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With an overdose of partying, tempting menus and flowing alcohol, it’s not surprising to see most people gaining weight by the end of it. Getting seduced by food late at night or in the early hours of morning is a sure recipe for ill health. But just a few tips and common sense can protect from the ills of dining and wining.
Eat less: Usually, celebration food is higher on calories, fat, salt and sugar. Keep a tight control on portions, as it is easy to tip over on calories, more so when the variety seems endless.
Appetizers: Don’t go out to dine or reach a party ravenous. Make sure you have a light snack before leaving your home to prevent over-indulgence of the first thing that you are served. Or else, eat most of your meal at home and choose light snacks or vegetables while you are out. In a restaurant, start your meal with appetizers like clear soups or salads, without rich dressings. Pass the breadbasket and order a salad/grilled vegetables.
Snack smart: Go for roasted/ baked non–fried, grilled or barbecued snacks. Choose small portions. If you overindulge in snacks, keep the dinner light or skip it altogether.
Alcoholic beverages: Avoid drinking more than two medium drinks of wine or other alcoholic beverages. Alcohol stimulates our appetite and is primarily a source of empty calories. Choose dry wine instead of sweetened wines. Diabetics should watch their alcohol intake as it can lead to hypoglycaemia.
Other beverages: Save yourself from sugar calories and avoid drinking sweetened beverages. Go in for sugar-free substitutes, diet sodas or fruit juices diluted with soda.
Salads: Include salads as a part of the main course. Ask for a wedge of lemon or some seasoned vinegar instead of very oily ones. Ask for the salad dressing “on the side”.
Vegetables: One must look for vegetables with less gravy or without gravy as gravies are loaded with fats and calories. Try grilled, stir-fried or lightly sauteed vegetables. Avoid fried/ oily dishes.
Non- vegetarian: If non- vegetarian, choose baked/ roasted/ grilled fish/poultry. Prefer lean cuts of meat.
Desserts: Skip desserts, or choose light ones instead of those with cream or deep fried ones. If temptation overtakes you or you have a sweet tooth, share your favourite ones with your friends. Fruits are a good choice.
Balance your choices: If you have overeaten during a particular meal, then eat light in the subsequent meal/meals or walk that extra mile.
Dining out can be a pleasant way to spend time with friends and family. With a little effort, eating out will not burden you with extra calories and can be a joyful experience.