A meal out with friends or family at a Chinese restaurant is one of life's simple pleasures. Everybody knows that standard Chinese takeaway fare is not always the healthiest, but is there any way that you can enjoy it if you are trying to lose weight and cut down on fatty foods? The answer is yes, but you do need to have some know-how and willpower to make sure you don't end up eating a plateful of prawn crackers.
What are some of the tips and tricks for ordering healthy Chinese food without compromising on flavour?
Order steamed food
A lot of food found on Chinese restaurant menus is fried, but you can also always find food that is steamed. Instead of going for the egg fried rice that you normally order, just order steamed rice instead -- this way you'll still be enjoying filling carbohydrates but with fewer calories. In Chinese restaurants, you can also typically find steamed fish and steamed vegetable dishes. This might sound boring, but when loaded with heaps of Chinese spice and chili, it can be very satisfying. Chili is also very good for boosting the metabolism.
Go for a soup starter
You might think that ordering both a starter and a main course is not the best way to lose weight, but this is not necessarily the case. One of the great things about a Chinese menu is that it will often contain a variety of delicious soups, from the likes of hot and sour soup through to egg drop soup. These tend not to be very calorific, and yet the water content of the soups can fill you up before a main course so that you don't overindulge in everything that is left on the table.
Order more vegetable dishes
When ordering Chinese food, people often ignore the vegetarian options altogether, even though there are typically quite a lot of them. Bulking up on vegetables will ensure that you are getting lots of necessary vitamins and fibre in your diet, and it can also replace additional carbs and fill you up just as much.
Of course, the dishes to avoid are the fried menu items and the dishes slathered in thick sauces. Follow the rules above and try to avoid the temptation of dishes such as spring rolls, lo mein, any type of fried rice, any type of pan fried noodles, fried wontons and dishes covered in sweet and sour sauce, and you should be able to maintain your diet while still enjoying a Friday night takeaway.