In the Struggle: The Calories in Eating Out

Recently, I was entering my calories into MyFitnessPal.

measuring calories makes a difference

measuring calories makes a difference

I was shocked by how many calories were involved in a simple meal at a chain restaurant.

Yes, I know that eating out is not as healthy as cooking at home.   Cooking is not my forte, and although I do cook, I don’t feel like cooking every night.  There are just times when we all want a meal out. Can you relate to that feeling?

Beforehand the thought entered my mind to search the calories and decide what would be the healthiest option, but I didn’t.

Later that evening, when entering the calories, I realized I should have done just that.

making the choice to not indulge in unhealthy food choices

making the choice to not indulge in unhealthy food choices

Being aware of the options and the calories can lead to making healthier choices.  I was shocked when I looked up the calories to all of the foods on the menu.  Foods that I thought were healthy and good for you, often averaged over 1000 calories per entre.

So what are some healthier choices that can be made when eating out?

  1. Look up calories before arriving at the restaurant.
  2. Decide on the healthier options.
  3. Inquire about making substitutions. {ex. Turkey bacon/sausage instead of regular bacon/sausage}.
  4. Ask for sauces, dressings, syrups and other extras on the side.
  5. Ask for a To Go Box. Take half of the entre home.
  6. Order foods that are steamed, broiled or grilled.

    ...but to embrace the healthier options

    …but to embrace the healthier options

  7. Water is always the best option. Don’t like the taste?  Ask for a lemon or fruit with your water.
  8. Don’t arrive at the restaurant overly hungry.
  9. Choose options that contain fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

What are some tricks you’ve discovered that help when eating out?