Weight Loss Support - Restaurant Info That Scares You




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Fox
06-25-2009, 11:54 AM
Someone else started a thread about The Cheesecake Factory and because I'm always curious I followed links to their calorie counts. I can't say I was surprised to see almost 10 different dishes with over 2000 calories in them or 200-300 grams of carbs but it still scares me!

So I'm wondering - what restaurants have you learned about that scare you? Share them here so we can all be informed!

On an aside another thing that scares me is that McDonald's has launched something called the "Mega Mac" in Japan and it's a Big Mac with double the meat - 4 burgers in that one sandwich! ugh


Jennelle
06-25-2009, 12:07 PM
I had a salad once at Cracker Barrel that topped 1,500 calories and had 53 grams of fat.

Or how about the Bella Turkey Burger at Ruby Tuesday's? You'd think a turkey burger would be healthy. Not this one - 1,145 calories and 71 grams of fat.

Or how about a Quizno's large Classic Italian sandwich - 1,582 calories and 92 grams of fat

Or how about the Dos Equis Fish Tacos at On The Border - 2,100 calories and 130 grams of fat.

Or the topper: Outback's Aussie Cheese Fries with Ranch Dressing - 2,900 calories and 182 grams of fat.

MonteCristo
06-25-2009, 12:10 PM
Sonic - Used to be one of my favorite "snack" places. Came to find out their snacks have enough calories for a large meal

Chili's - I still love this place, but the nutritional info is scary.


ICUwishing
06-25-2009, 12:14 PM
2nd vote for Ruby Tuesday. Not that EVERYTHING there is scary, but some of it just makes you go, "OMG!!!!"

Fox
06-25-2009, 12:15 PM
Also I found at Romano's Macaroni Grill of the 57 menu items (including both lunch and dinner menus as well as dessert but not counting their salad menu) only 10 choices had less than 1000 calories (and even those were close with 800-900 calories)

Yes you heard me right, most of the lunch portions also have over 1000 calories.

The worst? Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner with 2430 calories. Even the Kid's menu mac & cheese has 1240 calories.

The best? Pollo Magro ("Skinny Chicken") comes in at 330 calories for the meal (with sides) and the Simple Salmon with sides comes in at 580.

marbear24
06-25-2009, 12:17 PM
The Macaroni Grill… I new Alfredo Sauce was bad, but I wasn’t aware spaghetti and meatballs could have 1810 Calories and 54 grams of fat. It’s worse than the fettuccine Alfredo at 1220 calories and 53 grams of fat. Even if you’re not dieting- eeesh.

They’ve changed they’re site so you get to a page with nutritional options before clicking the link for the whole menu.

I love when reading the nutritional guide ruins my favorite foods :-/

matt_H
06-25-2009, 12:18 PM
I once looked up the info for Unos (pizza chain). They have potato skins for an appetiser that are like more calories than you should have all day. The "individual" pizzas have serving sizes of 4 or 5 and when you do the math it is outrageously caloric. You can find some relatively healthy option there, but you have to do some research ahead of time.

Mrs Snark
06-25-2009, 12:19 PM
Chili's - I still love this place, but the nutritional info is scary.

I sat with my husband at an Chili's in JFK airport so the nutritional info was on the menu. I was astounded. I had water with lemon. It didn't bother my husband tho, lol.

marbear24
06-25-2009, 12:22 PM
2nd vote for Ruby Tuesday. Not that EVERYTHING there is scary, but some of it just makes you go, "OMG!!!!"

Hahaha. I took my mother, grandmother and aunt out to RT's for Mother’s Day one year. My best friend had a really really late night, and I woke him out of a hung over comma completely distraught over the eggplant parmesan. Literally saying, "OMG". We had eaten it the week before thinking it was the healthy options, since it was eggplant and all. He wasn’t happy with me, but my distress needed to be shared.

I think until you start really dieting, you’re not aware of the fact that things are only healthy when cooked certain ways. Like eggplant, for instance. Health class shouldn’t be about reproductions and drugs, they should look at actual health issues – like poor nutrition.

Shannon in ATL
06-25-2009, 12:26 PM
Zaxby's was one of the reasons I started calorie counting in the first place...

My standard meal, lunch or dinner, was 5 chicken fingers, a basket of texas toast (3 pieces), tater chips, zax sauce, tongue torch sauce, sweet tea. 109 grams of fat, 1575 calories. Without the 48 ounce sweet tea. Or any dessert item I got from somewhere else. And I used to think I wasn't eating too badly, hey it was only 5 fingers after all!

