With the drastic rise of overweight and obese individuals in the world, many people are constantly watching their weight. This is easier when you can compare labels, measure food, and cook special diet foods at home. When you go out to a restaurant, however, your carefully designed diet can come undone. Eating out at restaurants can make you fat.
When you first sit down at the restaurant table with your friends, the first thing the server asks is if you would like to order a drink. Alcoholic drinks are often high in empty calories. Empty calories mean those that have no nutritional value. Mixed drinks are even worse. They often have several types of alcoholic along with sugary sodas and syrups or creams. Even if you avoid alcoholic drinks, there is a wide variety of soft drinks, sweetened iced teas, and juices that have high caloric content as well.
After you safely order a diet soda or plain water with lemon, the server comes back with a complimentary basket of rolls, breadsticks, or chips and dips. As everyone peruses the extensive menu, it is very difficult to avoid munching on the bread or chips. Eating these pre-meal offerings can add hundreds of calories to your meal. Often, someone wants to also order an appetizer off the menu. Common appetizers, such as onion rings, nachos, egg rolls, and chicken wings are high in calories and high in fat. They are also fun to eat, and very tasty, and very hard to resist!
The server comes back, and it is time to order your meal. Many restaurants these days offer a reduced fat or calorie section, or one with low-carb foods. Often this section is populated by grilled chicken salads, and boring meals with plain steamed vegetables. How can those types of meals compete against the fabulous, high-calorie offerings elsewhere in the menu?
Choosing a restaurant meal is a guessing game. Menus do not usually include caloric or nutritional information. Therefore, you might try to order based on what you assume has lower calories: i.e. grilled chicken instead of a steak, or a large salad instead of a burger. What you do not know will make you fat. The average restaurant prepared salad has over 1500 calories, more than a full day’s worth in a recommended diet. Not knowing how the food is prepared is a detriment to you as well. Sauces, butter, oils, dressings can all add hundreds of calories to the healthiest-looking dish.
The next problem is restaurant portion size. Six to eight ounces of meat is considered one portion. In restaurants, one meal often contains two to three portions of meat. A half-cup of vegetables, or one cup of salad is a true portion. You may get three or four portions of vegetables smothered in a high calorie sauce.
And then comes dessert….
Overall, your restaurant meal may have had more than three days worth of calories, fat, and sodium. If you are trying to maintain or lose weight, like so many millions of people are these days, restaurant eating should be limited. Restaurant eating can make you fat due to large portions and non-disclosure of nutritional content in their me
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