12 Ways to Enjoy Take Out Without Feeling Bad
Just because you're trying to stay healthy doesn't mean you can't eat your favorite foods
Summer is upon us, and although that can mean having fun in the sun and going on holiday and eating your body weight in food, it also means there will be copious amounts of summer selfies posted on the ‘gram of people in their bikinis rockin’ summer-ready bodies. Unfortunately, if you’re not blessed with a fast metabolism, eating your favorite foods could also mean piling on the pounds. When you’re trying to lose a few or just watch your diet, it can be a real struggle when there are happy foods like cheese and chocolate around.
But fear not! We’ve compiled 12 hacks that can make it possible to eat your favourite foods that make you feel good, without feeling bad.
Ah, amazing Chinese food. Whether you love a bit of chow mein or special fried rice, Chinese is a universal cuisine that is enough to satisfy anybody. But how can you make this delicious take out healthy?
- If you’re craving chicken, always go for Kung Pao over other fried, breaded chicken dishes. Kung Pao is usually made from roasted chicken, that is packed with vegetables and chicken stock. This makes it a less greasy, deep fried, calorific dish.
- If you’re craving a chow mien, always order the veggie alternative. Ordering this will cut down your meal by 200-300 calories, whilst still getting all the essential nutrients in there, and most importantly, satisfying your cravings.
If it’s a spicy curry dish you need to kick your mega hangover from Saturday night, then look no further, Indian food is enough to keep that upset stomach at bay and keep you happy all week. In order to still enjoy this delicious food while watching your diet, you can do the following:
- If you prefer mild dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala or a Korma, then you may have to settle for something a little less, as these dishes contain a ton of cream and butterfat, which have no nutrients to them and will add on unnecessary pounds. Instead, go for something like a Chana Masala, which is very similar to a Chicken Tikka, but instead uses chickpeas, tomatoes and a lot of seasoning such as garlic and chilis, to give it that signature Indian takeaway taste.
- If you’re looking for a meaty option, then always go for the tandoori. Tandoori dishes usually contain meat cooked in a clay oven, which make it super healthy. When meats are cooked this way, there are no added fats to make it cook or taste nice. The clay oven uses all of the meats’ own juices to make it tasty.
Mexican is a cuisine like no other, the craving never goes away no matter how many times you eat it, but if you’re anything like me, when you do finally indulge on that delicious taste of slow cooked carnitas, you feel like you’ve become the size of a balloon.
- When ordering your favorite fillings for a burrito or taco, always remember to stay away from extra cheese and sour cream. Both of these things have no necessary nutrients, and although cheese is alright now and again, ordering extra of it isn’t good. If you want to fill out your burrito, always go for black beans or guacamole instead. Avocados contain a lot of good fats, which are essential for any diet, and black beans contain a lot of fibre, which your gut will thank you for later.
- Always go for corn tortillas. Even though this one is obvious, wheat tortillas contain a lot of complex carbs and corn tortillas are made from, well, corn. Corn tortillas have a lot of fibre in them, and don’t contain as many calories as the wheat alternative. You also want to make sure to go for soft tortillas when ordering tacos. The crunchy taco shells are fried.
Everybody’s favorite unhealthy meal, pizza. Pizza is so simple, yet so amazing. A bit of dough, cheese and tomatoes and you taste buds are in for a good time. Even though this is so obvious, and I hate to say this, pizza is so bad for you. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. BUT if you are needing a little pizza loving, and yes need, not want, because pizza is a necessity, then you could do some of the following:
- Instead of going for the sugar filled canned tomato base, ask for pesto instead. Pesto, although containing cheese, is still relatively healthy, as it only really contains basil, pine nuts and garlic. Also, ask for goat or feta cheese instead of the pre-shredded cheddar kind.
- Order vegetable toppings instead of meats. The meats used in pizza places are usually processed and filled with rubbish chemicals. If you want to eat healthier, ask for fresh vegetables, such as onions and peppers.
- If you really need some meat on your slice, then always go for chicken or steak. They are usually cooked fresh and don’t contain many or any chemicals to help the meat stay fresh longer like pepperoni and sausage meat do.
- You know when you look at yourself in the mirror after a long day and see how greasy your face has gotten throughout the day, so you blot it to get rid of the grease? Well it’s the same with pizza. If you blot your pizza with a kitchen towel, you’re taking away so much grease, and with that a lot of calories and fat.
Enough about the types of takeout, let’s talk about the amount of food that they give out, and therefore you eat. Trust me, I know it is very hard not to eat the whole take out portion. Take outs are notorious for giving out huge portions, and the reason for this is because they usually cook in batches, and therefore just pile on the food in the takeout container to get rid of the batch.
- Halve your portions and store it for the next day. If you’re watching what you eat, make sure you only eat what your stomach needs to. If you’re beginning to feel full, then stop eating and save the rest for the next day. You don’t need to eat more than you need to and seeing more on your plate tricks you into thinking that you’re hungry and need to eat more. Plus, you’ll also save money, as you already have lunch or dinner for the next day!
- Not a diet tip, but a health tip, be careful when reheating rice. Add a cup of water to every cup of rice, or if it’s fried rice, stir fry it in oil on high. Reheating rice quickly in the microwave can make you ill, as spores can grow and develop into bacteria if the rice isn’t heated through properly. Also make sure to put the rice in the fridge straight away after eating, as spores and bacteria are unable to survive in cold temperatures.
Takeouts are okay once in a while, and keeping to a healthy, balanced diet if you want to watch your weight, or just become a healthier person, will only do you a favor in the future. Remember these tips the next time your order takeout and you’ll get your summer body instagram ready in no time. Huge bonus: still being able to stuff your face with your favorite foods!
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