They have an Asian Chicken salad now that is over 1500 calories for the salad I think...

bnorah
06-25-2009, 12:26 PM
See that scares me because for mother's day I took mom out to eat to The Olive Garden. I almost don't want to think about all the calories we put down with the salad, breadsticks and our pasta entrees. Geez..

Fox
06-25-2009, 12:27 PM
Chili's - I still love this place, but the nutritional info is scary.

Yup, I love Chili's too! A couple of years ago I used to go there regularly (once or twice a month) and I usually ordered either the Buffalo Chicken Salad (over 1000 calories), the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (over 1600 calories) or the Chicken Club Tacos (over 1500 calories).

On a good note they came out with the "Guiltless Grill" menu that has 8 items that are all (except for one) under 420 calories (not including the veggie side). I've had the Guiltless Cedar Plank Tilapia and the Guiltless Carne Asada Steak and they were both really, really good! They are served with veggies that are just steamed and topped only with a little grated parmesan cheese so the sides don't really add that many calories either.

marbear24
06-25-2009, 12:28 PM
Also I found at Romano's Macaroni Grill of the 57 menu items (including both lunch and dinner menus as well as dessert but not counting their salad menu) only 10 choices had less than 1000 calories (and even those were close with 800-900 calories)

Yes you heard me right, most of the lunch portions also have over 1000 calories.

The worst? Spaghetti and Meatball Dinner with 2430 calories. Even the Kid's menu mac & cheese has 1240 calories.

The best? Pollo Magro ("Skinny Chicken") comes in at 330 calories for the meal (with sides) and the Simple Salmon with sides comes in at 580.

Fox-
We seemed to have posted at the same time about the same thing. ;) I was surprised when I went to check their menu just now that the spaghetti info was lower than I remember it being. I remember it being what you posted, but it's now lower. Perhaps they've had complaints?

dragonwoman64
06-25-2009, 12:29 PM
now starbucks lists all the calories for their pastries in the glass cases now. wow, sobering to see one snacky thing be almost 2 meals worth of calories.

Fox
06-25-2009, 12:33 PM
Fox-
We seemed to have posted at the same time about the same thing. ;) I was surprised when I went to check their menu just now that the spaghetti info was lower than I remember it being. I remember it being what you posted, but it's now lower. Perhaps they've had complaints?

actually the numbers that I got came right from their own site, what's the link for the menu you're looking at?

http://www.macaronigrill.com/Menu/NutritionalPDF/Mac_NutritionalInfo.pdf

Just goes to show that we often look up nutrition info online but who really knows which ones are right? How accurate are they really? Is the company's info correct or is it more trustworthy to go to an independent site like calorielab.com? Nutrition really shouldn't be this difficult!

I remember going to Macaroni Grill only once about 3 years ago and I absolutely loved it, I even remember what I ordered - the Penne Rustica with a side salad and the Dessert Ravioli. When I do the math the whole meal came up to 2540 calories and that didn't include the multiple glasses of wine I had. And that was only 1 meal out of the day!!

Wannabeskinny
06-25-2009, 12:38 PM
The last time I binged I had a country fried steak at Chili's that came in at 1,430 calories. Pretty bad.

I was shocked to find out that a tortilla has over 200 calories. No more quesedillas for me!!

marbear24
06-25-2009, 12:47 PM
actually the numbers that I got came right from their own site, what's the link for the menu you're looking at?



Hmmm.... I went to their site

Then when I clicked, "Complete Nutional Guide" I the numbers I told you about. It doesn't offer me a link to the actual pop up. But if you click on the link above, it's easy to get to. Maybe it's a location thing? I had to click Maine before I got my menu.

Also - I cannot post a link because I don't have over 25 posts :(
But we are def looking at different menus. The Spaghetti & Meatballs entree on mine is on the first page, with yours its on the 2nd.

Fox
06-25-2009, 12:49 PM
marbear - something is very fishy here for sure! When a restaurant can't even decide on the calorie count for it's own menu items I feel like we're being mislead somewhere along the line!

teresab
06-25-2009, 01:05 PM
I work at the Olive Garden and now that I know all the calorie content, it is all I can think about when I am serving the dishes. "Here is your 1450 calories, don't forget to have 4 150 calorie breadsticks along with it!"

I am going out tonight to a local place, so I am going to have to be guessing my calories, but I am eating light until then and I WILL NOT overdo it!



Food does not equal fun!! Food does not equal fun!! Food does not equal fun!! Food does not equal fun!!

paperSkin
06-25-2009, 01:10 PM
Red Lobster is EVIL! Most meals clock in at 2000 calories. It gets worse when you eat the cheesy biscuits..

