How to Order Takeout Without Sacrificing Your Diet

Your cheat sheet for what to get and what to skip
How to Order Takeout Without Sacrificing Your Diet
Photo: Tasting Table

Start the year off right with the healthy ingredients, dishes and recipes that will stick with you long after you’ve abandoned those pesky resolutions. We're going all in on Clean(er) Eating—and drinking, too.

When you're trying to eat clean, calling up your favorite take-out spot is risky business. But as it turns out, incorporating healthier choices into your diet doesn't have to mean deleting your Seamless altogether.

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Whether you're craving Chinese food or a hot, cheesy slice, we've got your back. Here are a few tips on what to order and what to skip.

① If you're craving pizza . . .

It's practically impossible to replace pizza, because, well, it's pizza, and its wonderful unhealthiness is really what makes it so loveable. Thankfully, a few small changes can help to lessen your order's bodily blow, like ordering your pie with extra vegetables or opting for whole-grain crust.

② If you're in the mood for Chinese . . .

Instead of a carton of General Tso's chicken, go for steamed or sautéed chicken over rice with vegetables. Yes, sadly, crab Rangoon is now off-limits, but you can always get your appetizer fix with an order of hot and sour or egg drop soup.

③ If you're eyeing a burger and fries . . .

To be honest, nothing can truly replace the greatness that is a burger and fries. But there are slight substitutions you can make for a less guilt-ridden lunch. Ditch the bun for a lettuce wrap, and when it comes to toppings, keep it simple: Skip the cheese and load up on vegetables like mushrooms, red onions, sprouts, avocado and tomatoes. Lastly, pair your protein with a side salad to avoid those greasy fries.

④ If you're feeling down for some sushi . . .

Don't let that crispy shrimp tempura roll tempt you. Stay strong by setting your sights on rice-free sashimi or naruto-style rolls, both of which are big on flavor and low on carbs. And if you can't imagine a roll without the rice, grab a basic salmon or tuna roll with extra vegetables.

⑤ If it's Italian or bust . . .

Health-wise a heaping plate of fettuccine Alfredo might not be the best choice. But if Europe's beloved boot is calling your name, forgo the spaghetti and meatballs and fill up on cold antipasti instead.

⑥ If you're thinking Thai . . .

That spicy pad Thai might look ultra appealing, but is it worth an extra trip to the gym? A fresh spring roll bursting with veggies or an order of protein-packed cashew chicken is a much safer bet.


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