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Eating Healthy While eating out


Socializing & eating-out is & always will be a part of life. That is the place where the otherwise health-conscious people tend to go-overboard. Remember, healthy food options may be few when you are at a restaurant, but you still have some choices. Once you make it a priority to eat right, you will find it quite simple to stick to your diet. Also, most people being constantly on-the-run ,tend to eat out more frequently, for the sake of convenience. Eating out more than 2-3 times a week makes it a task to pursue a healthy lifestyle or to be on a weight loss program.
Most foods available at fast-food joints or restaurants are laced with fats, salt, sugar, refined flour , preservatives etc. However, there are ways & means to minimize the impact of eat-outs. If you are eating out once in 10-15 days (or lesser) then you need not fret much about it, as long as you eat in limits. However if you are someone who eats out on a regular basis, the following disciplines will go a long way in helping you lead a healthy lifestyle-

  1. Make it a point to order a salad with your meal. All good restaurants do have at least a basic salad on their menu. Request for the dressing to be served separately so that you can choose the quantity. Dressing should preferably be a mint based one, with lemon, salt ,pepper & oregano. Or any light dressing.
  1. Whenever you can, have a glass of fresh vegetable juice before your eat-outs
  1. Make it a point to request the waiter to have your food made in minimal oil/ghee/butter
  1. Order soups that do not have corn flour/white sauce/refined flour/cream. Clear Veg. soup , Lemon coriander soup, Tom Yum Soup are some of the good options. Skip the croutons/breads
  1. Order steamed, sautéed, grilled food with sauces served separately.
  1. Totally skip the deserts. If unavoidable, have just a teaspoon or two. Focus fully on the taste of it. Relish longer the 1-2 tsps that you have eaten. You will feel content.
  1. At a Chinese Restaurant, you can ask them to add double the quantity of sautéed/steamed vegetables  & less salt & sauces in the rice
  1. Ask for whole grain Chapati instead of a maida based one
  1. In a Punjabi/Indian restaurant ask for “Makke” ki roti instead of usual naan, rumali roti or butter roti.
  1. Idli-Sambar with green chutney is relatively better option, so is Sada dosa ( minimal oil & no butter)
  1. There are several restaurants nowadays which serve some very good salads, soups, vegetable & fruit juices.
  1. If on certain days you are too occupied & need to eat on the run, carrying a bowl of sprouts , few nuts, dryfruits or channa makes it easy to satisfy your hunger without having to eat out.
  1. A simple place to find a salad is the local sandwich stalls. You can request the vendor to serve you 1-2 plates of cucumber & tomatoes. Most sandwich vendors will serve you, esp. if you are regular.
  2. Bhel can be made healthy in the following way- Ask for less Kurmura, NO PURIs, more of Moong sprouts, tomato, coriander & cucumbers.

The above options are for those people who eat out frequently (3 or more meals per week).These options are meant to help you have a better health lifelong & are not meant to take the fun out of eating. It is only a mind-block that healthy foods cannot be tasty! Once you develop the awareness of what exactly junk food does to your body, & once you start seeing the results of taking good care of yourself by observing what you eat, you will wonder how you ever let yourself abuse your body with junk food, especially when there are healthy & tasty food options available. If you think it is difficult, you need to remind yourself that being overweight or unhealthy isn’t easy either..nor is it rewarding. Besides, it’s a matter of habit. Everything is difficult before it becomes easy. It will soon become a part of your lifestyle & your nature to choose to eat healthy & be healthy!