This link has been very helpful to me in looking up information at restaurants.

http://www.dietfacts.com/

grneyedmustang
06-25-2009, 01:10 PM
Zaxby's was one of the reasons I started calorie counting in the first place...

My standard meal, lunch or dinner, was 5 chicken fingers, a basket of texas toast (3 pieces), tater chips, zax sauce, tongue torch sauce, sweet tea. 109 grams of fat, 1575 calories. Without the 48 ounce sweet tea. Or any dessert item I got from somewhere else. And I used to think I wasn't eating too badly, hey it was only 5 fingers after all!

They have an Asian Chicken salad now that is over 1500 calories for the salad I think...

I LOVE ZAXBYS!!! That's why I stopped eating there as well. I'd have the same, and have ranch instead of zax sauce. My dessert would be 3 of those supper yummy and soft white chocolate macadamia cookies. 2000+ calories for ONE MEAL.

Fox
06-25-2009, 01:29 PM
I think people are becoming more and more aware of what they're eating when they're out whether they're at the local deli, the drive through, or a sit-down restaurant but having said that I think that most people are also unaware of how bad their "good choices" still are.

For example say a woman is on the run and needs to grab a meal, so she makes the "good" decision of stopping at Panera Bread for her lunch instead of Burger King. She thinks she's doing the right thing and she knows their "specialty" sandwiches can be big and probably a little high in calories so she orders a fresh cafe sandwich, Turkey & Swiss on stone milled rye bread (780 cal), she chooses the apple instead of the chips (80 cal) and orders an iced tea (110 cal). Since she had such a nice healthy lunch she decides to splurge a little and also has a granola parfait for dessert (350 cal). She has noooooo idea that "healthy" lunch just came out to over 1300 calories and she still has breakfast under her belt and dinner and snacks to go!

Shannon in ATL
06-25-2009, 01:44 PM
I LOVE ZAXBYS!!! That's why I stopped eating there as well. I'd have the same, and have ranch instead of zax sauce. My dessert would be 3 of those supper yummy and soft white chocolate macadamia cookies. 2000+ calories for ONE MEAL.

I went one up over the cookies usually - my Zaxby's is right next to a Sonic so my desert was often a Blast for 800-1000 calories... And, I still love Zaxby's, so I have to fight it every time I drive past one... :(

Shannon in ATL
06-25-2009, 01:46 PM
I think people are becoming more and more aware of what they're eating when they're out whether they're at the local deli, the drive through, or a sit-down restaurant but having said that I think that most people are also unaware of how bad their "good choices" still are.

For example say a woman is on the run and needs to grab a meal, so she makes the "good" decision of stopping at Panera Bread for her lunch instead of Burger King. She thinks she's doing the right thing and she knows their "specialty" sandwiches can be big and probably a little high in calories so she orders a fresh cafe sandwich, Turkey & Swiss on stone milled rye bread (780 cal), she chooses the apple instead of the chips (80 cal) and orders an iced tea (110 cal). Since she had such a nice healthy lunch she decides to splurge a little and also has a granola parfait for dessert (350 cal). She has noooooo idea that "healthy" lunch just came out to over 1300 calories and she still has breakfast under her belt and dinner and snacks to go!

Absolutely true... I have to be very careful when I look because even the 'healthy' choices are very calorie dense!

grneyedmustang
06-25-2009, 02:35 PM
I think people are becoming more and more aware of what they're eating when they're out whether they're at the local deli, the drive through, or a sit-down restaurant but having said that I think that most people are also unaware of how bad their "good choices" still are.

For example say a woman is on the run and needs to grab a meal, so she makes the "good" decision of stopping at Panera Bread for her lunch instead of Burger King. She thinks she's doing the right thing and she knows their "specialty" sandwiches can be big and probably a little high in calories so she orders a fresh cafe sandwich, Turkey & Swiss on stone milled rye bread (780 cal), she chooses the apple instead of the chips (80 cal) and orders an iced tea (110 cal). Since she had such a nice healthy lunch she decides to splurge a little and also has a granola parfait for dessert (350 cal). She has noooooo idea that "healthy" lunch just came out to over 1300 calories and she still has breakfast under her belt and dinner and snacks to go!

Back in 2007, I was eating out quite a bit for lunch, but I always aimed for "healthy" choices, like Panera. I was astonished when I found out how many calories were in a lunch from Panera, especially because I thought it was healthy!!!

