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Going out to eat doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to compromise your diet or your wallet! When you are smart about your plans, you can get away with a satiated appetite without having to break the bank. Here are 10 tips to help you out.

Check the menu ahead of time

Planning can help you make healthy choices, instead of being entranced by all these mouthwatering photos that you end up having your eyes lead you on. Most restaurants today have their own websites with their menu, and even a nutrition information on their websites to guide you further in your decision. For healthier options, go for steamed, broiled, grilled or poached.

Plan your restaurant of choice

If you are on a certain diet and a budget, planning your restaurant can help you achieve just that. You don’t want to end up in an eat-all-you -can buffet when you are strictly counting calories, right? So, consider meal options at different places and search for those with a wide range of menu items.

Ask how the food was prepared

You can inquire about what goes on into the preparation of your food. A lot of the dishes that we think are healthy aren’t in a lot of restaurants. For instance, your slice of sushi may actually be supersized and filled with mayo or filled with fried fish.

Order your salad before anything else

One study found that those who ate a big veggie salad before the main course ate less calories that those who did not. As a veggie course, it should also be noted that it needs to be kept tasty but healthy. This means that any fatty dressing, bacon bits or fried noodles should be left at the bar. Load up on raw veggies like red peppers, broccolis, and mushrooms. Some fruits and nuts can help keep things fun and tasty.

Be wise with your portions

Some restaurants serve their dishes in large portions that it can be enough to feed two or three people. You can either share this with company, or you may request to have half of it boxed before it is served at your table. Don’t tempt or force yourself to finish more than you need. Don’t let lead you blindly through your plate, but rather think ahead!

Avoid or limit liquid calories

Be smart with your drinks. If you need to order an alcoholic drink, skip the sugary cocktails and opt for a glass of wine instead – and let’s not even get started with sodas which easily adds up calories. Spread out your sips throughout your meal to slow down your pace. It will also make you full right away. You may also ask for tea, coffee, or water with lemon.

Be mindful of your sides

Did you know that side dishes are usually the worst part of your meal? Most are often fried or oozing with some kind of cheese or dressing. This might make it a thousand times more palatable but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. So, choose these items wisely by going for the simplest option. Grab fresh salads or mixed veggies instead.

Don’t leave it all to your willpower

Going on a healthy diet can be a huge test of your willpower, especially when you see and smell a sumptuous dish. It’s so easy to fall prey to what they call the “see-food” diet, when you see food, you just go ahead and munch away. To save yourself from yourself, the best option would be to order in half portions if possible or maybe order an appetizer as a meal.

Request to have it made your way

If an item is fried, you can ask for it to be grilled or baked, to stick to your healthy lane. If your side dish comes with coleslaw or French fries, request for fresh veggies or baked potato salad instead. You’d be surprised that most restaurants are accommodating to their patrons’ specifications.

Eat slowly

Even with the excitement of a dim sum restaurant, eating slowly can give your stomach enough time to tell your brain that it’s already stuffed. Fast eaters are usually overeaters, while slow eaters have a tendency to eat less, but still, end their meal fully satisfied. This also stops you from stacking the bill with different orders.

If you want to enjoy good food without having to break the bank and without any compromises on flavor, come on over to Tak Po and we’ll serve you how good dim sum ought to be made. You can plan out your meals by checking our online menu.

Visit to reserve your table ahead!


Photo credit: avlxyz via / CC BY-NC-SA