“I’ll just have the salad…”
When it comes to eating out when on a “diet”, most dieters think that ordering “just a salad” is the safest, lowest in calories, and best choice. However, believe it or not, some salads pack more calories than lighter entree options.
Here are a few tips to help keep that salad within your “diet” boundaries.
- Go deep for greens. Any greens are good, but darker greens like spinach or kale beat romaine or iceberg.
- Pick a good protein. Egg whites, egg slices, grilled tofu, albacore tuna, and edamame have less sodium (200 milligrams or less) than chicken and salmon (roughly 250 – 550 mg.) However, you get far more protein in the chicken and fish (approx. 10 grams more).
- Cut the cheese. It adds 100 calories and a third of a day’s saturated fat plus at least 200 mg of sodium. (Feta & Blue add 450 mg. )
- Pour on veggies and fresh fruit. Nutrient-dense toppings-like broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, black beans, edamame, peppers, blueberries, mango and strawberries- are a bargain at 10-40 calories each.
- Go easy on the nuts & dried fruit. Expect about 100 calories from each dried fruit topping (like cranberries) and 200 for each nuts or sunflower seeds topping. Avocado also adds 100 calories.
- Hold the Croutons or Crispy Wontons. They’re oily refined flour. Also, hold the Kalamata olives and bacon.
- Get the dressing “on the side”. Your best bets: Balsamic Vinaigrette, low-fat, fat-free, or just squeeze fresh lemon on top (zero calories).
Eating out when dieting can be difficult. Go online and review the menu before you get to the restaurant. Have your “plan” in place, then don’t even pick up the menu.
As a Genetix Coach, I have planned many meals for my clients before they went out to a restaurant. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
Have a plan that will not only satisfy you but satisfy the number on the scale the next day.