10 Smart ways of dining while dieting

New Delhi: Most people will tell you that while you’re struggling to keep up with that monotonous diet plan, dining out is like a sin and how easily restaurants can kill your diet dreams. While it’s good to take away the unhealthiness from food, but certainly not the excitement.  So if you are an adventurous foodie who likes to eat out but is held back by your demonic diet, then step this way. You can now have the best of both worlds and the rules are simple. 

 
We’ve dished up 10 top tips for eating out while you’re trying to keep your weight down:
 
1) Cut back on your salt intake: Salt works like magic in restaurants and is used rather generously to enhance the flavor. Make sure you go for low sodium options. Limit the use of condiments like ketchup, mustard and processed sauces as they are secretly stuffed with salt. Salsa or freshly made sauces are a better bet.
 
2) Cooking technique: Opt for dishes that involve healthy cooking techniques like steaming, grilling, boiling, baking, roasting, poaching or stir-fries. Avoid deep fried spring rolls or fried fish or chicken.
 
3) Avoid unhealthy dressing: While ordering salads, avoid dressings with mayonnaise, cheese, sour cream and go for fresh, lightly dressed servings with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
 
4) Moderate alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol can lead to over eating. That’s a reason enough to slap your hand that slyly crawls towards another glass.
 
5) Choosing a restaurant: Avoid buffets and ‘all-you-can-eat’ places. Most diets that go here never come back alive. What’s worse is that you’ll not only see your diet fly right out of the window but also pile on a few unhealthy pounds.

6) Seating: Park yourself miles away from the kitchen. For a reason as simple as – not to get tempted by the aroma and the parade of palatable platters that swing by you. While this may have made you burst into a giggle, let me assure you, it does work!
 
7) Say No to starvation: Don’t starve yourself while eating out as this may lead to unstoppable cravings later. Sketch out a calorie budget and stick to it. Also, don’t leave the house hungry; grab a quick snack about an hour before leaving. It’s definitely not a good idea to step into a restaurant when you are at your hungriest!
 
8) Drinks: Order something to sip on – maybe a fresh juice or drink. It’s fascinating to know that sometimes your body confuses hunger with thirst.

9) The committed carnivores: Know your fats and proteins. White meat like fish and poultry is fairly lean and much healthier then the red stuff. Go for de-skinned meat as it is the skin that contains most fat. Different cuts of meat contain different calories and fats. Boneless, skinless chicken wings and breasts are a good option. They contain lesser calories that red meat cuts like legs and thighs.
 
10) Ease your aching sweet tooth: Death by a dessert is most common for diets. Here is where you have to be very smart. Things to avoid – whipped cream, syrups, frosted pastries etc. Keep an eye on the sugar content. Sorbets, parfait or desserts with fresh fruits could be a good choice. The key here is not to get carried away and know when to place your spoon down!

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