Sometimes calling for takeout is the only thing that saves a long and stressful day. While there’s nothing wrong with not cooking dinner and letting the closest Chinese deliver your meal, eating out too often isn’t good for your health. Restaurant food is often very high in fat, calories or salt and are loaded with fat and calories. If you’re going to dial the local pizza or Thai place, use these tips to keep things healthy.
1. Check out the Restaurant’s Website
Many restaurants post their nutrition information on the website. This allows you to peruse your options and see which items align with your goals. You can preview the fat content, how many calories a meal contains and what nutrients it offers. If you decide on a healthy choice before you pick up the phone, you can easily ensure that a healthy meal is delivered right to your door.
2. Order Grilled and Steamed Meats and Veggies
The reason why some restaurant foods might not be healthy choices is because they are often fried. By opting for steamed veggies and grilled meats, you can easily save yourself tons of calories and plenty of fat grams too. This method applies to sandwiches, Asian food and chicken. You won’t have to sacrifice the flavor by doing this so you won’t feel deprived.
3. Skip the Meat Altogether in Favor or Extra Vegetables
If you aren’t going to be too sad without meat, giving it up can save you fat and calories. Choose vegetable fried rice or pasta with steamed veggies. Or, order the pizza, but nix the pepperoni and sausage in favor of bell peppers, tomatoes and onions. I guarantee that you won’t miss the meat at all.
4. Start with the Soup
Not just any soup will do, but filling up on a broth-based veggie soup can help fill you up a little bit, helping keep you from eating more than you should when you’re ready for your entrée. Stay away from creamy soups, which are loaded with fat and calories. Pair your soup with a salmon salad or a half sandwich and you have a filling and fast meal that keeps you out of the kitchen.
5. Have the Fish and Veggies
If you’re a sushi eater, there are good and bad choices when you order your takeout. Stay away from tempura rolls because this simply means it’s fried. You also want to choose rolls that are filled with veggies and don’t contain any mayo or other creamy sauces. Opt for brown rice for the extra fiber and you’re good to go.
6. Have Something Spicy
Eating spicy food forces you to slow down so that you don’t eat too fast. This helps you control the amount of food you eat so that you are satisfied, but not stuffed. Order the spicy green chili on your bean burrito or have some salsa on your grilled chicken tacos. You’ll feel like you’re having a fancy meal, but you’ll actually be saving yourself a ton of calories. Perfect!
7. Order the Smallest Size so You Can Still Indulge in a Favorite
Having a hard time passing up the burger? Instead of ordering the triple patty loaded with cheese, choose the single patty. You still get to enjoy a favorite food without totally making yourself feel guilty. You can apply this rule to any entrée too. If they don’t come in smaller sizes, cut the item in half and put part of it in the fridge for tomorrow before you sit down to eat. That way you aren’t tempted to hog out.
What’s your favorite thing to order from takeout? Which of these ideas will help you keep it healthy?