You're tired, you're stressed, and you're hungry. After a long day, it's hard to resist the temptation of takeout. While food to-go is often high in calories and low in nutrition, register dietician Rebecca Scritchfield tells #OWNSHOW there are three things you should avoid to improve the healthfulness (and lessen the guilt) of your takeout meal.
1. Eating the Entire Order
That huge container of sweet and sour pork? It's not meant just for you. "You need to remember that when you get these big takeout meals, they're probably there to serve three or four people," Scritchfield says in the above video. "So if you're trying to eat healthy, you really need to think about how much of that takeout you're going to eat."
That doesn't mean you're restricted to teeny tiny meals. "I'm all about what you can add in, so I like to recommend adding in vegetables wherever you can. And then just try to take less of the high carbohydrate portion like the rice or the pasta," she advises. "Get your protein in there. That's a much more balanced plate and it's going to be lower calorie, and more nutritious and still filling."
2. Denying Your Cravings
If you're craving takeout or greasy fast food, Scritchfield says you don't need to restrain yourself completely. "There's some benefit to actually satisfying a craving," she says. "You just want to have some sense of control over it."
That means not breaking open the bag in the car. "Get it home, sit down at the table, eat and enjoy the food in a calm, peaceful way," Scritchfield says.
3. Eating While Distracted
When eating alone, Scritchfield says it's easy to overeat. To combat this, put your takeout food on a normal dinner plate, she says. "Sit at the table. Get ready to enjoy your meal as if you were going out with someone else."
"This is all part of normal eating and it allows you to self-regulate how much you eat," she explains. "Even light a candle and put on some fun music and just realize, hey this is dinner time and I'm about to enjoy this food."
More from #OWNSHOW: How to break a vicious sugar habit.