Many people order healthy meals and often fail to pay attention to the side-dishes that either come with the main meal or are ordered separately.

If these side-dishes are unhealthy or in particular, are exceptionally high in calories, it could defeat the purpose of trying to keep the meal’s caloric value down in the first place.

For example, someone who is watching their weight may order a grilled skinless chicken breast with a side dish of deep fried potato chips and a creamy sauce to go with it. Whilst the chicken breast which is high in protein (and is prepared in a manner that requires the use of less fat) can support a weight-loss diet, the side dishes may not. Deep fried potato chips may be loaded with fat, whilst the creamy sauce (as delicious as it may be!) can add many more calories to your meal than you had intended to.

Consider calories before ordering

Think carefully about the side-dishes that you are about to order before actually placing your order. Find out about the ingredients used as well as the preparation process. Aim to keep the calories down whilst still enjoying your meal.

You could, in the example above, opt for some roasted vegetables on the side. Perhaps even a salad. The variety of colours, textures and flavours of the different vegetables can make the meal look very appetising and mouth-watering too. You will be taking in a meal that is packed in nutrients and not only supports your overall health, but aids a weight-loss plan too!

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Note that the same strategy can be applied when preparing meals at home too. Don’t forget to pay attention to your side dishes as this is where it can be relatively easy for the calories to sneak in!

See a dietitian

If you need help in creating a diet plan of healthy and balanced meals, seek the help of a dietitian.

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.