When you’re on a diet, you quickly banish restaurants for fear of making a mistake. However, by choosing the right restaurant and dishes, it is quite possible to give yourself this pleasure without gaining weight. We bring you some tips to enjoy a good time without feeling guilty.
Is the restaurant good for a diet?
It is absolutely not incompatible to want to lose weight and to go to the restaurant. We already told you about it in our article “Diet and restaurant: an impossible love?”. Going on a diet does not exclude having fun or having a social life. However, the temptation will be even greater than in your own kitchen. Between the smells and the preparation methods, everything is done to whet your appetite. It is therefore essential to make the right choices so as not to regret this culinary outing. Indeed, at home, we tend to use light cream, limit butter and reduce the amount of sugar. In restaurants, fat-free cooking and low-sugar desserts are rare! For equivalent preparations, the recipe used in the restaurant will probably be more caloric than the one you have chosen.
Which restaurant to choose?
We will not surprise you by telling you that fast foods are to be avoided if you want to lose weight! For other restaurants, nothing is forbidden! You will find healthy and light dishes in fish restaurants and grills. The so-called establishmentshealthy” are all the rage. So it’s child’s play to find a menu that will offer you delicious dishes that won’t cause the needle on the scales to climb. For others, here are some tips:
the Chinese restaurant offers a wide choice, but the products are often fried or greasy. If you love this cuisine, prefer wok cooking and have a light hand on the all-you-can-eat buffet. You can melt for spring rolls, but not for spring rolls which are fried and therefore fattier. Cantonese rice and fried noodles are also higher in calories. Instead, opt for white rice and grilled vegetables. For dessert, a scoop of sorbet will be preferable to (yet delicious) Chinese pastries.
The Japanese cuisine is much less greasy. We say yes to miso soups, sushi and sashimi. On the other hand, skewers and donuts, it’s no! For dessert, you will have to resist the nougats and the glass of sake.
In a oriental restaurant, you can start with a salad as an appetizer, but will have to skip the hummus. Prefer a couscous or tajine of chicken or lamb and avoid merguez sausages and meatballs. You must not give in to your desire for oriental pastry for dessert. Finally, if you want a mint tea, ask for it unsweetened to measure the number of added sugars yourself, if you can’t do without it.
Do pizza and diet go hand in hand? If it’s occasional, why not! In a Italian restaurant, choose your pasta or pizza according to their filling. Avoid cream bases, cheese, deli meats and other high calorie foods. A vegetarian pizza or arrabiata pasta could be good choices. It will be the same for choosing your pancake if you decide to eat in a creperie.
In order not to fall for all the delicacies on the menu, it is better not to go to the restaurant on an empty stomach. For example, you can eat an apple before leaving. A little cottage cheese, richer in protein, will have an appetite suppressant effect. Very often, restaurateurs place a basket of bread on the table and the plates are slow to arrive. You don’t have to jump on it! Move the trash away or ask the waiter to remove it from the table. No need to have a temptation at hand throughout the meal. If you take an aperitif, prefer a tomato juice, a light soda or a sparkling water with lemon. Craving alcohol? Allow yourself a glass of dry red or white wine or a small beer. Give up fruit juices and overly sweet cocktails. At the table, it will be necessary to drink water, preferably still, because sparkling water makes the stomach swell and makes you want to eat.
Allow yourself entry
It should be light and rich in fiber. Crudités, soups and gazpacho are ideal. On the other hand, cold cuts, eggs mayonnaise or even foie gras should be avoided. Industrial dressings are caloric, if in doubt, you can ask for the sauce to be served on the side.
Choosing the right main course
Obviously, fish and seafood are often better for the line than meat. However, the way they are cooked can change everything. Thus, lean meats (poultry for example) and grilled meats will be preferable to breaded fish or gravlax salmon. Avoid fried products, gratins, lasagna and dishes with sauce. Preparations based on cream, cheese or butter will necessarily have more calories and will not help you lose weight! If you still opt for a dish with sauce, do not overdo it. Do not dress your plate with bread and be content with a starter/main course or main course/dessert duo to reduce the caloric intake of the meal. Then choose a starter or a light dessert. Also bet on accompaniments by promoting vegetables. Don’t forbid yourself fries, especially if you’re dying to! But then ask for 3/4 of vegetables and 1/4 of fries, rice, potatoes or pasta. Your plate will be more balanced, without depriving you.
Crack for a dessert
A fruit salad, cottage cheese with coulis, sorbet rather than ice cream will be preferable to pastries. Also prefer crème brûlée to chocolate mousse. A gourmet coffee or tea can also end on a sweet note without blowing up the counter of calories ingested during the meal. Ask for your dessert without whipped cream.
And after ?
The day after, eat lightly will allow you to continue your weight loss serenely. Remember that dieting doesn’t happen in a day. The food balance is spread over several days, so an excess can easily be compensated for on the following days. Bet on vegetables, lean meats, fish and do not abuse cheeses and desserts. Your outing to the restaurant will have no impact on your figure!