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How to eat healthier while out on the Town

Despite its rich foods and many bakeries, it is still easy to eat quite well during a night on the Danforth.

by Cassandre Cadieux

Eating healthy in a restaurant is not always the easiest thing to do. There are always deep-fried, cheese-covered delicacies that call to us, no matter how convinced we are that salad is all we need for dinner. There are only a few easy things to remember while dining out that will help cut as many calories and fat as possible while allowing you to still eat things more exciting than garden salad after garden salad.

photo by Charles Thompson, 2008

Portion-control is the most important thing to remember while eating out. Usually, restaurants provide their patrons with double the amount of food that they should be eating. The easiest solution to this problem includes sharing your meal with another person, or splitting your meal in half and taking it home for later. If you’re one of those people who like to eat until your plate is clean, you could always order the take-home container as soon as the meal arrives; this way you can immediately stow away half your meal and still eat everything on your plate. This works especially well with dishes like one of the Magic Oven’s (798 Danforth Avenue) thin crust vegetarian pizza options.

Restaurants sometimes try to get your meal out as quickly as possible after the appetizer, so you don’t have time fill up before the next course. Make sure you try to eat as slowly as possible since it takes approximately twenty minutes for your brain to notice you’re full. If you go to Christina’s on the Danforth (492 Danforth Avenue) to enjoy the grilled fresh Atlantic salmon brushed with herbs and spices, take some time to enjoy the live band or belly-dancing performance while dining in order to savour every bite.

Try to avoid certain things on a menu or ask for substitutions. Looking for items that are grilled or seared instead of fried is a quick way to avoid unnecessary calories. Another food that hides a lot of fat is cheese. By merely asking for your sandwich or salad without the cheese, it is easy to make healthier choices. A final thing to avoid as much as possible is bread, which can be very difficult. Go ahead and eat Gabby’s (729 Danforth Avenue) vegetarian burger or grilled chicken breast sandwich, but ask for an open-faced sandwich—or dare I suggest no bun at all?

These simple tips will help make your night out on the town as guilt-free as possible without limiting your options. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think it is.

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