Monday, September 17, 2007

Eating Out….Healthy

This entry is from an article I was reading of the N.Sunday Times. It struck me immediately. Why? Being away from home (Melaka), my eating habits have always been bad. The tendency is to always eat food which is yummy and of course easily available. Working the hours I am working (10pm to 7am), I don’ really have much of a choice. It is either the mamak (which I am already sick of) or the regular fast-food joints (A&W, McDs & Burger Kings – oh yeah not forgetting KFC – the Jalan Universiti one is 24 hours now). Anyway, there are ways to enjoy such occasions without losing sight of my long-term healthy eating goals. I have begun an enjoyable exercise routine (with the help of my personal trainer, Jay) which includes a 15 minute cardio workout and a 45 minute weights regime. I had started this routine about 2 weeks ago. So, the deal is to eat more fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish. Now this does not mean to say I am totally avoiding carbohydrates and saturated fats, but I am careful with the size of the portions. Since I am following this method of eating, I thought I might as well share it with all of you:-

Choose Healthy Options
When eating out you need a strategy that will enable you to fully enjoy the experience without losing sight of your healthy eating habits.

Ordering Starters
When deciding on a starter, first consider whether you would eat one at home. It might be better to skip the starter, especially when you plan to have a big main dish. If you really want to have a starter, then have a salad as your main meal, or better still share a starter. Deep fried starters are high in calories, so they are best avoided.

The Best Main Dishes
Use eating out as an opportunity to choose main dishes you might not cook. Grilled, baked or roast poultry and fish are the best choices as they are low in fat. Opt for curries with a vegetable or dhall base. If you are still hungry even after the main dish, order extra vegetables and salad.

Enjoying Desserts
For a healthy refreshing dessert, have a fruit salad or fresh fruits. Avoid desserts with coconut milk, tarts or ice-cream. Also avoid pies.

Clips of the article ‘Pick The Right Food When Eating Out’ courtesy of the Malaysian Dietitians Association

So briefly, those are the guidelines one can follow.

Sometimes, we have no control over the food served when friends and family invite you over to dinner – well at least I know I don’t. But remember, you can still limit how much you eat or drink. Increase the intake of poultry, fish, vegetables and fruits and ask for small portions of the desserts.

Always remember, assuming you eat more than how much you are supposed to eat, you can always offset the calories by taking a walk or visiting the gym during the day. Increasing activity level will help you burn the extra calories you are likely to take in. Exercise increases your metabolic rate and may help you control how much you eat too.

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