So you made a change to your diet and lifestyle and have been eating six small meals a day. Your meals are healthy and nutritious and you’re also taking a 30 minute walk at lunch time everyday. But what happens when it’s time to go out for a lunch or dinner date or just a casual take-out meal? Some meals, at restaurants, have enough calories in them to cover a whole day’s worth of calories, for the average person.
It’s important to know what you’re eating and how many calories are in it, if you’re going to maintain your new health and wellness plan.
The good news is that most restaurant chains — from coffee shops to burger joints — have better-for-you options and almost all of them have nutrition information (although it’s not yet legally required in all states) readily available. Another lesser-known fact is that almost all chain restaurants will customize an order for you, so go ahead and ask for your burger to be wrapped in lettuce, or hold the calorific add-ons like dressings and creamy sauces.
For more ideas on how to order fast food that’s not necessarily fat food, here’s what what some of the nation’s top nutrition pros order when they’re eating out at chain restaurants.
What: Subway Veggie Delite
“I order the Veggie Delite six-inch sub on nine-grain wheat. I like it because it’s fresh, fast, and a filling but not-too-heavy lunch. I add on American cheese, black olives, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, guacamole, and a little bit of honey-mustard dressing. This totals 360 calories, seven grams of fiber, 630mg sodium. Sometimes I’ll add Baked Lay’s and my order is still less than 500 calories.”
Who: Katherine Booking, MS, RD, co-author of The Real Skinny: Appetite for Health’s 101 Fat Habits and Slim Solutions
What: Cheesecake Factory Incredible Eggplant Sandwich
“I eat half of it and take off the extra dressing. It’s made with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers and onions so it is really veggie packed.”
Who: Elisa Zied, MS, RDN, CDN