How to eat takeaway the right way

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One of the biggest hurdles to any weight loss plan is how to eat takeaway the right way, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Ordinarily takeaway food has been blamed for bad eating patterns and weight gain. On the other hand, we turn to takeaway meals because of convenience and it tastes good.

For most people trying to avoid eating out is near impossible. I find clients who work in a corporate environment struggle with this a lot. It’s because even though we would love to tell our business partners “sorry mate have to stick to my grilled chicken and salad tonight, have a beer on your own”, it’s bad for business! Please don’t use this as a cop out either, if you can avoid takeaway all together it’s a better choice, however if you don’t have a choice let me give you a solution.

I had the opportunity to put my own advice to a test, when I was asked to write a review about a new website called Menulog. The challenge was to try and make some healthy takeaway choices and write a blog about it. I was very impressed with the website, as it was so quick to get food at your door gourmet style. None of this take away commercial pizza rubbish!

I ordered my fitness friendly meal from a local eatery in Seven Hills, called Lily’s. I was able to order a decent serve of salad and grilled protein with a Mediterranean feel. These dishes were filling, and chosen because they came with simple flavours minus the cream, unlike other dishes. I ordered salad to get a serving of greens for the meal, which was conveniently delivered with the dressing on the side. Low and behold we only used a ¼ of the serve. The dishes were also quite large making it perfect to share and have some to reheat for the following day.

You can replicate this fitness friendly takeaway meal when eating out yourself. By simply following my 5 simple tips to choosing healthier takeaway options:

1. Eat takeaway by avoiding deep fried foods

Seems obvious, deep fried foods contain a lot of fat, and that mean excess energy. If you don’t burn it off in activity it will cause you weight issues! In addition to this a lot of places use vegetable fats to fry foods, this can contribute to a high omega-6 fat intake.  Omega-6 fats are thought to cause whole body inflammation, which isn’t good for heart disease. The typical culprits are spring rolls, hot chips, fried rice or pad thai noodles.
Swap For
  • Spring rolls for rice paper rolls
  • Fried rice for steamed rice
  • Fried noodles for noodle soup
  • Hot chips for roasted potato or veggies

2. Avoid large dishes of pasta and rice

Large plates of rice and pasta provide a carb over load. If you’re running marathons or trying to put on weight, it’s ok! But for the folk trying to manage a waistline its way too much energy. Especially if the pasta comes with a creamy based sauce and the rice is fried, then you’re looking at a fat problem too!
Swap:
  • Pasta for a grilled fish dish with veggies
  • Risotto for a chicken salad
  • Fried rice for stir-fried chicken and veggies

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3. Eat takeaway by choosing vegetable & salad packed dishes

You may not be able to make friends with salad, but you will certainly please your heart. Veggies and salad are very low energy foods but are nutrient dense. Often they are the most under eaten food group. Eating out is a perfect opportunity to enjoy tasty salads and veggies in exotic combinations.
My favourites:
  • Greek salad
  • Insalate Della Casa
  • Insalata Caprese

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4. Eat takeaway by asking for sauces on the side

Ordering a salad with creamy white sauce or mayonnaise is the biggest trap when it comes too healthy eating. Buyer beware! Seemingly insignificant, these high fat sauces can really pack a calorie punch. Always ask for sauces on the side so you can moderate how much you use. If you get the choice choose vinegar based dressing or small amounts of olive oil.
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5. Eat takeaway by sharing your meal with friends or doggie bag it

Portion control is difficult when ordering out. Often one dish can be enough to feed 2-3 people. Share the love by ordering less and share dishes takeaway dishes with friends. If you’re eating alone, doggie bag half of it for tomorrow. It’s all about making the best choice, in a not so ideal situation. Please share this blog with your friends if you think it will help them. Cheers!

In this video, I explore how to eat takeaway the SMART way. Do you have anymore tips for dining out?

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