Yes, dining out often means you will be inundated by generous portions of food cooked in lard or drenched in sweet sauce. But it is possible to eat healthily. Read on as we weigh in on ways you can keep to a clean diet while out and about in our food haven.
Go Light on Appetisers and Drinks
A healthy diet demands a certain level of discipline. Keep to the recommended six small meals or three main meals a day. Avoid ordering before-the-meal additions such as bread, butter and cocktails because these are often sources of extra sodium and calories. And when it comes to food choices, always think about a healthier alternative. For example, if a dish comes with a side of French fries, ask if you can substitute it with a baked potato or fresh greens instead. While the healthier choice may cost a little more, the long-term health benefits are well worth it.
Ask for Smaller Portions
Portion control is key to healthier restaurant eating. Whenever possible, ask for smaller portions of a dish if you feel that it might surpass your recommended calorie count for the day. And while Malaysians are famed for going weak at the knees at the mention of restaurant buffets, try, try and try again to avoid going for too many because you are likely to pile on more calories than you need.
Dressing and Sauce On the Side
You might think that choosing a salad over a burger instantly makes for a healthier choice. But extravagant toppings and rich dressings can often undo the health benefits of a salad. Nutritionists have found that low fat or low-calorie dressings and sauces often make up for what they lack with additional sweetness. In fact, the terms light and fat-free often hint at a high fructose corn syrup content, which is linked to health problems such as weight gain and diabetes. If you are unsure about the health content of your topping, ask for it to be served on the side.
Most people tend to ignore the recommended serving size for salad dressings — two tablespoons. Asking for your dressing to be served separately to your salad will help you control the amount you eat.
Take Away Leftovers
If you are uncomfortable about asking for smaller portions of a particular dish, request a take-home container. Pick up on body cues when your stomach signals that it has had its fill. Many people overeat because the hate to waste food. Instead, ask for a container and take any leftover food home, By doing this you will not be wasting food and your body will thank you for not overloading it with too many calories.