The pandemic has prompted the birth of many home cooks. One of the good things about spending all that time indoors is the possibility of learning new skills, like preparing a delicious meal for your roommates or family, or baking bread from scratch. But we’re way past that point now.
Takeout and delivery options have also been big parts of the pandemic. While not as healthy or manageable as eating a home cooked meal, these purchases are necessary for keeping restaurants running, helping our city’s economy and keeping us sane, because no one can cook that much without hating their kitchen a little bit.
There are ways of eating healthy when ordering food from a restaurant, especially if you know what to order and how to eat it. Here are 4 tips that can help you eat healthy when ordering takeout from your favorite place:
Follow the 1:1:2 ratio
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The 1:1:2 ratio refers to the proportions of your protein, carbs and vegetables that make up your plate. In order to visualize it, picture half of your plate with greens and veggies and the other half with equal portions of proteins and carbs. This can be done with any type of take out, whether you’re ordering Thai, Chinese or Italian.
Order family style
The 1:1:2 ratio becomes much easier to follow when you order family style. Most of the time, restaurants don’t fill your plate with veggies and sides, which is why it works best for everyone when you order some protein, veggies and carbs and then pile in the right portions on your plate. It might take some prep and some family members might get upset, but it’s the most efficient way of controlling what you eat. It might take you a few tries to get your order right, but once you get it you might end up saving some money.
Use smaller plates
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If it’s difficult for you to stop eating the food that’s on your plate, a smaller plate might do the trick. Most of the time, we eat until we run out of food, sometimes resulting in heartburn and feeling very full for long periods of time. A smaller plate might encourage you to savor the food more and to pace yourself. Once you start eating slower, you’ll also feel full more rapidly.
Order sauce and dressings on the side
Sauces and dressings tend to contain lots of fat, calories and sodium. While ordering them on the side isn’t a Band-Aid fix, it will help if you’re ordering salads and bowls, controlling how much sauce or dressing is in your meal.