How to Eat Out and NOT Over Eat
Skinny Restaurant Eating
Eating out a lot lately? Having trouble buckling that belt? These are two questions that go hand in
hand. Why? The obvious answer is that restaurants are serving up huge portions and consumers
are selecting fattening choices. But what about all of us health conscious folks who are taking
home the extra and making what we believe to be the “healthy” choices. What about those of us
who never drink alcohol with a meal, bypass the appetizer, bread and dessert? Why are our belts
also getting tighter? The answer is more complicated and quite shocking.
According to the Center for Science in Public Interest the typical appetizer, entrée and dessert at a
restaurant has a whopping 1000 calories, that’s each, not a total for the entire meal! So how can a
person eat out and still slim down? Check out these 7 saboteurs and tactics to help you trim the
fat and calories from the “healthy choices” on the menu.
Saboteur #1 - Veggies
Most restaurants add duck fat or butter to the sauté pan to the tune of 45 grams of fat and
Grilled veggies are marinated in oil, and then re-brushed on the plate to make them look
Steamed veggies don’t fare much better. Once steamed, they are tossed in olive oil and
Order your veggies steamed or grilled and make clear to the server that you want
no oil or butter added at any stage of the preparation.
Saboteur #2 – Breakfast
Most restaurants ladle in 2 tablespoons of butter or animal fat when cooking eggs...even
egg white omelets adding 22 grams of fat and 200 calories.
Order your eggs prepared without butter or any other kind of fat. Let your server
know that you’re aware the dish may not look as attractive as one that’s practically been fried.
Saboteur #3 – The Bread
Sandwich buns are slathered in either butter or (yiks) mayonnaise before being grilled to the tune
of 5.5 grams of fat and 50 calories.
Ask that your bun or bread be toasted dry.
Saboteur #4 – Marinara Sauce
A gratuitous amount of oil is often used to build this sauce, starting with the sautéing of onions
adding as much at 25 grams of fat and 250 calories. And it doesn’t stop there. Many restaurants
cook marinara with the rinds of Parmesan, the end piece of a prosciutto or even butter to give it a
richer flavor. A plat of pasta and marinara may contain 1300 calories and 81 grams of fat and
that is before you say “cheese”.
At Italian restaurants order fish grilled dry, a side of plain steamed veggies and a lemon for
seasoning. If you are craving pasta order an appetizer portion to share.
Saboteur #5 – Salad
Often ¼ cup of salad dressing is used to toss one portion of salad. That much dressing can
have as much as 38 grams of fat and 360 calories (about the same as a cheeseburger).
All salad dressings are made with a 3:1 ratio, three parts oil to one part acid so even balsamic
vinaigrette has a high fat content.
Pasta salads are also made with a generous amount of oil, plus restaurants often add extra
coats every few hours until they are served to preserve that freshly made look. That can add as
many as 28 grams of fat and 250 calories.
Ask for a low fat or fat free dressing on the side. Avoid pasta salads.
Saboteur #6 – The Meat
Culinary schools drill into their students that any meat, fish or chicken MUST be rubbed in oil
prior to cooking. Right off the bat this adds up to 10 grams of fat and 90 calories. Also in many
restaurants while steaks are waiting to be cooked they are commonly immersed in butter to keep
them from over cooking. Then, just before serving, it often gets topped with butter or a sauce
made from butter or cream.
Explain to your server that you want your meat, fish or chicken grilled or broiled with
absolutely no butter or oil.
Saboteur #7 – Sushi
Careful with California, spicy tuna and specialty rolls they is hidden mayonnaise inside that can
add as many as 17 grams of fat and 150 calories in just four pieces.
Don’t be afraid to ask your sushi chef what’s in your sushi, a good chef will be happy to tell
you the details. Your best choice is always going to be sashimi. Also skip any rolls with the word crispy in
their description, a sign that probably deep-fried.