Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eating Healthy at a PUB? Yes, it's POSSIBLE!!!

Think of pubs and ‘fish and chips’ is the first thing that you associate with it – blame it on the Brits! You’d cringe at the thought of stepping into one if you belong to the ever increasing fitness and health conscious tribe. Well then here’s some good news for you: 

Read more in my article published in Health.india.com on 17th July 2013: Eating Healthy at a Pub? Possible!

Expert tips to eat healthy in a pub!

If you are a health and fitness enthusiast, pubs would be the last place on earth that you would be going to! After all, it is a place where people go to drink and be merry. That said, there are always times when going to a pub becomes a social necessity. We are certainly not advocating the use of alcohol, but merely giving you a few tips that will ensure that these trips can be made healthier than usual.
These days, pubs offer a lot more than fish and chips and with some smart choices you can actually find some healthy stuff in the menu. Nutritionist Sweta Uchil-Purohit tells you how to make healthy choices when in a pub.
For starters: What does one drink in a pub? Answer: Definitely not milk. But beware, you could get more calories from what (and how much) you choose to drink than the cake you refused earlier at the office party! That’s because every gram of alcohol contains 7 calories whereas a gram of sugar has 4 calories. While both these forms of calories are called empty calories, it is easier to go overboard with alcohol as it’s a drink. Add to this the food that you eat and you could be having a whole day’s calories in that one night!  For those who can stick to just one drink, here are a few tips to make sure that that drink lasts for a while to prevent someone from topping it up for you:
  • Take small sips instead of gulping it down (in which case you’ll be left twiddling your thumbs while the others are still drinking).
  • Nibble on some food in between sips.
  • Drink water in between – always good to keep yourself hydrated no matter where you are. Read about the 9 hangover remedies that actually work! 
And here’s a reminder of the approximate calorie* count for different drinks to help you make it last the whole night:
A glass of wine147ml125 calories
A bottle of Light Beer355ml110 calories
A bottle of Regular Beer355 ml150 calories
A shot of Hard liquor45 ml95calories
A glass of cocktail133mlanything from 100-300 calories
 *Note: Calories can differ from one brand to another depending on the amount of alcohol it has.
If you must drink then wine would be a wise choice given the associated health benefits. For the ladies who prefer cocktails here’s a shocker – some of them have more calories than alcohol alone! That’s because the calories from the syrup or sweeteners increase the calorie count in the drink.
If you want to stay off drinks completely, offer to be the ‘designated driver’ and you can be sure your friends won’t try to tempt you to have that ‘one small peg’. Opt for a juice instead of mocktails, as the latter is mostly a concoction of artificial flavours and colours.
Coming to food, follow the golden rule of avoiding food that is fried or greasy (chips, chivdas, fried papads, cocktail samosas, fried peanuts, French fries, fried chicken, Chicken 65, etc) or too sweet (desserts). Indian pubs have a good range of tandoori foods to pick from and these can be good news as these are foods that are baked with just a marinade coating like fish/chicken tikkas or tandoori paneer. Add a salad (without the dressing) and some nuts to munch with your drinks and you could just get home without worrying about that extra time you’ll have to spend at the gym to burn it off!
Here’s how a ‘healthy’ night-out at a pub can look:
Drink: Wine, water or juice
Sides: Nuts (salted nuts can make you thirstier so keep a glass of water handy) and a salad
Nibblers: Tandoori fish/chicken/paneer or grilled chicken/fish/paneer, steamed momos, satay, shish kebabs
Hit the dance floor if the pub has one as there’s nothing better than burning those calories while letting your hair down. All said and done, moderation and portion control is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle, so keep track of the quantity as well. Cheers!

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