We’ve all had that post-dinner food baby after indulging in a carton (or two) of lo mein, but there is a way to enjoy takeout and keep your calorie count in check. So before you write off the Chinese food you really want for a salad that you don’t, take a look at ways to avoid the deep fried blues. (Although you should eventually eat that salad.)
Besides, Bachelorette Mondays are way better with fortune cookies for the rose ceremony.
Not only are both of these absolutely delicious, they’re low calorie which means you don’t have to skip an appetizer. Wonton soup comes in at a meager 180 calories and an egg drop bowl will only cost you 70. And that’s not all, studies have shown if you start your meal with a hot broth you eat less for your full meal.
Soy beans are a great source of protein (10 grams per serving) which means you stay full longer. Squeezing edamame out of their pod is also a slow moving process, which means you take your time eating and can even zone out while doing it. We all need a break sometimes, definitely don’t skip out on this win-win.
3. Spring Rolls
Veggies are always a safe bet when it comes to an appetizer, especially since they will cost you only 25 calories—however not including the soy sauce you’ll most definitely want to drown them in but hey, you have to live your life. And it goes without saying that you should order non-fried spring rolls.
At 35 calories a pop, you can feel good about eating more than one. But if you don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on them, you can always make them yourself.
What’s great about this dish is that it’s not only full of vegetables and tofu, but most Chinese joints have no problem preparing it mild or spicy, all you have to do is ask. At 300 calories this is a great health conscious yet delicious entree.
This translates to “chicken with sliced mushrooms,” but you also get bamboo shoots—which are full of great stuff like potassium, copper and tons of fiber—water chestnuts, and other healthy veggies. With similar stats to Buddha’s Delight, this is a great option for those who aren’t tofu fanatics.
Shrimp is a great source of lean protein and so is the egg included in this entree. Surprisingly, there is no lobster in the sauce, so even if you don’t enjoy that particular fishy taste, don’t shy away from giving this dish a try.
One huge benefit of Chinese cooking are the various methods used—sure, a good amount of dishes are deep fried and use a decent amount of oil, but there are some, like chicken and vegetables, that don’t. Ask for any lean protein (shrimp, chicken, scallops, etc.) prepared this way with veggies and you will be golden in the health department.
9. Sauce on the side
Just like you’d order dressing on the side of your salad, you can do the same with your Chinese takeout. Dipping your fork into your sweet and sour sauce will save you a ton of calories since most of them are in the sauce anyway. Or, if you can’t bring yourself to order it on the side, just ask for light sauce.
As difficult as it sounds, slowing down while eating allows your digestive system to alert your brain when you’re full. In fact, it takes about 20 minutes for you to realize you’re stuffed. So, swapping your fork (or shovel) for chopsticks can lead to a lower caloric intake. Can’t figure out how to use them? Don’t worry, there’s a dummy model on the market.
Don’t forget to pop open that fortune cookie at the end of your meal—and may your favorite numbers always be lucky.