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 takeout 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.

1. Wonton Soup and Egg Drop Soup

Not only are both of these absolutely delicious, they’re low in calories, which means you don’t have to skip an appetizer. Wonton soup allegedly comes in at a meager 180 calories and an egg drop bowl will only cost you about 70 calories. And that’s not all, studies have shown if you start your meal with a hot broth you eat less for your full meal.

2. Edamame

vegetable, legume, pea, chili, edamame, snow pea
Rachel Eng

Soy beans are a great source of protein (about 22 grams per cup, boiled) which means you stay full longer. Just beware if a restaurant tosses them in oil before serving to keep them low cal. 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. Studies have shown eating slower will make you feel fuller, and faster, which in turn can make you eat less. 

3. Spring Rolls

spring rolls, rice, vegetable, salad, lettuce
Jillian Rogers

Veggies are always a safe bet when it comes to an appetizer — they're low in calories and could partially fill you up before downing all of your fried sweet and sour chicken. You’ll most definitely want to drown your vegetable spring rolls in soy sauce, but hey, you have to live your life. Stick to the low sodium soy sauce and you won't feel as bloated. It should also go without saying that you should order non-fried spring rolls.

4. Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

dumpling, meat, dough, pork, flour, ravioli, tortellini
Lauren Siu

At about 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 takeout, you can always make them yourself.

5. Buddha’s Delight

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.

6. Moo Goo Gai Pan

vegetable, chicken, meat, pad thai, rice, sauce, shrimp, pork, pepper
Photo courtesy of @foodisfuel96 on Instagram

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./

7. Shrimp with Lobster Sauce

vegetable, seafood, shrimp, prawn, meat, sauce, shellfish
Photo courtesy of @nyarkomala on Instagram

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.

8. Steamed Chicken and Vegetables

vegetable, chili, pad thai, meat, pepper, chicken
Photo courtesy of @earthfawn on Instagram

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 by steaming with veggies and you will be golden in the health department.

9. Sauce on the side

rice, vegetable, fish, seafood
Photo courtesy of @earthbalance on Instagram

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.

10. Chopsticks

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.