Sunday, 23 June 2013

Healthy Eats Around

Dining at restaurants is a hurdle that a lot of dieters find trouble to overcome. Apart from the array of delectable choices each restaurant serves, the serving size is often more than what you would normally eat at home, resulting in unplanned overeating and unwanted extra calories. While you and your friends can share the dishes with each other, dining with big parties could also result in over-ordering and again, overeating.

Nowadays though, restaurants are fully aware that a lot of diners are looking for filling fare that doesn't heap on the calories in each plate. Usually restaurants put a sign next to these dishes indicating whether it is low-calorie or heart-friendly (for those looking out for their cholesterol levels). Here are ways to help you keep a healthy diet even when dining out.

The smallest serving
Personal trainer, certified Pilates instructor and weight-loss columnist Mitch Felipe-Mendoza shares how she and her husband fellow fitness trainer Armand Mendoza choose healthy eats in a restaurant. "We go to Hap Chan or any Chinese restaurant. We order the smallest serving of congee, which my husband and I share sometimes. The congee meal is already complete because it has protein from beef, carbs from rice and fat from the egg." shares Mitch.

Want something filling but calorie-friendly? Mitch suggests zeroing in on the broccoli with garlic. "Don't forget to order a tasty vegetable dish; that's where you'll get all the fiber with less calories—-it'll make you really full." Skip the deep fried stuff. Choose steamed instead.

Less sodium content
If you want your vegetable dish to be healthier, she asks the server to separate the crunchy garlic and oil, and limit the sauce to less than a tablespoon. If you can, Mitch advises to avoid the soy sauce and limit the chili oil to around one teaspoon per meal. Eating noodles instead? Don't slurp all the soup as it has high sodium content, adds Mitch. 

Meat-free once a week

Meanwhile, graphic designer and restaurateur Alessandra Lanot has been vegan for quite some time. She recommends Pipino's Watermelon Steak, a vegan nod to the carnivore. Though the taste of beef cannot be replicated nor replaced by a watermelon, Pipino's roasted slab of watermelon, served with a side dish of mashed taro, has a smoky, savory flavor and lightweight enough to eat, especially when you don't want to bring on meat sweats during the summer. According to climate experts, trying to go meat-free at least once a week not only benefits the Earth by reducing your carbon footprint significantly but it also does your body good.

Ending on a sweet (but healthy) note

Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth but not willing to swallow a calorie bomb? Joey Blanco of 80 Breakfasts recommends ordering Cuajada from Tapella. "It's like a milk curd served with honey and pine nuts. It's a very light dessert, I love it!" shares Blanco.

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