If you are eating out, most of the time, you tend to attract more pounds and bad health which could worsen with time. Though there are many homemade food options easily available in the market now, thanks to online food delivery apps like Swiggy, Zomato and Uber Eats, there is still a scope of unhealthy eating. “How can I eat healthy when eating out” is the frequently-asked question by the diners who eat from outside, almost daily.
The consumption patterns entirely depend on the height, weight, medical history, appetite at the particular moment, the overall goals and physical exercise. Based on all the mentioned factors, an individual should decide. There is no set formula for how much food a person should consume. It depends on many different things – lifestyle, habits, goals and medical concerns.
Wellness Specialist Namita Jain shares tips and tricks on how the daily diners should decide what to eat from the restaurant’s menu and what not to, based on the nutrition and wellness facts.
Opt for Steamed Food
When people go to a restaurant, obviously, they want to try different cuisines; it could be Japanese, Mexican or more. Everything depends on their palate because this is their indulgence or to break out of monotony or go for a celebration. If they are making eating out a habit then they should try to opt for steamed food, something that is less in oil and sugar. They can also avoid very salty food with lots of preservatives, probably if they have hypertension, such food can affect blood pressure level. And also the daily diners need to limit the quantity. Sometimes, you go to a restaurant and overeat. Be watchful of that.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eat a balanced diet which includes six essential nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Eat three or more pieces of fresh fruit and salad each day, vary their colours as much as possible. Choose whole, organic items rather than refined, processed foods that are full of additives. Get adequate protein. An active adult requires 0.8 to 1.0 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. Athletes might require a higher intake, between 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Drink 10 to 12 glasses of water daily. Water regulates body temperature, assists the digestive system, transports nutrients and eliminates toxins and waste from the body.
It’s always wise to opt for a balanced meal - protein, cereals, a few vegetables and fruits.
Don't Omit But Limit
Fad diets cut out essential food groups and lead to severe nutritional deficiencies. Fad dieting gives you a certain set of rules that you need to follow. If you are following a fad diet, even if you are visiting a restaurant, you need to follow the same. But to the people who eat daily from outside, I would say, indulge in moderation.
Make Informed Choices
Consider all options when you eat out. Make informed choices based on the menu available. If you really are in the mood to indulge, cut back on quantities and savour the food in small portions. Go through the menu at the restaurant you are visiting. Look at the various options – deep-fried, fried and steamed. In drinks, there would be options like coconut water, fresh lime water, aerated. In desserts, you will get deep-fried, creamy vs lighter options. Choose wisely. In food, whole grain options might be there. Make better choices for selecting food items from the menu. Remember, fresh is always the best.
Avoid Large Meals
Don't overeat if you are stressed out. Avoid eating as an antidote to stress. Whether it is alcohol or food, an excess of any kind leads to weight gain and ill health. Avoid large meals. Instead, eat several small meals a day. When you consume five to six small, healthy meals every day, your body raises its metabolism.
Namita Jain is a wellness specialist and a recipient of the Post Doctorate Award from the Young Scientists University, the USA for excellence in the field of healthcare.