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January 24, 2019

How to eat out like a nutritionist each day

Boiled eggs./COURTESY
Boiled eggs./COURTESY

When you're trying to make healthier choices but are faced with a mountain of options at every cafe you try, it can be difficult to know what to opt for.

Sydney-based dietitian Melissa Meier understands the struggle and has offered her expert tips for navigating the menu at breakfast, lunch and dinner.    

"The standard avo smash with poached eggs really hits the spot for me. It's a great option because it provides lean protein from the eggs, healthy fats from the avo and quality carbs from the bread (hint: make sure you pick a wholegrain/seedy variety)," she told Body and Soul.

When it comes to lunch, Meier will always choose some kind of protein-rich salad.

"Including a source of protein is key (think eggs, chicken or tofu), as are quality carbs like quinoa and sweet potato. Healthy fats in the form of avocado, nuts, seeds or an EVOO dressing will help you to feel more satisfied, too," she told the publication.

Dinner is likely one of the toughest to get right - because there are so many styles of restaurant you might encounter.

But for Meier the idea of tapas is always a fail-safe, because the portions tend to be smaller, and slow-cooked lamb with a piece of fish and side of veggies are another win. 

Speaking of how you start your day, a New York study called 'Slim by Design' found most of the 147 people surveyed ate a healthy, hearty breakfast.

The findings uncovered exactly what thin people are eating every morning.

Almost half ate fruit and vegetable, a third ate eggs and more than three-quarters consistently consumed a very healthy meal.

Hailed as the 'most important meal of the day', Australian nutritionist Susie Burrell said the findings 'made sense nutritionally'.  

"In general starting the day with some nutritious calories gives the metabolism a kickstart after the night's fast," Burrell wrote for News Corp.

"Protein and fibre-rich options are filling and unlikely to fuel extreme cravings, plus overall the options are low in calories.

"Consistency is the key - not a coffee sometimes, eggs occasionally or a 10am breakfast at other times."

At work, Burrell said it was good to keep a few healthy staples such as wholegrain bread and an avocado - or when you're dining at a cafe, order spinach and tomatoes to go with your eggs.

For the super-organised people, she suggested chopping up fruits for your Greek yoghurt or prepare a week's worth of mini frittatas.

If you're a breakfast skipper, Ms Burrell said it's time to get into a new habit by beginning each day with a simple piece of fruit, or a couple of hard-boiled eggs.

And lastly, Burrell said don't forget the vegetables - whether it's in your juice or as a side with all your meals, including breakfast.


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