Wednesday, July 28

Make Eating Out a Good Choice

As healthy as it would be to eat every single meal handmade, it’s not super realistic with many of our busy lives. When you’re eating out, the best policy is simply to try to follow the same rules you would follow if you were making your meal yourself (a good amount of protein paired with balanced carbs and heart healthy fats).

But restaurants don’t exactly make it easy on us! Many chain restaurants offer the calorie count for their dishes, but usually no other nutritional information (if you’re wondering where most of the calories come from, it’s always fat). But even chain restaurants make this information difficult to find.

Here’s the rundown of a few restaurants I’ve found (and how I eat at them):

· Subway – For many of us, this is the first place we think of when we’re hungry but need to eat out. Here’s the trick: order double meat and rip the bottom half off your bread. Subway makes it easy to get the nutritional information for their sandwiches. If you actually look at it, holy carb overload Batman! You literally cut the calories of a sandwich in half (and significantly limit your carb intake) if you only eat half the bread.

· Applebees – With decent section of their menu approved by Weight Watchers, Applebees is a decent choice if you have to eat out. Here’s the trick: no butter, get the dressing on the side and easy on the cheese. These dishes are lower on the calories for a restaurant, but they can be off balance by the amount of fat in them (and we’re not talking heart healthy fats).

· Cheesecake Factory – Ok, after you pick your jaw up off the floor, the Cheesecake Factory only made it on my list because of ONE dish: the Thai Lettuce Wraps. I’m warning you—if you eat this entire dish, unmodified, you will be consuming over 1000 calories! Here’s the trick: skip the coconut curry noodles and ask for plain chicken breast. As long as you’re being smart with the side sauces, you can get away with a meal at the Cheesecake Factory for less than 500 calories. And you get the pleasure of watching your friends get fatter!

As long as you’re paying attention to your rules, you can often find a way to make bad options better. Get a salad with dressing on the side and no cheese. Get fajitas and ask for extra meat and veggies. Get chicken soup and order extra chicken breast. Get chicken teriyaki but only eat a very small bit of rice and all the salad (you know you usually don’t eat the salad!).

If you’re going to eat out, make it a good choice!

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