10 tips while Eating Out

10 tips while Eating Out

By Geeta Shenoy  on: 08 November 2017
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Eating out is both fun and social. As a Clinical Nutritionist practitioner, I have found that most of my clients are quite wary about the food choices and end up feeling guilty after a social or family outing. There’s confusion in their minds about what to order and how to choose right food. In fact, several studies have also pointed out that eating out can lead to over-eating and poor food choices

Here are a few tips to help you to pick choose food at your favorite cuisine or social gathering without sacrificing your health goals:

  1. Plan your outings: It’s always beneficial to keep number of outing less, say not more than 1 to 2 meals a week.  If you know in advance which restaurant you are visiting, then check out menu on their web site, so you can plan what to order. Choosing food before you arrive makes it easier to avoid snap decisions which you might regret later.
  2. Eat a healthy snack before you arrive: especially if you know the healthy choices are limited. For example, a burger café might not offer any healthy choices. A low calorie snack like roasted Chana or yogurt could make you feel full and limit the intake of high calorie junk.
  3. Drink Water: Before and during your meal. Replacing sugary cocktails like margaritas or pina colada or juices with plain water is a great way to avoid additional calories.
  4. Be First to Order: Usually, in social situations people mimic each other and eating out is no exception.  Be first to order so that your decisions or choice of menu is not influenced by others.
  5. Go from Low to High: Order salad or clear soup before ordering any other dish on menu. Tossed salads, boiled chana salad, lemon coriander soup, green salad with separate salad dressing etc. This can be followed by healthy snacks such as barbecued chicken, grilled fish, steamed momos, barbecued or stir fried veggies. Desserts should be limited, instead, opt for fruits or black coffee.
  6. Always ask and be specific: about how the food is prepared and what the gravy contains etc... Talk to head waiter or Maitre d’hôtel about the menu. Menu description that uses creamy, crispy, stuffed, fried, dipped, scalloped is likely to be loaded with fat and sodium. Skip bread basket, butter roti, naan and have plain tandoori dishes. Opt for tomato based gravies than white cheese based ones.
  7. Portion Size: it’s always better to share a dish with huge portion size such as sizzlers biryanis or burgers. Else, order for smaller portion or you can also ask the waiter to wrap up excess portion in ‘take home’ containers.
  8. Slow & Chew: eating out should be an enjoyable event to meet family, friends and catch up with good times. So, try to shift your focus from eating to enjoying. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly, this ensures less calorie intake and avoid overeating.
  9. Beware of Buffet Mania: People generally underestimate portion sizes at free- to- eat buffet meals. Remember, you don’t have to eat everything that’s been laid out. Pick 2 or 3 dishes which you like the best. Simple technique like taking a smaller plate will help, so that you will eat less. If it’s a big plate then fill half of the plate with Salads and vegetables.
  10. Limit Alcohol and Mixers: Even a healthy alcoholic drink like red wine can add significant calories (1 glass about 280 Cals) to your diet. So take a small measure of alcohol, say 45 ml of vodka/ Gin/ whisky or a small glass of wine,  and use low cal mixers like tonic water, lemon water or diet drinks, instead of juices or aerated sugary drinks.

Lastly, it’s always better to look at your diet holistically. Everybody likes to eat out once in a while for pleasure without worrying about whether it’s healthy or not! If you are following a good diet most of the times, then occasional indulgence will not affect your health adversely and it’s good for your soul too. Just focus on mindful eating without feeling guilty and dining out would be a great getaway!


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Health Care of Children during Monsoon
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Monsoon, soon will be knocking at our doors! Dark clouds, strong winds and heavy rains, changes into lovely climate and naturally, everyone longs for a plate of crisp bhajia and a hot cuppa tea! But soon this romantic venture turns into daily nightmare especially for parents of infants and school going children. Incessant rains, flooding and putrid garbage brings in host of health epidemics like jaundice, typhoid,malaria, dengue, and other food borne illness.With little support/help from family health of children can be managed well during this period.  Try these few health friendly tips to keep your children away from monsoon ailments: 1.      Drink clean and boiled water. Increase consumption of hot fluids like vegetable soup, chicken soup, hot chocolate,clear soups , green tea etc 2.      Completely avoid eating unhygienic,uncovered roadside food, even if it looked tempting and hot, as it is often either reheated or refried. 3.       Have nutritious/ light/ hot home cooked food like dalia, mung khichadi, saut?ed veggies, paratha, muthia ,dosa, idli with sambar,pancakes etc 4.      Avoid raw / uncooked salads, chutneys, sandwiches,sandwich spreads, cold cuts, sushi etc. Wash fruits thoroughly before eating. 5.      Try to increase immunity by including foods like walnuts, flaxseeds, groundnuts, curds, soybean, tofu, almonds, sprouts,and whole grains like ragi, jowar , bajra etc 6.      Clean and wash thoroughly all leafy vegetables before cooking. One can immerse veggies in mild lactic acid solutions or salt water, in order to remove dirt and kill germs. 7.      Do not eat left-over food.  Humid and high temperature can increase the bacterial growth in left over foods. Discard them. 8.      Keep children well covered during day /night to keep them safe from mosquito bites. Use mosquito repellants and gels which are safe for children 9.      Do not ignore any sniffles/ fever. Keepchildren well hydrated and contact doctor immediately.  Let this rainy season be season of joy for your little ones rather than illness!
Geeta Shenoy

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Dietitian & Nutritionist in Mumbai (Chembur), India 

Looking for weight loss in Chembur or in Mumbai? Interested in excellent weight loss service online or in Mumbai? Then contact me. You can view my reviews and experience of my clients who have successfully reduced weight through healthy weight loss diet charts. NO Fad / Crash Diets, NO Starvations, No Gadgets and No Unsubstanciated  claimes! Dietitian Geeta"s diets aims at overall nutritional correction with comprehensive individual assessment,  simple and practical  with long term results and  benefits
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