I personally like to take a break from cooking to dine out with my loved ones. But even with the health checks, dining out still contains more calories than home cooked food.

A study done by Health Promotion Board shows that a piece of roti prata with egg contains 288 calories whereas a plate of chicken rice contains 607 calories. So the question still stays, how can one eat healthily outside?

First and foremost, stick to the basics such as meats, fruits, vegetables and water.  Choose restaurants that serve these items. I know some restaurants would have a basket of bread set on the table while awaiting for the main course, however, do eat only a small portion to ease the hunger of your tummy. If your favourite item on the menu is, let’s say, pasta, which is a form of carbohydrates, try to eat only half of the serving and concentrate on the meat and vegetables.

Buffets such as Seoul Garden or Sakura would attract a huge number of crowds and some would starve themselves before they enter the restaurant. Nutritionist Katherine Tarmage, author of Simple Diet advice to eat normal throughout the day or otherwise you will get hungry and eat so fast you will overeat before you realize that you are full. A good idea is to have a small low-fat snack before you go out to eat.

Sometimes when you order a sirloin steak, the waiter will pour the gravy on top of your steak. Instead of this, ask for butter, salad dressings and sauces to be served on the side. This puts you in control. Not to mention you will notice how good the food really tastes like without the high-fat condiments. You can also regulate how much you want to use.

Try this: Bring small packets of low fat dressings with you in your purse or jacket’s pocket. This is becoming more acceptable in restaurants today.

Do not feel bad about not being able to finish your food. You can actually take it home with you in a doggy bag or share your entrée with your eating partner. If you cannot stop eating the bread and butter, ask them to take it away. The only thing you are missing out is adding more fats to your body.  The moment you feel full, do not continue as overeating will only result in weight gain.

After a main course, a meal would not be complete without desserts and the strawberry shortcake has definitely caught your eye. Share the slice with your partner. Not only will you not feel guilty about it, but sharing makes the meal more enjoyable.

As they say, nothing is better than ma’s cooking!

If you still feel guilty afterwards, sign up for a trial at our fitness bootcamp or seek out a personal trainer for a more comprehensive workout plan!

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