Are you often finding yourself giving in to temptation when it comes to ordering from takeout menus? Does your kitchen contain more restaurant menus than fresh fruits and vegetables? You’re not alone.
Getting takeout is super convenient, and there is no denying that it is a go-to choice for people who are busy. Whether you have a big family with kids, or you just work a lot of hours during the week, placing an order for pickup, or having the order delivered to your home or office, is a quick and easy way to fill your belly and satisfy your cravings.
The problem with takeout, though, is all of the calories. So, while it might be ultra-easy, convenient, fast, and tasty, if you want to focus on being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight, you may need to cut back on the amount of takeout that you consume.
So Many Families Rely on Takeout!
The average American household makes three takeout orders every week, according to a recent survey conducted by a popular online coupon website. The poll was conducted online, during which time, 2,503 participants answered questions about their habits in ordering takeout.
What was the reason for getting takeout so often, rather than cooking nutritious meals at home, using ingredients that were purchased at the grocery store? Well, the majority of the respondents stated that they simply didn’t have any time for preparing meals from scratch, while others explained that they were not interested in the activity. A handful of the respondents said that they didn’t know how to cook. Therefore, it is easy to understand why so many people order in their meals as often that they do.
Takeout Calories: A Problem to Consider
Unfortunately, this habit, when practiced too frequently, can be very damaging to a trim waistline and a healthy body. Previous research has indicated that meals from restaurants – whether they be sit-down restaurants or takeout – typically contain between two and three times the number of calories that is considered to be ideal for a healthy meal. This could also help to explain why 72 percent of the participants in the most recent survey are overweight. The size of the meals from restaurants also contributes to the consumption of too much fat, salt, and sugar, on top of the skyrocketing calories. Full portions of those foods is essentially the opposite of what a person should eat if they want a healthy body weight.
Avoid Takeout Calories with These Tips
Fortunately, there are some amazing alternatives that you can choose to help you to enjoy your takeout favorites without expanding your waistline. By preparing simple, at-home versions of your favorite meals, you’ll save yourself a lot of calories and a lot of time to lose any excess weight (or avoid putting it on in the first place). These recipes are fast enough that you can make them in the time that it takes for a delivery to arrive at your door – sometimes less.
The average reduction for each of these alternatives is about 300 calories – not too shabby!
- Takeout Pizza – as an alternative, make your own veggie pizza. You can often buy the dough pre-made in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Just pile on the veggies and buy light mozzarella. Save about 125 calories over a 14 inch take-out pizza
- Burgers – make a spicy ground turkey and black bean burger with guacamole. You’ll not only save about 750 calories over a take-out deluxe burger, but you’ll also save about 1,300 mg of sodium and 56 g of fat.
- Chinese food – make homemade orange chicken with rice made in strong green tea instead of water. You’ll save about 450 calories, 625 mg of sodium and 20 g of fat.
In addition to cooking more often at home, and using ingredients that you know are natural and nutritious, you can also make wiser choices when it comes to where you get your takeout, and what you order off the menu. Below are a few tips from Eat This, Not That to help you get started when it comes to choosing the lower calorie options that are available.
- When you want pasta, select the linguine aglio e olio, rather than the carbonara.
- When you’re in the mood for Asian takeout, keep the calories low by opting for items like steamed veggie dumplings, brown rice and steamed veggies, and miso soup.
- If you want pizza, opt for thin crust instead of stuffed crust, and consider getting no cheese or cheese on just half of the pizza.
- Craving Mexican food? Order a bean burrito rather than a taco salad. You’ll fill up surprisingly fast, but you won’t have to take in so many calories.
You Can Have Takeout. Just Choose Wisely!
The bottom line is this: when you’re pressed for time, you want to take a night off from cooking, or you just have a craving for a particular food, you can certainly get a takeout meal. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider the number of calories in that meal. By making some simple changes to the orders that you typically place, you can still enjoy all of your favorite flavors, from Mexican and Italian food, to Chinese and Thai food, and everything in between.