Everyone tends to indulge in fried, fatty, and sugary foods when there’s a special occasion: a birthday, graduation, promotion at work, etc. However, with dozens of restaurants around (and more opening every week), most of the time, you don’t need to celebrate something or come up with a good reason to eat out.
The variety of menu options offered by the maze of restaurants in Dubai can really make it hard for anyone to simply ignore all the dining establishments they pass by, and make it easy to indulge even on an ordinary day.
Although eating out can really be fun and satisfying, many of the meals offered are usually higher in calories, chemicals, additives, preservatives, trans-fats, sodium, and artificial flavors.
When eating these meals frequently, you easily create a recipe for weight gain and health problems.
Eating Out Without the Guilt
If eating out is still unavoidable, or you simply you want to give in to your temptations every now and then, you can still do so without the guilt. This means making better, healthy menu choices and following some smart eating tips.
1. Select restaurants that are known for offering healthy menu options
Whether you’re looking to have a working lunch in DIFC or dinner with friends, go online and search for restaurants that confirm local and organic ingredients usage. By doing so, you can be sure the dishes are free from chemicals and contain more nutrients. They tend to be more open to accommodating certain requests as well.
2. Take the time to read the restaurant’s menu
While doing your research on restaurants, take a look at their menu. You can find the menu on their website or on food and restaurant review sites.
When you do some additional research, you’ll know whether the restaurant is really serving healthy foods. You will be able to find out what ingredients they use for dishes served and how they are prepared.
You can also decide beforehand what dishes you’d like to order.
3. Don’t go to the restaurant hungry
Before going to the restaurant or during breaks, make sure you munch on some light snacks such as some raw fruits or veggie sticks or nuts, and that you fill up with water.
Keep in mind that if you arrive starving at the restaurant, you will more likely go for really heavy, filling and usually unhealthy choices. In addition, if you’re not too hungry, you won’t be tempted to order a lot of dishes.
4. Opt for a salad for your appetizer
Instead of ordering fried of dipping food for your appetizers, choose a salad. It’s a sure way to eat something healthy for this part of the meal.
You can make your appetizer even healthier by ordering a salad that isn’t topped with processed cheese or meat. In addition, you’ll avoid increasing your calorie intake by asking for a low-fat oil and vinegar dressing instead of a creamy one.
You can also request for the dressing to be served on the side so that you control the amount you put on the salad.
5. Choose dishes that are prepared using healthy cooking methods
Whether you order red or white meat, keep in mind that certain cooking methods are better than others. These cooking methods include grilling, baking, steaming, broiling, braising, sautéing, and smoking.
If the dish comes with some sauce, ask the server to tell the chef to not pour this over the dish or request for the sauce to be served on the side.
6. Eat only what you can
You don’t have to force yourself to eat everything that’s on your plate. If you’re already full, stop eating; you can always take home what’s left on your plate.
You can also avoid the temptation of overeating by asking for a to-go box and place a portion of your meal in the container before you start eating.
Keep in mind that most restaurant entree sizes today are huge and even if you don’t want to finish the meal, you can easily forget about this goal if you’re immersed in good conversations with your fellow diners.
7. Avoid ordering sweet or sugary beverages
When you order a soda, a fruit juice or milk shake, you’re just increasing your calorie intake. You’re better off drinking still or sparkling water throughout the meal. It’s a low-calorie, natural, and filling drink.
Sipping water will also help you eat more slowly and lead you to enjoy every bite of food you take.
Whatever your reason may be for eating out, you will enjoy the whole dining experience much more if you choose the right restaurant to visit and select better, healthier menu options.