Whether you’ve had a long day at work or just don’t feel like cooking this weekend, takeout is an easy go-to option for dinner. Problem is, those delivery foods we tend to choose are generally packed with fatty, greasy goodness. Delicious asit may be, there’s a better way to get your takeout fix without doing so much damage to your diet.
Try these easy tips to make healthier choices with all your speed dial delivery favs:
Chinese Food: Skip the spare ribs, egg rolls and sesame noodles and opt for soups or steamed dumplings. For your entrées, think healthy, steamed veggies and lean protein, and ask for the sauce on the side. Avoid dishes with deep-fried components like General Tso’s and go for brown rice over white.
Pizza: Go for the thin crust over deep-dish and avoid anything that has “meat lovers” or “quadruple cheese” in the description. Instead, choose veggies for your toppings and add a salad to your order so you can fill up with greens instead of a second or third slice.
Thai Food: As a general rule, appetizers are the healthier options for Thai. Try green papaya salad, summer rolls (vs. fried spring rolls) and chicken satay skewers to start. For your entrée, you could share a more indulgent Pad Thai or curry dish.
Sushi: Edamame and miso soup are great for boosting your protein, and they’re a lot better for you than fried gyoza. Get your veggies in with a seaweed or broccoli salad. When it comes to ordering rolls, buzz words to stay away from are tempura or crunchy (means fried) and spicy or crazy (equals mayo). Instead opt for simple fish combos, heart-healthy avocado rolls, and if you want crunch, add it with cucumber.
Indian Food: For starters, skip the filled naan and fried samosas, and go for the lentil soup instead. Avoid cream-based curry when it comes to your entrée, and try a lean tandoori grilled chicken with veggies, chicken tikka or a vegetable-based stew.
Mexican Food: Fajitas are the way to go when it comes to Mexican. They’ve got lean grilled meats, lots of veggies, and you get to control your own portions. For garnishes, stick to guacamole and salsa and go easy on the sour cream and cheese. But, if you’re in the mood for a burrito that’s fine. Just ask the restaurant to light on the rice and cheese and add more beans and veggies. If there’s a “bowl” option, choose that to avoid the tortilla and add in some greens.
Italian Food: A filling vegetable minestrone and hearty green salad (instead of Caesar) are a great way to start your meal. For entrées, go for non-fried, lean protein dishes like chicken marsala, shrimp in white wine sauce or a non-cream based fish dish.
Burgers and Wings: This is a toughie, but you can still get your fix while making smarter choices. One option, if your spot offers it, is to go for the grilled chicken salad. You can also stick with kid-sized portions and skip the fries. Now, if fries are a must (and I totally get that), go ahead and live it up a bit, but swap out the burger for a grilled chicken sandwich with double lettuce and tomato. When it comes to wings, ask for extra carrots and celery to boost your veggies and fill up on the good stuff (go easy on the blue cheese) before really digging in.
So, the next time your answer to, “What are you making for dinner?” is “A phone call,” use these tips to make smarter choices and feel better about indulging in a healthier way.