A lot of members have said they try to pick the healthiest option when ordering food out of the home. This is a great attitude – it shows you can still enjoy a treat, without going OTT.
Here are some tips on the healthier options to choose:
- Tomato-based sauces not creamy ones – when reading a description of a dish, I look for mentions of ‘tomato’ as this tends to be much lower in fat and calories than sauces made with cream or butter. For example, opt for bolognese over carbonara, or bhuna over korma.
- Vegetable-based – vegetables are both low in calories and packed with micronutrients, so most veggie choices will be healthier than meat. Plus, they’re generally cheaper too!
- Do you need the sides? – ordering food when you’re feeling ravenous is always a mistake as you’re far more likely to over-order and add unnecessary starters and sides. My top tip is to have a small protein-based snack before you go out for a meal to take the edge off your appetite.
- Count your carbs – carbs aren’t bad for us, but the calorie content of a meal can quickly escalate if there’s more than one type of carb on your plate. So have a personal rule – one carb only! E.g order bread or noodles or chips or pasta or rice or naan. Swap out other carbs for a veg-based or high protein dish (prawns or chicken are good lean protein choices).
- Skip the fries – avoid adding chips or French fries as a side. Choose new potatoes instead or ideally a fresh crisp side-salad. If you really want chips, choose potato wedges over skinny fries as these contain less fat – unless you choose a ‘dirty’ version covered in melted cheese! (You know what I’m going to say – avoid that!)
- Offset fancy drinks – I’m thinking festive coffees from the likes of Starbucks, Costa and Nero. With the flavoured syrups and cream, they may be delicious, but they are also very calorific. If you fancy one, order regular not large, and skip the cake. OR if you want cake, enjoy that but offset the calories by keeping your drink simple and order tea or coffee without the extras. Avoid the fancy coffee AND cake!
- Check out the website before you go and choose what you’re having and when you arrive order first, that way you’re not tempted with what others are ordering.
- Offer to drive.
- Ask for less oil when cooking or none at all.
- Ask for dressing or sauces on the side.
- Have a starter or dessert – not both