Weight: how to avoid calorie traps in any restaurant

You can eat away from home without sabotaging your diet or weight loss program. You just need to know how to make decisions based on the menu.

When ordering food from a restaurant, do you know which products can be loaded with fat and calories? Unlike when you’re grocery shopping, restaurant foods don’t have nutrition labels showing their fat and calorie content.

Hidden calories refer to the extra calories in many dishes from ingredients you may not know about. This is why they are a problem for people trying to control their weight. Ingredients are often added to improve the flavor, color or texture of foods. For example seasonings, sauces, toppings or cheese dressings. And sometimes they are part of the process used to prepare the dish, for example, oil or butter for cooking. Those calories add up quickly.

Use these tips to avoid hidden fats and calories in restaurant foods:

Appetizers and entree

If you take a starter, choose a starter that contains mainly vegetables, fruits or fish. Lettuce cups, edamame, and shrimp cocktail served with lemon are healthy appetizers. Avoid fried or breaded entrees, which are usually high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the entrée altogether and just focusing on your entree.
Soup. The best choices are broth or tomato based soups. Creamed and pureed soups may contain heavy cream or egg yolks.

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The Bread Trap

Garlic toast or white flour bread contain more fat and calories than wholemeal bread. If you can’t live without it, opt for wholemeal bread. Otherwise, avoid the temptation by asking the waiter not to bring the basket of bread.

Salad not necessarily boring

Your best bet is a lettuce salad topped with other vegetables or spinach with a dressing on the side. Limit foods high in calories, such as cheese, duck breasts, or gizzards Choose a salad with chicken or salmon. Also be aware that very elaborate salads are usually high in fat and calories due to the meat, cheese and other extras.

As an accompaniment

Choose steamed vegetables, rice, fresh fruit, a baked potato, or boiled new potatoes over higher-calorie options like fries, crisps, and mayonnaise-based salads.

Read the map carefully: it’s also a matter of words

You can forgo pasta dishes with meat or cheese or dishes with creamy sauces. The names of certain dishes sometimes indicate that they are high in fat, such as prime rib, stuffed shrimp or fried chicken. Instead, choose these healthy terms when choosing a dish: baked, broiled without added butter, broiled, poached, roasted or steamed.

Order dessert at the last moment

Finish your main meal before ordering dessert. When you’re done, you might not even want dessert. If you order a dessert, consider sharing it with one of your companions. Fresh fruit or sorbet are healthy dessert options.

The two ultimate restaurant traps

Also keep in mind two common restaurant challenges: the urge to order more food than you need and the urge to eat every morsel of food on your plate. Even if the portion size is way too big for one person!

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