Eating out can be an indulgence that you're only too happy to enjoy. Sometimes, however, you want to eat out but still enjoy a healthy meal. But you don't have to pass on healthy eating just because you're eating out. Whether you don't feel like cooking, or you just fancy eating out, here are some ways to choose a nutritious meal that's not laden with calories …
1. Order Two Starters
Take a good look at the starters on the menu. They are often fairly simple dishes that will be lower in calories - and of course the portions are smaller. Most restaurants are happy for you to order two starters instead of a starter plus a main; just ask for your second starter to be brought to the table when the rest of your party get their main courses.
2. Pass on Sauces
Sauces are often pretty high in calories, and made of less healthy ingredients like butter, cheese, and oil. Choose a simple tomato sauce instead, or ask for the sauce to be served separately. That way you will be able to control how much sauce you eat, and enjoy a taste of it. If you order a salad, ask for the dressing to be served on the side.
Salads sound like they should be the healthiest option on the menu - but that depends on the salad! Some are extremely calorific, like Caesar Salad. Avoid salads served with ingredients like a creamy sauce, meat or croutons. Instead, opt for an undressed salad with plenty of raw vegetables.
Choose your side dishes with care. One way to fill up healthily is to eat plenty of vegetables; opt for veggies that have been steamed rather than fried. Obviously fries and mashed potato are best avoided. A large simple salad is another healthy option for filling up. And don't keep helping yourself to the bread basket if you want to keep your calorie intake down, as it's easy to scoff quite a lot of bread, especially while you're waiting for your food to arrive.
If you eat fish, this can be an excellent choice for your main dish - as long as it's not swimming in a creamy sauce! Look for fish that is baked, steamed or grilled, as those are the healthiest ways of cooking.
6. Check Menu Online
Have a look at the restaurant's menu online before you leave. If you wait until you're hungry to choose your food, you may order something unhealthy just because you're hungry. Read the menu at your leisure, and you'll have time to pick out the healthier options. You can also ask for dishes to be tweaked to make them healthier.
7. Pass on Dessert
Desserts are lovely, but they're nearly always high in fat and sugar. So for a healthy meal, desserts are best avoided unless there's a simple fruit salad on the menu. To fill yourself up, order a starter and a main course, or ask for a simple side salad to accompany your main dish.
Eating a healthy meal when you go out may be a bit of a challenge, but with some careful choices it is possible to enjoy a meal that's both tasty and healthy. Do you think that it's only worth eating out if you indulge yourself?