February 08, 2012

Dining Out Tip's

My parents and in-laws are on diets.  I prefer to use the term lifestyle change but that's a whole different post.  Let's keep it simple and talk about the best way to dine out.

It happens to the best of us.  We get busy throughout our day or forget to take something out for dinner and we end up at the drive-thru or sit down restaurant for a quick fix of fuel for our bodies.

As we all know, the best way to drop the extra holiday poundage is to cook at home.  But sometimes, that's just not possible.  When you find yourself at the drive-thru/restaurant, follow these tips to do it right.

Surprise, surprise, not all entree salads are created equal!

A Chevy's Tostada Salad with Chicken, for example, has 1500 calories - and that's without the dressing  (eeeek!), while a Chili's Quesadilla Explosions Salad packs in 1400.

What's a gal/guy to do?  Never fear!  Choices are here!

  • Panera Full Classic Cafe Salad with Reduced Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette - 300 calories
  • Applebee's Weight Watchers Paradise Chicken Salad with Cool Balsamic Vinaigrette - 340 calories
  • Denny's Cranberry Apple Chicken Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette - 370 calories
  • McDonald's Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken (no dressing) - 290 calories

Stay on track when you're out with these calories-conscious meals

  • Grilled Dijon Chicken and Portobellos, including seasonal vegetables
  • Grilled Shrimp & Island Rice, including seasonal vegetables
(Both of these options are on the 550 calories or less menu)

  • Grilled Salmon with Garlic and Herbs, including rice and seasonal vegetable - 310 calories
  • Venetian Apricot Chicken - 400 calories with a cup of Minestrone Soup - 100 calories
  • 1 cup Hot & Sour Soup - 80 calories, Ginger Chicken with Broccoli - 273 calories, and 1 Mini Tiramisu - 180 calories


Instead of: Chick-fil-a Chicken Salad Sandwich - 490 calories  
Try: Chick-fil-a Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich - 290 calories

Instead of: Wendy's Triple with Cheese - 960 calories
Try: Wendy's Jr. Cheeseburger - 290 calories

Instead of:  Dunkin' Donuts Sausage, Egg & Cheese on a Bagel - 690 calories
Try: Dunkin' Donuts Egg & Cheese on an English Muffin - 320 calories

Instead of: Taco Bell XXL Beef Grilled Stuft Burrito - 880 calories
Try: Taco Bell Beef Soft Taco Supreme - 210 calories

Information gleaned from Eating light magazine


  1. I agree that salads are definitely a healthier thing to munch on than quick fast food meals, I just find it sad that the salad in some restaurants costs the same as a giant burger! It's really not very helpful when it come to making a menu choice!

  2. it is good to hear that your parents and in-laws are on healthy diet, actually me too, I do gain weight during the holiday season and it really not easy to go back on shape after that holiday =)

  3. Thanks so much for sharing these with us Dee! It is scary how many calories can be in our favorite restaurant foods. Knowledge is power :)

  4. Oh I am pleased to say when I go to Taco Bell which I do at least once a week when I drive the hooligans to the U, I always get the steak soft taco with no sauce. So I am thinking I am doing well. My eye is drawn to the the button on my left. Does that really say fart proudly, cuz I have IBS and that could change my whole world. Lol!

  5. @ Kim - Why yes, that is a Fart Proudly button! I saw it and just couldn't resist!


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