A diet is definitely not the end of the world – and counting calories doesn’t mean you have to count yourself out of having a good time.
On the contrary, it’s all about dining smarter, opting for fresh seafood instead of the battered kind, substituting fries for salad, going baked instead of fried and perhaps re-thinking the chocolate cake for dessert.
Besides, low-fat, vegan and vegetarian options are fast becoming essential components on restaurant menus all over New Zealand.
So, whether you’re in training, trying to live longer or you’re simply trying to lose a bit of excess weight before the summer (you’re looking great, by the way – keep it up!), these five low-fat dining options are for you.
Pretty obvious one, this – but what you might not know is that to drown your salad with dressing is to effectively drown it in fat. Instead, always opt for low-fat dressing or ask for your dressing to be put on the side so you can control how much you have.
Vegetarian restaurants, of course, are usually the best place to get a healthy salad – and your good friends at Menus.co.nz have already gone to the trouble of finding the best vegetarian restaurants in New Zealand for you.
The health benefits of a good bowl of soup are well known – after all, how often have you been prescribed a bowl of chicken soup when you’re sick with a cold or the flu?
Avoid the minestrone and any soup with cream in it; instead, opt for vegetable broths, chicken noodle soup or almost anything with lentils. In Auckland, we recommend Mezze Bar’s Turkish lentil and tomato soup, which is nutritious and delicious.
Turkey and chicken are typically lean meats – but even lean pork, beef and lamb are good for you, being a great source of protein.
Christchurch’s The Old Vicarage Café Restaurant & Bar and Wellington’s Logan Brown Restaurant & Bar have been awarded NZ Beef and Lamb Excellence awards – a mark of quality that discerning meat-eaters might like to look out for. Go on, keep it lean.
Think fresh seafood, grilled to perfection with a side of vegetables, not the kind that’s deep-fried and wrapped in batter.
Seafood is something of a dietary super-food, being low in fat and rich in vitamins. We’ve already covered the best seafood restaurants in New Zealand, but Auckland’s Sails Restaurant continues to generate positive buzz and The Mussel Pot in Marlborough is highly recommended.
Veganism may well be every carnivore’s worst nightmare but you shouldn’t see too many vegans at Weightwatchers.
By eschewing any food of animal origin for whole grains, vegetable, fruits and legumes, vegans typically have a low-fat diet. For a great vegan meal in Dunedin head to Circadian Rhythm, a funky vegan and vegetarian café that also cater to gluten-free diets.
We’ve got good news, yoghurt-lovers: according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity eating low-fat yoghurt might actually help you lose weight due to all the calcium in it.
Great with fruit but even better frozen, low-fat yoghurt compromises on the calories and not the flavour. Yoghurt Story in Auckland is the place to go for low-fat fro-yo (isn’t that what the kids are calling it these days?) that is 100 percent natural with no preservatives, flavours or colours. Hooray!
What are your favourite low-fat dining options – and can you recommend any good restaurants that serve low-fat food?