restaurants, shops, a cinema and a gym in Leeds.