5 Secret Restaurant Traps Exposed So You Can Avoid Hidden Calories

healthy mealYou’ve been working out and kept up with your diet, so every weekend you decide to treat yourself with a night out to a restaurant. You know that the food you eat is responsible for how much you weigh, which is why you have avoided fast food at all costs. Unfortunately, that night out or two at a restaurant is basically equivalent to visiting a fast food place a few times per week.

Restaurants may seem healthy with their grilled chicken and fancy salads, but in the grand scheme of it all they are using the same tactics fast food restaurants use. They want you to believe the food is healthy by making it look good. The typical meal you receive at a restaurant is well over 1,300 calories.

Below are the top five meals that seem healthy, but are one of the worst dishes you can get at a restaurant. All of these entrees can be made at home in a significantly healthier way.

Unhealthy Dish #1: Pasta

Pasta is one of the most popular dishes people end up getting at a restaurant, but for those looking to lose weight this is a dish that must be avoided. Even home-made pasta is packed with fast absorbing refined carbohydrates, meaning it will be likely to store as fat.

Alternative: At home, you can make a dish that is similar to pasta using spaghetti squash. Bake the squash in the oven until it is tender enough to scoop out with ease. You can then pour a typical pasta sauce, preferably the lowest calorie (there is a surprising range calorie-wise) one you can buy, over it.

Unhealthy Dish #2: Fried Chicken

Anything fried is bad for you and restaurant fried chicken is no exception. There is absolutely no nutritional value in fried chicken, only tons calories that add up with each piece of chicken. If a fried chicken meal for kids contains about eight hundred calories, you don’t even want to imagine the calorie count of an adult meal.

Alternative: The best alternative would be a grilled chicken, but if you really must have that fried flavor then you’ll have to do a bit of preparation. You will need Dijon mustard, whipped eggs, onion powder, and garlic powder. Dunk pieces of raw skinless, white chicken pieces into a bowl with all of those ingredients mixed, then add thyme, salt, and almond flour. Cook it until the chicken is no longer raw and broil it for a final few minutes, then enjoy.

Unhealthy Dish #3: Cobb Salad

It’s a salad so it’s healthy, right? Not at all. This “salad” is packed with calories due to all of the fattening foods it contains such as bacon, eggs, dressings, and cheese.

Alternative: Restaurants use the best tasting, fattiest ingredients possible in order to satisfy the taste of their customers. Unfortunately, low calories are not their upmost concern. At home you can make your own Cobb salad with fat free and unsalted ingredients as well as add anything else you like to it. The home-made version will be much healthier and can end up tasting even better than what you would have had.

Unhealthy Dish #4: Sliders

Sliders are delicious little sandwiches packed with meat and other fatty ingredients. With its delicious mix of flavors, sliders are pretty hard to resist. By imagining the fact each slider contains more calories than a small meal at home, you should be able to pull through and avoid them.

Alternative: The meat, buns, and fillers are what make a slider bad for you at a restaurant. At home, rather than buns filled with carbohydrates, instead cut out the bun completely or use a replacement such as lettuce to wrap the contents in. Replace fatty red meat with chicken or turkey. Add fresh vegetables to it for extra nutrients and filling. These sliders are more than ten times healthier and actually contain nutritional value.

Unhealthy Dish #5: Spinach Artichoke Dip

Often restaurants will provide free chips before meals or server them on their appetizer menu. These chips come with a dip of your choosing; commonly spinach artichoke is the one people want because it tastes good and sounds healthy. Most people don’t realize that just one cup of this dip contains seven hundred calories, which can be more than a meal.

Alternative: The cream is the worst part of the dip, so when making this at home use fat-free milk instead. Freshly bought spinach and artichoke will make this dip much tastier than what they serve at the restaurants.

diet for bikini

Santa Monica Personal Training client Rose knows how to order smart at restaurants.

Any dish at a restaurant or fast-food place can be recreated at home in a much healthier and tastier way. You’ll still have to watch your calories, but you won’t gain as much from your favorite meal if it is homemade with the right ingredients. Think about what you typically order when going out and then try to make them yourself at home. Eating at home will save you from extra calories, provide nutrition, and keep your wallet full. Most of the time, purchasing your own ingredients costs a lot less than buying a meal from a restaurant. By doing this and exercising, you’ll reach your weight loss goals in no time.  To achieve your goals even faster, it would be a wise idea to meet with a great personal trainer like me. Give me a call today so we can create a workout and nutrition plan that is most effective for your body.



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