You’re out at your favourite restaurant and staring at a mouthwatering menu… surely there’s something you can eat without completely derailing your eating plan?
While it is important to allow yourself a cheat meal, and we do believe in ‘everything in moderation’, if you’ve been working hard and watching what you eat, you don’t want to completely derail your hard work.
Nathalie: ‘If I feel like a burger, I’ll order a beef patty, but will go without the chips and fizzy drinks — they can double the kilojoules in the meal. Be wary of sauces and toppings: mayo and cheese are big kilojoule culprits. Rather have a side of guacamole which adds vitamins and counts towards your 5-a-day.’
Cheryl: ‘I usually ditch the top half of the burger bun and order a side salad instead of chips to drastically cut the kilojoule content. For a leaner alternative, try ostrich, grilled chicken or vegetarian burger patties.’
Nathalie: ‘Diets don’t have to be about deprivation, so why not share a salad and a pizza with a friend? You’ll get all the health benefits of the salad and you’ll still be able to enjoy the pizza, without having any tempting leftovers to take home.’
Cheryl: ‘Always choose a pizza topped with lots of veggies: spinach, artichokes, mushrooms, rocket, peppers and tomatoes make fantastic pizza toppings and are a lot less calorific than salami! Opt for a thin crust to cut down on dough and ask them to make it with half the cheese. I promise, there will still be enough cheese on the pizza and you can cut calories by almost 25%!’
Nathalie: ‘Fill up on light, broth-based soups like miso, as these tend to be filling without being fattening. Choose lean meats like fish, and steer clear of sweet sauces like those in sweet-and-sour dishes, which are usually loaded with sugar.’
Cheryl: ‘Avoid food that’s battered or ‘crispy’, as it’s deep-fried. Fill up on stir-fried veggies and lean meats like chicken, rather than red meat, which contains more saturated fat. Eating with chopsticks will slow you down, so you should notice you’re feeling fuller sooner.’
Nathalie: ‘Be warned that ‘makhani’ indicates a dish finished with either cream or butter. Rogan Josh dishes are often lighter than kormas and tikka masalas as they don’t use as much cream. I avoid fattier meats (beef or lamb) and opt for fish or vegetable dishes.’
Cheryl: ‘Tandoori dishes are a good option as they’re not cooked with any extra fat and are roasted in an oven instead. In Indian restaurants, it’s often all the delicious sides that clock up the fat content: buttery naan and creamy, ghee-rich sauces. If you can’t say nay to naan, get a plain one and share.’
Nathalie: ‘Look at the plates coming out of the kitchen. Pasta dishes in some restaurants can be huge, in which case I’d try to see if any of my friends wanted to share a main course, then order a salad, too. Or just order a starter-sized portion, or a half portion, for yourself.’
Cheryl: ‘Beware of pasta sauces that are made with things like cream, oily pesto and cheese. Choose a tomatoey, veg-packed sauce to cut the fat content and roughly half the kilojoules. Better still, order grilled meat or fish with vegetables or a baked potato.’
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