Contribution By Rita Ziade : Summer is here, and trying to stay in shape is a bit of a challenge with the friendly gatherings at restaurants and the beach food menus. However, it is still possible to watch out for your waistline while eating out. Many people believe that “low-cal” or “light” menus in restaurants are the healthiest alternative, yet why limit yourself to some platters while you can modify any regular meal? Here are some tips to help you make healthy choices when you are eating outside home.
- Ditching the bun is a great way to cut calories. However, a balanced meal should contain a small portion of carbohydrates. This is why I recommend ditching the upper bun and enjoying your patty with the lower bun, as it contains fewer calories than the upper bun.
- Switch from coleslaw which is full of mayonnaise to a green side salad with a lemon-and-oil dressing.
- Ignore the French fries, or replace them with grilled or baked potato wedges to reduce the fat intake.
- Order your wrap in multi-cereal bread as it contains more fibers and more nutritional benefits than white bread.
- Dismiss the mayonnaise and butter spreads. Instead, use some mustard to flavor up your sandwich.
- Go for chicken or tuna sandwiches instead of ham and cheese. Chicken and tuna have a high amount of protein and low carbohydrate count.
- Choose salads that contain a source of protein (chicken, turkey, eggs, white cheese, etc) in order for you to obtain a full meal without any “bad” added calories
- Ask for salad dressings that do not contain mayonnaise, cream, or butter. Instead, opt for lemon-and-oil or balsamic dressing.(Balsamic dressing tastes great on a chicken Caesar salad) You can also ask for your salad dressing to be served on the side of your plate.
- Decrease your carb count in your salad by excluding some starchy vegetables such as carrots, potato, corn, as well as by excluding croutons that are offered with some salads.
- Consume healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and walnuts, but in moderation.
- Reduce your consumption of appetizer combos, as they are rich in fats and carbohydrates.
- Try to make a salad your appetizer before having your main course.
If you are craving for something sweet, try to avoid chocolatey and creamy desserts. Instead, opt for some fruit or have a sorbet.