You watch what you eat. Most of the time. Having home cooked meals gives you full control of what you put in your mouth. But eating out is a whole other story. Dining at restaurants is a minefield of temptation; warm bread baskets, divine cocktails, harmless looking dips, enticing desserts…Sure, it’s okay to indulge from time to time but some food and drink choices are just not worth the calories. Here are five of the worst offenders.
Salads with creamy dressings
All salads are healthy. Right? Wrong! All salads are not made equal and some of the crunchy, creamy combinations can totally wreck your diet. Fried croutons and rich, creamy mayonnaise-based dressings—think Thousand Island, Ceaser, Ranch and Tahini Yogurt—are laden with hidden calories and defeat the purpose of eating a salad in the first place. Instead opt for lighter Balsamic Vinaigrette, Lemon or Olive Oil based dressings. And if you can’t swear off creamy dressings, ask for them on the side and dip your fork in the dressing before crunching down to get the flavour without turning your healthy meal into a fat fest.
What everyone at your table is eating
Eating meals—especially at a restaurant—is a social thing, so it’s easy to get influenced by the food choices of your dining partners. So if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthy, stay strong and don’t get swayed by what your friends or family are ordering. If your neighbor orders batter fried fish and chips, it doesn’t mean so should you. Order a clear soup, a salad and then a lean protein main. You’ll be surprised at how full—and good—you’ll feel at the end of the meal.
The Bread Basket
Aah, this one is so hard to resist. You’re hungry and there’s a basket of warm, soft bread staring back at you. We’re not saying carbs are the enemy but filling up on bread before your meal has even arrived is a recipe for disaster. You’ll just end up eating far more than you should. If the temptation is too hard to resist, simply ask the waiter to take away that basket of temptation!
Anything that reads crispy, batter fried, crumbed or breaded is just another euphemism for deep fried. Eeeks! As we all know eating anything deep fried means transforming an otherwise healthy, nutritious protein or veggie into a lump of lard. Healthy cue: Look for descriptors like steamed, stir fried or grilled while selecting a food item.
Who doesn’t like them? Delicious, sweet and with a kick. But thanks to the syrup and sugar content they should be on a dieter’s no-no list. Instead, opt for a glass of red wine or a vodka soda to limit your sugar intake when you’re having a good time.