Healthy Eating Tips to Remember When Ordering Takeout or Food Delivery

If you’re a wellness enthusiast or at least someone who’s trying their best to improve their eating habits, then you know how hard it can be to pick out something healthy when ordering takeout or food delivery. Because there’s no one to judge us for our choices, in these situations we often decide to treat ourselves to some fast food that’s often loaded with fat, carbs, and sugar. So how do we enjoy tasty, tasty takeout while also eating healthy? 

Opt for whole grains

If you have an option to choose between white bread, rice and tortilla, and whole-grain options, choose the latter. For instance, brown rice is much more filling than white rice, so you will definitely eat less. In some cases, you can even swap noodles made with white flour for brown rice. For instance, noodle-loaded meals like Lo Mein taste as good with rice as with noodles. And if the place offers shirataki noodles (which are very low in calories) take them and you can even overindulge a bit without horrible consequences. 

Ditch fried foods

There’s something so satisfying about fried food, but this type of food preparation is definitely the least-healthy option you can take. If the restaurant offers similar meals, one with fried ingredients and one with grilled or steamed, make sure to choose the latter. For instance, you can opt for grilled chicken parm instead of fried, steamed dumplings instead of fried wontons, or steamed summer rolls instead of fried spring rolls. A baked potato or cooked potato is a much healthier option than fries on the side. 

Check the website

Thanks to the healthy-eating craze, many delivery services, and restaurants have extensive food information on their menus. Some choose to put various symbols that explain the dietary properties of the meal while others choose to put calorie and nutrient information as well. When browsing, look for these signs and your decision will be much easier to make. 

Additionally, if your favorite website delivering frozen meals has a search option on the website, make sure to narrow your choice by typing in words like ‘healthy’ or ‘gluten-free’. Today, frozen meals are of the highest quality, especially when prepared by experienced chefs, so you can get tasty and healthy meals to just warm up and enjoy when you get home. 

Prioritize veggies

No matter what kind of meal you’re ordering for delivery or takeout, you can always think about how to improve the veggie-to-meat-and-carb ratio. This is an easy swap: choose veggies on the side instead of fries, salsa instead of ketchup, veggie soup instead of meat soup, etc. A great option is to order an appetizer of baby carrots or celery stalks to fill out and you’ll surely eat less of the unhealthy options. 

Take toppings on the side

Many delivery services and takeout places allow you to order sauces and toppings on the side. By choosing this option, you’ll get more control of how much you add to your meal. In many cases, not using the entire serving of sauce can save you hundreds of calories, yet still provide you with the same eating satisfaction. 

Choose healthier protein

Sure, beef and pork can be extremely tasty, but they are also usually fattier than some other protein sources like chicken, turkey, and seafood. To further lower your calorie intake yet get a healthy serving of protein for building muscle, you can even swap meat for beans or other legumes. These can satisfy your daily intake of fiber and protein while being very tasty and filling. 

Leave out the drinks

Most places that deliver food or offer takeout also offer various drinks. Drinks will not only boost your bill with unnecessary expenses but also add more empty calories to your meal. By saying ‘no’ to the drinks option, you can reduce about 150 calories and avoid 10 teaspoons of sugar. You probably have water at home or you can brew some fresh tea or coffee to enjoy with or after your meal. 

Ask the questions

In many cases, the staff working at your favorite takeout place will happily help you navigate the menu and explain the ingredients and food preparation processes. In many cases, they can even make various customization options you can make to your meal, so ask them to swap out or leave out certain unhealthy ingredients. 

You can start or continue eating healthily while also choosing takeout or meal delivery. Keep these tips above in mind and your diet won’t suffer just because you don’t have time to cook at home. 

Written by Mike Johnston

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