How do we balance the battle between our love for good food without sacrificing that all important diet? Here, Lee Miller, Head Chef at Bar& Kitchen @LS1, gives his top tips on how eating out doesn’t have to be the end to that all-important goal.
Step 1: Read the menu before you go
Reading the menu in advance makes life much easier. If you can research menus and read reviews online, you will save yourself the pressure of trying to choose well in the moment – and when you’re hungry and rushing it’s all too easy to make the unhealthy choice. Alternatively, if you spot a meal you know you want, then just make healthier eating choices throughout the day ahead of your visit so you feel less guilty if you fancy splurging out. For example, if you want a Sirloin steak with triple cooked chips for dinner, have a vegetable packed salad at lunch.
Step 2: Ask for it your way
Any reputable restaurant will be able to easily modify dishes depending on your requirements. Whether it’s asking for no salt to be added during cooking or preparation, bulking up your meal with a side order of low-calorie steamed vegetables instead of carbs (we’re all guilty of reaching for the bread and olives), or asking for sauces to be served separately. Many restaurants honour requests, so don’t be afraid to be polite but assertive, ask questions and make any special requests to meet your nutritional needs. Another easy way to keep calories down but still enjoy a meal out with friends or family, is to swap fried food for boiled or poached. The way food is cooked can have significant impact on the calories it contains and minor changes like this can make a difference to keep you on the healthy track.
Step 3: Share dessert
Just because you’re trying to eat sensibly, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cheeky dessert after your meal. Try sharing one dessert between two, or instead of having ice cream or cream with your pudding, ask for fruit puree or plain yogurt – after all our triple chocolate melt brownies are too good to miss!
Step 4: Drink smart
Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the meal – not only will this keep you fuller for longer, but it will stop you reaching for the extra sides. Swap alcohol or a fizzy drink for a glass of still or sparkling water. However, if dry January is a distant memory, a slimline G&T is a low-calorie beverage that hits the mark, and one glass of wine won’t hurt as a mid-week after work treat.
Eating healthy is all about a balanced diet, whether you are eating out or not, knowing the right foods is essential. Don’t be afraid to break those boundaries, healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
Serving the finest in British cuisine with a unique Yorkshire flare, Bar and Kitchen @ LS1, located at Crowne Plaza Leeds on Wellington Street, is the go-to destination for any foodie in Leeds. Using the finest and freshest ingredients from local suppliers, the menus incorporate some of the country’s favourite comfort food with a contemporary Yorkshire twist. Think tear and share Yorkshire puddings with a side of succulent marrowbone gravy for dipping, or a perfectly cooked black pudding scotch egg which oozes as it’s cut into, as well as a variety of fun takes on classic dishes.