Spring tips for eating out without the guilt…

As the Spring season begins and the nights get lighter, you might find yourself feeling more inclined to eat out after work to enjoy those longer evenings. This could raise alarms for your diet, but eating out shouldn’t mean you have to compromise your healthy eating, and it doesn’t mean your night should be spent denying yourself of what you fancy either.

When ordering your meal, consider these simple food swaps that you can easily use to make your meal that little bit healthier:

1- If you’re ordering pizza, go halves with someone and order a large salad to go with it. If you want to cut calories opt for a thin crust base and cut down on the amount of toppings you have, including cheese. Choose toppings like chicken, ham, spinach, and mushrooms to make a balanced pizza that is still full of flavour.

2- If you are going to a Chinese buffet, stick to one plate of food. If you don’t want to miss out on the all-you-can-eat side, start with a guilt free soup like Wonton and choose a main full of steamed vegetables and lean protein, like chicken, shrimp, or tofu. Rice doesn’t have to be off limits either: try some brown rice, or rice that is steamed or boiled rather than fried. You can end your night with some fresh fruit to satisfy any sweet cravings, and, of course, a fortune cookie!

3- Indian food doesn’t have to be turned down either: ask for some chopped veg or salad to go with dips like raita dip, or tomato samba (chopped tomato and onion),and choose these over the higher calorie chutneys or lime pickle. Instead of your usual thick creamy curry try a dish that are have more protein and less sauce and ask for extra salad. Tikka, Bhuna, or Tandoori dishes are good good choices. Again, choose plain or boiled rice so you can eat guilt-free.

4 – Don’t starve yourself all day in preparation for a huge meal after work. If you arrive starving you’re more likely to hoover up everything in sight – breads, poppadoms, and over order. Have a light lunch like soup or salad at lunch time, a small handful of nuts if you feel peckish mid-afternoon and then when you arrive at the restaurant you should feel comfortably hunger to make the right choice

5 – Be careful with those ‘after work drinks’. You can’t ‘save up’ units to have in one go, so if you do want a drink with your meal it’s best to stick to a moderate consumption of wine; one to two small glasses per day. Sip your drink slowly, or even try white wine as a spritzer mixed with sparkling water. See my tips about how to drink sensibly here: http://bit.ly/1pcKiTf 

Now go and enjoy those later nights guilt-free!

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