ABC of Eating Out

The other day on Easter eve I had enough errands to run and literally had no time to eat anything. Having worked all my energies out, I called my friend asking her if she could join me for a late evening lunch that would also serve as dinner. So we sought on a joint we haven’t tried. One we thought would be a different taste for our liking. Finally, the joint we settled in served Japanese food. Since I always feel guilty when I eat out, I sought to have much more of salad serving compared to the rice and the chicken that was served. It was then that I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed at the first bite. I thought of changing joints, but that would mean more money and the fact that I would still get disappointed! So the trend is on… Eating out might be the new trend for so many since there is literally no time to go home and cook. While I relate to this, how safe is the food from restaurants? Can you still survive with the food served there and maintain your nutrition goals? How about the hunger you still feel when you leave the restaurant?

Eat out joints are, well… comfort sources that offer a quick fix for your immediate hunger. Every time you eat out, there is somewhat a tendency for you to want to add “something small” to your diet when you go home. While some may be safe options if they serve the right portions and combinations of food, you may be out to having no value for your money! Choose food from the menu that always incorporates a protein, a carbohydrate and lots of vegetables. Typically, when you eat out, endeavor to have just a quarter protein, quarter carbohydrate and half vegetables or salad. For instance choose to indulge in just a quarter of chicken, quarter of rice, mukimo, spaghetti or fries and half of traditional vegetables or salads. As well, have room for a snack when you get home since the “eat out” may not offer full satiety. The snack may range from a fruit salad, a beverage like some tea, milk or even porridge. In light of the fast world, you may choose to survive on eat outs but ideally, you will always be somehow seeking to overcompensate on periods of hunger and thus end up eating more than you require. In the end, issues of weight check in and the rest is a vicious cycle of trying to lose the excess weight. Again, the preparation of the food from eat out joints is certainly unknown. Think about the cooking oil used that you are not sure about, the freshness of the ingredients, Issues of food poisoning, disappointing taste of food and the fact that the food may not be satisfactory. However, occasionally you are allowed to indulge, remembering that you still need to balance your choices of food in the restaurants. I know you have questions, post them below.

Written by Nduta Wambura

Nduta Wambura is a certified Clinical Nutritionist and Public Health advocate

Website: http://www.ask-thenutritionist.com