Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

7 Dining Tips to Party Smart

stock-restaurant-food-couple_03,11Do you always get confused about how to order healthier meals at restaurant? Or, at times, feel challenged by the supersized portions served in restaurants; with no clue to handle it right way? No doubt we all face such hurdles when the question of eating out healthy at restaurants comes. But then, just a few changes in your dining picks will quickly let you get over these hurdles.

My Health Guardian puts together some easy-to-implement strategies to eat fewer calories and fat, and more of healthy bites while dining out. Be a smart diner with these 7 eating out tips.

Remember these tricks:

  1. No matter where you’re eating, practice eating small portions. Order an appetizer as a main course instead.
  2. Go to places where you can order healthy and low fat meals. For instance, places like Ruby Tuesday has its Health Club entrées which lists the nutritional information for its entire menu.
  3. Substitute high fat items like French fries for a baked potato or side salad instead. And request items to be made without butter or oil.
  4. Eat a little less at noon to save for a special dinner later, but don’t skip meals as you would end up eating too much.
  5. Eat something 30 minutes before your meal to be in better control of your choices. Eat a piece of fruit or have a glass of water with lemon before leaving for dining out.
  6. Avoid buffets and go for servings
  7. Don’t forget to count alcohol calories as a part of healthy eating. Avoid too much of whisky and beer.  Consider a toast of wine or breezers enough to make your evening.

Above all else, be assertive. Dining out is no time to be a meek consumer, notes Sachi Sohal Nutritionist & Dietician. Ask if you can to get nutrition facts for menu items.  Many restaurant chains enlist calories and nutritional content on their menu foods. Subway, for instance, offers approved Weight Watchers options and Ruby Tuesday offers superb Health Club entrées which lists the nutritional information for its entire menu.

Best options to select for your healthy platter

Here are some suggestions on what to order from menus of different platters:

South Indian:

  • Idlli makes good choice as it is steamed. Plain Dosa without coconut dip can be preferred too. Avoid vadas if you don’t intent to consume that extra oil.

Salad Bar

  • Select dark, leafy greens, raw vegetables and fruits, lean ham or shredded chicken.
  • Opt for fat-free dressing or low-fat dressing in small amounts.
  • Fruit salads is also good but don’t got with excess of ice cream toppings


  • Ask for broth or stock menu items instead oil options.
  • Choose items with large portions of vegetables
  • Avoid wontons, choupseys, egg rolls, sweet and sour choices, fried rice, fried dumplings, schezwan noodles, and tempura.


  • Pasta with red sauce is a great choice. But strictly avoid the sauce has high fat meat. Say big no to cream or cheese sauce, sausage dishes and garlic bread.
  • Pizza- Vegetable pizzas can have half the calories, so it makes a good choice. Ask for extra vegetables to replace the meat on pizza. You can request ½ of the cheese as well.


  • Chicken fajitas and Spanish rice without sour cream and guacamole can be selected at times, but not always.
  • Go easy on chips and other fried items such as chili rellanos, nachos, chorizo, flautas, etc.

Fast Foods

  • Choose BBQ
  • Broiled and grilled chicken sandwiches as well can work instead of jumbo burgers and fried sandwiches. Vegetable sandwich is the best pick health wise.
  • Atta or multigrain noodle would do better than plain maggie or other maida noodles

Now, no more health conscious butterflies should clutter you mind while eating out. With the above given options to choose, feel free to plan a basting dine out.

Priya Singh

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