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Five tips to combat eating out

If we have a challenging job, we often lack the time and energy to go shopping and cook. Canteens and restaurants, bakers and butchers or a snack from the corner shop are welcome, time-saving alternatives. It is a good idea to watch what you are eating when out of the house. Those who are well informed about healthy eating do not need to worry about gaining excess pounds when eating out.

Five tips to combat eating out

Tip 1: Breakfast like a king

Breakfast is the first meal of the day. To start the day with plenty of nutrients and energy, you should therefore eat healthy food for breakfast. Ideal choices include wholegrain bread or rolls, muesli or whole wheat cereal, milk and dairy products.

If you start the day strongly by eating this kind of food, you will avoid an energy dip in mid-morning and will be less tempted to reach for those small, high-calorie snacks. If ravenous hunger attacks, you might absent-mindedly reach for whatever food is at hand. These often contain more energy than you need and will ultimately cause you to put on weight. However, if you simply can’t eat first thing in the morning, at least drink a glass of milk, MILO, chocolate milk or fruit juice and take a second, packed breakfast with you.

Five tips to combat eating out

Tip 2: Prepare low-calorie snacks

To make sure you are prepared for hunger attacks during the day, it can be a good idea to prepare a supply of low-calorie snacks. Light snacks between meals that are easy to store could include fruit and low-fat dairy products, such as yoghurt, quark, kefir and buttermilk. However, you will need access to a refrigerator for the dairy products so they don’t go off. Always keep some muesli, oats and other wholegrain cereals, e.g. CHEERIOS, at hand Along with low-fat milk and maybe some sliced fruit, these are excellent quick snacks. You can prepare vegetable sticks made from cucumber, cabbage, bell peppers and carrots the evening beforehand, store them overnight in a plastic container in the refrigerator and take them to work with you the next day.

Five tips to combat eating out

Tip 3: Eating right at the canteen and restaurants

It is also possible to be calorie-aware in restaurants and canteens. Enjoy a light soup, e.g. a vegetable broth or tomato soup (with no cream) as a starter. The liquid will fill you up and make you feel less hungry. Also choose a vegetarian dish for your main meal, such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes and plenty of vegetables or salad. But make sure that your meal is not covered in a thick layer of sauce or grilled cheese. Opt for baked potatoes rather than the fried or roasted versions. Otherwise, the fat content will increase significantly. Ideally, meat and fish should be enjoyed without fat-absorbing breadcrumbs and should be steamed, baked or grilled. And simply cut away visible rinds of fat. You can ask for the sauce to be served in a separate jug. In this way, you can choose how much you want to eat.

Head for the salad buffet and help yourself to a large plate of salad with a few slices of whole wheat bread at the side. Avoid salad dressing – these often contain a lot of fat. This would be a good example of a lunch which is not too heavy but makes you feel fuller for longer.

Tip 4: Fast food as a snack for the calorie-aware

Lunch from a snack bar, bakery or butcher is a quick option, but is often unbalanced and full of calories. Low-calorie meals are, however, also available. Make careful choices, e.g.

  • filled baguettes, bread, rolls or bagels – ideally with salad, cucumber and slices of tomato. And ask the server to make your sandwich with no or less butter or salad cream.
  • Plates of salad with or without cooked ham or, occasionally, tuna in brine rather than oil; accompanied by whole wheat bread
  • Vegetable soup and one-pot dishes, accompanied by whole wheat bread
  • Low-fat ham or poultry slices with salad in whole wheat bread
  • Vegetable dishes with whole wheat pasta, brown rice or potatoes and a small helping of sauce; if the sauce cannot be served separately, only eat some and leave the rest

Five tips to combat eating out

Tip 5: Enjoy alcohol in moderation.

It can be difficult to avoid the temptation of a glass of wine or a cold beer, particularly at the end of the day. Enjoy this luxury – but only now and then and no more than one glass. And be aware that alcohol contains almost as much energy as fat. Also: Alcohol-free beer contains fewer calories than alcoholic varieties. Compare the bottle labels – the calorie contents are listed there.

Tip 6: Fruit or a dairy product for dessert.

If you want to eat something sweet after your meal, choose an apple, banana, grapes or a fruit salad. Fruit can fulfil your cravings for sweetness. Those watching their calories should, however, bear in mind that fruit also contains energy. Ideally, you should stick to the recommendation and eat two portions of fruit a day. Then you will be on the right track. Alternatively, you can also choose a low-fat yoghurt or quark dish for dessert. Occasionally, you can also treat yourself to a small piece of cake or a chocolate bar, e.g. KITKAT.

Do you have some spare time after your dessert? Then take a walk in the fresh air to help your digestion, increase blood flow and increase your metabolism.