How healthy is restaurant food for you?
There’s no questioning the fact that the foods you eat go far in determining how quickly you’ll meet your fitness goals. And if you’re eating a number of your meals out at restaurants then you’re going to want to keep reading because the average restaurant meal contains more than 1,200 calories.
Most people have no idea just how fattening restaurant entrées are. In fact, the following information may shock you.
Here, in no particular order, are five of the most fattening restaurant dishes along with tips that I’ve included to equip you in making lighter, healthier versions of these dishes at home.
Cobb salads are loaded with cheese, bacon, egg, and topped with a creamy dressing. Sure, you’re eating a salad, but that salad is likely to contain more calories than a burger.
Making a lighter cobb salad at home is easy and quick. Start with a dark lettuce, like spinach or arugula, to get the most nutritional value. Top it with hardboiled egg whites, baked turkey bacon, light cheese, avocado and drizzle lemon juice and vinegar for dressing. This has dramatically lower calories while still providing you with a satisfying, tasty dish.
Spinach dip is filled with veggies so its calorie content is often underestimated, when it comes to appetizers. Don’t be fooled: just half a cup of this creamy dip will set you back about 350 calories. And if you finish the bowl yourself then you’ve just taken in 1,000 calories in dip alone, not to mention the chips or pita bread you scooped it with.
That delicious creamy spinach flavor can be recreated at home by using low-fat milk, spinach, some olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. A quick Google search for ‘light creamed spinach recipe’ will give you plenty of recipe options that are much lower in fat and calories than the restaurant version.
Fried chicken of any kind from a restaurant is going to be loaded with more fat and calories than you’d believe. Even a serving on the kid’s menu will tip the scales at over 800 calories.
Making faux fried chicken at home is easy and surprisingly delicious. Whip up a few eggs with some Dijon mustard, garlic powder and onion powder. Dip your skinless, boneless chicken tenders in the mixture and then coat with almond flour, thyme, paprika and salt.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until no longer pink, flipping once halfway through. Turn on the broiler for the last couple of minutes to make it nice and crispy. This will save you hundreds of calories that would have ended up around your waist.
Sliders are so small, there’s no harm in enjoying a couple, right? Wrong. Despite their petite package, enjoy a couple sliders and you’ll have taken in more than 1,000 calories.
The biggest problems with the restaurant slider are fatty meat and the refined-carbohydrate bun. So at home you can remedy these two issues: Use lean, ground turkey, and your grill pan to cook them with minimal oil. Instead of the bun, use large pieces of butter lettuce to wrap around your patties. Add sliced tomato, low fat cheese and grilled onion and secure the whole thing with a toothpick. These at-home sliders are guilt-free!
Eating a pasta-based dish at a restaurant is weight-loss suicide. There’s no way to escape all those carbohydrate calories unscathed. The 1,000+ calories found in the noodles will quickly end up stored on your body as fat.
There are two really easy and guilt-free ways to mimic pasta noodles at home. 1) Bake a spaghetti squash until tender, then scoop out the soft, angel hair-like strands and top with your healthy pasta sauce. 2) Using a vegetable peeler, create long strips of zucchini and top with your healthy pasta sauce.
Cooking more of your meals at home, using the tips above, will save you many hidden calories and goes hand-in-hand with regular, challenging workouts in seeing you to your fitness goal. Call or email today and I will schedule a time to meet with you one-on-one to strategize the quickest and most effective route to getting you to your fitness goals.
– Jeff Libengood,