Nutrition: Diet: Meal Planning: Restaurant Foods: Supersized
Fast Foods—Burgers and Fries?
A four-ounce burger with all the fixings and cheese has about 30 grams of fat and over 1100 mg of sodium. It probably shouldn't be your first choice if you're trying to lose weight.
So what do you do? Ask the cashier for nutritional information for their menu items and compare. Chicken is now readily available in many burger joints (grilled is much lower in fat than fried) as are a variety of salads (choose your dressing wisely). Grilled fish is a good choice. A baked potato, although high on the glycemic index, is generally better than French fries.
Is meal planning realistic and full of variety?
Now-a-days with all the talk about losing weight, eating too much fat or not enough protein, many restaurants have began gearing their menus toward a healthier way of eating. More people are becoming conscious about what they eat; therefore, finding items on the menus of your favorite restaurants is no longer difficult. Most restaurants will prepare foods the way you request without giving you an unwanted response. Many chefs have made substitutions in their cooking to keep the taste in their dishes.
Here is an example of a favorite restaurant food and what to order, what to avoid and how to order to stay in your eating plan: Two very popular dishes when going out for Mexican food are chili rellenos and cheese enchiladas. These dishes should no longer be on your list if you want to eat healthy and not blow your eating plan. You would wind up getting more fat grams in that one meal than you are allowed all day.
The main items to be specifically aware of at Mexican Restaurants are: cheese, sour cream, avocado, flour tortillas, refried beans and the fried tortilla chips. If you know where you are going in advance, you can bring some baked chips along with you or ask the waitress for baked corn tortillas to dip into the salsa.
Here locally, in Memphis, many of the Mexican restaurants are very willing to make small adjustments in their dishes for you; just ask! Most salsa is fine to eat, but avoid the chili con queso dip as an appetizer (it's loaded with fat). Remember, it's not just the fat by itself you want to avoid; it is the high or saturated fats with the carbohydrates. Here is a comparison of good choices vs. bad choices:
- Chili con queso/chips
- Chili Rellenos
- Refried Beans
- Mexican rice (with lard)
- Gold Margarita
- Salsa with corn tortillas (baked not deep fried)
- Chicken Fajitas- use corn tortillas or
- 1 flour tortilla (if you can't resist) Lettuce & tomato
- Black beans
- Mexican Rice (if no lard is used)
- Lite Margarita
We're going to make this very simple for you! You've received your meal plan, shopping list and food exchange list and now the only other thing you need is the right information to make the best choices when you eat out. Fast food restaurants can work with your meal plan, you just need to know what the right portions sizes are to lose weight or maintain your weight.
We suggest that you maintain fast food restaurants as an option and not a main stay. Keeping a variety of meals is a great tip for keeping you on track.
SIZE DOES MATTER...Portion Control Is Very Important.
Don't "Super Size" or "Biggie Size" ANYTHING! Just because it's a good deal doesn't make it a good choice. Many "Moms" have caught on to the "child size" portions for quick on the go snacks. While working your meal plan, you'll learn the portion size for foods you eat and the types of foods you consume. Just remember, you don't have to be exact - just be close and don't over indulge.
"On The Side"
Always order your sauces and spreads/dressings on the side. Any bread should be ordered "dry". Add sparingly. No Mayo, always ask them to "hold the mayo".
Baked - Grilled - Poached - Stir Fried
These are the types of cooking you should be thinking of when making sound choices at fast food restaurants. Add a small salad when possible. Use a low calorie dressing, low-cal/low fat and try to keep a piece of fruit with you for the "just in case" or to balance out your meal when eating fast food.
Would customized Dine-Out options help you stick to your meal plan?
Let us customize a safe, realistic meal plan! Your meal plan will include the foods from your favorite restaurants and brand name grocery store foods. Your meal plan is designed with strict attention to the correct balance of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water), as well as vitamin, minerals and trace elements. Whether you are eating away from home or at the dinner table we've got you covered!
On The Road Again
Travel can be unpredictable, so take extra food snacks to carry you through any situation. Airlines are generally able to accommodate special dietary requests, but their idea of appropriate foods may not be the same as yours. Banquets and restaurants may serve generous or skimpy portions, leaving you to figure out just which exchanges you might have covered. So refer to your meal plan for portions.
But what do you do if the plane is held at the gate for a long delay or the banquet speaker is so long winded that you're eating hours later than you'd planned? A considerate waiter may be able to slip you some rolls or crackers but you'll be better off if you pack a few emergency supplies including, travel safe fruits, nuts or vegetables.