Unhealthy takeout food - Samosa

How to Eat Healthy on a Takeout Meal?

Without a doubt, the ability to order food and have it delivered to your doorstep using online delivery services can seem like a great solution to many of our problems.  Stuck working late at the office?  Don’t have time for a home cooked meal after a busy day spent running errands?  No matter what you’re facing, food delivery makes it possible to have a hot meal ready and waiting for you when you need it.

But that said, ordering too many takeout meals can put a strain on your waistline. Ordering foods high on bad fats regularly can have a negative impact on your health faster than you may think.

However, takeout and delivery food doesn’t always have to be very unhealthy. Here are some tips to eat relatively healthy even on delivery and takeout meals.

Limit the Number of Meals You Order

This is an obvious but very effective way of limiting the negative impact of junk food and other unhealthy takeout food on your health. This is especially true if you’re having a hard time ordering the food items on the menu that you find the most delicious, without caring about the health impact it will have on your body.

You can very easily make it work for your dinner at least, thanks to some easy recipes you can make at home for dinner. All you need is a good 2 burner gas stove at your home.

Order Healthier Food Items

Of course, if you truly can’t make time for at-home cooking, delivery meals and takeout can fill the gap –as long as you’re willing to modify your orders. Plenty of takeout restaurants offer healthier options and lighter fare. It may not be as satisfying to order these dishes, but you’ll feel much better if you make these choices.

As an example, most restaurants out there offer something like a Veggie Delight sub that’s packed full of healthy vegetables. You can consider this type of meal instead of buttery or fried dishes (like everybody’s favorite samosas) while swapping out your usual naan for rotis made with whole-wheat flour.

Avoid fried dishes is going to be a very important part of avoiding unhealthy takeout meals as well.

Add a Soup

Starting out with a bowl of  tomato soup is a great way to take the edge off of your hunger and to sneak in some extra nutrients. If you don’t already know, tomato soup is very rich in antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of cancer while offering many other health benefits.

Tomato soup

Image source: Dassana

If you begin your takeout meal with a bowl of soup, you’ll find that you’re less likely to indulge on overly-large portions of greasy gravies and deep-fried junk. You can take it a step further with our 7 easy ways to control your hunger pangs.

Say No to Deserts

Everybody loves dessert, but too many of these sweet treats can seriously damage your health. Instead of indulging every day, designate one day during the week to be your “dessert day.” Order dessert with your takeout meal on this day only, and say no the rest of the week. Not only will this improve your health, it’ll save you money as well!

Stay Away from White Rice

White rice is pretty much straight carbohydrates – and these compounds are bound to help you pack on the pounds if you aren’t careful. White rice is especially problematic if you tend to sleep soon after your meals. In these cases, the sugars found in white rice don’t have time to be burned off through activity and are instead converted straight to fat. Stick to whole grain rice instead, or forgo this carb-heavy side entirely.

Finally, remember that while all these tips will help to a certain extent in reducing the negative impact of takeout meals on your health, they won’t completely make it a healthy food habit. It’s hard to eat healthy on a delivery or takeout meal, period.

There are quite a few easy, quick vegetable recipes that you can learn and keep rotating through the week, so that while avoiding unhealthy takeout meals you can eat the evergreen healthy roti and ‘saag’ without getting bored of the same meal every day.

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