Thai is one of those hearty, simple dinners that often accompanies a night in with your boyfriend, best friend or cat. With your favourite Thai menu appearing faster on Menulog than a piccolo at your local espresso bar, here's a go-to guide to make sure you don't undo all your hard work at the bootcamp that morning.
Entrees - a broth based soup like tom yum soup is great, and so is a prawn / vegetable / chicken skewer (go easy on the dressing). Salads of course, always get my tick of approval, provided it's not drenched in mayonnaise or peanut sauce. Anything deep fried - money bags, spring rolls, fried curry puffs - sorry, but this is not on my list of 'how to keep your hard earned abs while eating Thai'. Basically, this adds a huge amount of calories and fat - and because it's Thai, it will usually be cooked in vegetable oil, which has a huge omega 6 content - this is related to heart disease, abnormal immune system function and additional fat storage in our cells.
Fail proof thai comes in the version of tofu/fish/meat stir fry with brown (ie. not white!) rice. Vegetables, protein, some low GI carbs - you're winning. The variable here is the sauce that it's cooked in: this is where it goes from a relatively healthy dinner to one you're going to have on cheat day. Keep to the basic ones like oyster, garlic, pepper, basil and chilli - let the herbs do the talking to enhance the flavour of the meal. Again, avoid anything deep fried. As much as I love satay and creamy sauces / curries, the way it's cooked in Thai places is usually with heaps of sugars, salt and cream - which is not going to make me feel super after, that's for sure.
Finally - the infamous Pad Thai, unfortunately, not great news. They have very few minerals and vitamins in them, plus a very high GI rating so you're going to be bouncing around - then crash. If you have to have this dish, order a stir fry as well and save half for tomorrow - you'll get the nutrients you need (some, at least) from the veg / meat / tofu.
If you order a dessert, fresh fruit is the best, and the black sticky rice is good, and sorbets / ice creams are treats. Regardless of your order, have a little, enjoy the sweetness and share it around - everyone is happy.