Helpful Tips for Keeping Holiday Weight Off
St. Peters Patch provides easy guidelines to help you avoid consuming empty calories at your favorite restaurants.
Whether it is holiday stress, holiday office parties, or dining out while shopping, the holidays are the easiest time to pack on unwanted weight. The following guide is meant to help you make healthy choices easier at restaurants in the St. Peters area. All nutritional information is on the restaurants' Web sites.
Whether you're looking to lose weight or just eat better, here's how you can still go out to your favorite restaurant, but still eat healthfully.
Bandana's can be difficult, as everything is smothered in delicious BBQ sauce. If most everything is prepared the same, however, the decision gets easier. Just determine the healthier cut of meat. White meat is better than a rib cut. Look at the difference!
Often half of a meal is bread. This can take away from the taste of the sandwich's goods and add to a waistline. Don't give up the bread, just avoid bread taking over the great flavor of the rest of the meal. Try only using the bottom of the bun and you'll save about 150 calories.
If life without mayonnaise is possible, get rid of it! Many sauces can dress up a burger or sandwich, however, heavy mayonnaise is one sauce that can easily add a dress size to your figure! Ketchup and mustard have far fewer calories.
When ordering out, pay attention to the bread options. In the example here, substituting the Whole Grain Bread for the Asiago Demi Baguette saved 180 calories on a full sandwich!
Soup, of which Panera has plenty, also makes a hearty side substitute, especially in this cold weather. When choosing a healthy soup, avoid heavy, milk-based soups like broccoli cheese and clam chowder. Instead, try something in a clear broth like vegetable or chicken noodle.
At this restaurant in particular, try substituting creamy sauces with tomato sauce or sesame oil. Also, keep portions in mind. If a brisk walk after eating sounds impossible, perhaps it is time to substitute a small or lighter side that will energize you instead of weighing you down.
Also, when stuck between two sauces or dressings, ask yourself which sauce is less creamy. Thick creams are filled with fat and carbohydrates. Try healthier oil-and-vinegar based dressings and sauces. For example, try sesame oil in with pasta, and substitute a balsamic vinaigrette for bleu cheese dressing.
With a menu filled with fried foods, sometimes it can be difficult to choose something healthier. Fortunately, Red Robin has many toppers that can make anything taste good. Forget the onion rings and onion straws and go for grilled chicken with tasty, healthy fixings and a hearty side of soup.
When in doubt, go grilled. This is particularly difficult with salad. Often, people think that by choosing a salad, they can allow themselves a little fried chicken on top. Beware, tasty breading teamed with that creamy buttermilk ranch can turn a healthy salad into your recommended caloric intake for a day. Leave the fried, empty calories for a special occasion.
More quick calorie savers:
When ordering a latte, request fat-free or skim milk instead of whole milk. This will take nine grams of fat to between a half a gram using skim milk to two grams using low-fat milk.
Try substituting water for empty-calorie soft drinks. Water is crisp, refreshing, and tasteless, which won't interfere with the flavor of your food.
Skip dessert, and satisfy your sweet tooth with mint chocolate gum.
First option: Four barbecue ribs (420 calories) with one baked potato (550 calories) is a 970-calorie meal.
Healthier option: Barbecue turkey (320 calories) and spicy ranch dressing (60 calories) with a side salad (90 calories) is a 470-calorie meal.
First option: A Smokehouse Burger (1,219 calories) and fries (396 calories is a 1,615 calorie meal.
Healthier option: The petite sirloin (301 calories) with white cheddar mashed potatoes (169 calories) and steamed broccoli (91 calories) is a 561-calorie meal.
St. Louis Bread Co./Panera
First option: Italian Combo on Ciabatta and a half serving of macaroni and cheese is a 1,020 calorie meal.
Healthier option: Half of a Classic Salad (80 calories) and half of a Roast Beef sandwich on white whole grain bread (350 calories) adds up to a 430-calorie meal.
Nothing But Noodles
First option: Fettuccini alfredo (1,446 calories) and chicken (100 calories) is a 1,546-calorie meal.
Healthier option: One-half sesame lo mein (411 cal), shrimp (53) and cranberry spinach salad is 618 calories.
First option: Whisky River barbecue (1,114 calories) and onion rings are a 1,838-calories meal.
Healthier option: Chicken caprese (676 calories) with French onion soup (164 calories) is an 840-calorie meal.