ICUwishing
06-25-2009, 04:18 PM
It's definitely a shock when you *think" you're getting good at estimating, and then something as innocent as that lovely whole date (just one) in your salad is a stinkin' 70 calories! Or that Mike's Hard Lemonade that cuts the dust out of your throat after mowing the lawn - 220! Oh well - nobody ever said that education was easy. At least there are things that balance it out - like a full cup of strawberries. :) They taste so naughty ...

WildThings
06-25-2009, 07:20 PM
Every couple of weeks, Yahoo has an article from the author of "Eat This, Not That." I am always so beyond shocked at some of the "Not That" foods. The one I've never been able to get over is the Baskin Robbins Heath and Oreo shakes. One shake, over 2000 calories...in a milk shake!:yikes::yikes::yikes::yikes: I eat 1600 calories a day...one milkshake would blow past my limit in less than 20 minutes. A lot of stuff I just think about the fact that normal weight people only eat this high calories stuff every couple of months, but I don't think I could ever justify 2000+ calories in one item.

amynbebes
06-25-2009, 08:09 PM
It's scary and those who have mentioned the "healthy" options are dead on. That turkey sandwich or salad may be a healthier choice over a greasy burger as far as actual ingredients but in the end regarding keeping calories/fat/carbs/etc in check it can be bad. This is me on my soap box but there has to be some education somewhere to let people know about this type of stuff.

kiramira
06-25-2009, 08:24 PM
My personal GROSS one:

From The Daily Plate:

Outback's Bloomin Onion: for ONE onion with dipping sauce:

Amount per Serving
Calories 3148
Total Fat 281 g

O.M.G.

Kira

Michelle1210
06-25-2009, 08:45 PM
We had gone shopping all day, and when it was around dinner my husband stops at BK, And I was so hungry that I didn't care but since we were here I had the BK JR. W/ cheese(410) and forgot to have them hold the mayo, and small fry (230)and sweetened tea, total calories was 640, I was shocked at how much a The veggie burger W/ cheese was 470 my other choice. I was glad that I had a little splurge but didn't blow my whole calories either. been eating clean since then too. I have been learning to make wiser choices, I also love panerea and would have made the same mistake of thinking i was doing good and treating myself to more cals..to I have learned alot from these forums too.

munchievictim
06-25-2009, 10:44 PM
Kira-OH MY GOD THE BLOOMING ONION!!
Over 3000 calories????
I'm feeling faint...

This thread has turned me OFF eating out. You just can't trust any of them, the sneaky b...well, you know. And it's soo hard for me to drive on by. what is it about comfort food, served piping hot in 3 minutes straight into your mouth that is nearly irresistable???
It's a combination of our fatty culture and the dangerous (deadly) tendency to serve one person a meal that would easily feed three. it's like there's some vast conspiracy out there trying to make us fat.

Fox
06-26-2009, 01:57 AM
Chipotle is one of my favorite places to eat. I've never been a huge fan of tortillas, it's always the stuff inside that I'm going for so I always get the Burrito Bol but if you get a regular burrito there with the tortilla wrap and all the fixings it comes to around 1200 calories. I've whittled my perfect burrito bol down to about 600 calories, certainly still a lot of cals but I can fit it into my day when I really want one! (I try not to think of all the sodium though, the previously mentioned 1200 calorie burrito would also run you 111% of your DRV of sodium!)

TheBabies
06-26-2009, 07:34 AM
Munchievictim that is exactly what I think, that "they" are sneaking calories and fat into food. That's what I try to remember when I'm going out to eat -- calories and fat are being invisibly snuck into my food. I used to smoke and I felt the same way, that I was being manipulated by Phillip Morris (now known as Altria). Grrrr... I'll show you, I'm just not gonna go out to eat and I'm gonna take control over my own food!!!

Pas de Chaton
06-26-2009, 08:06 AM
Yikes! Since I started watching calories, I have not gone out. But the other day my mom took me out to dinner for my birthday. I really would rather have stayed home to eat something healthy, but it was more of a social, traditional thing I guess; it wasn't about the food.

Anyway, we went to O'Charley's but before we left I checked the internet for nutritional information, thinking I would find a salad that was fairly healthy. Nope. Most were over 1000 calories! I ended up with grilled shrimp, it was somewhat low in calories. Of course, desserts are friggin' ridiculous but I ended up having 3 of those donuts they serve warm in the bag. Still made my calorie range, but the donuts were completely useless.

It really has opened my eyes about eating out. My husband and I are both very overweight, and we used to eat out several times a week. No wonder! And not only are we getting healthier now, we are saving lots of money. :)

Jacquie668
06-26-2009, 08:14 AM
Places like Baja Fresh used to scare me, but I don't eat there anymore. You think it isn't like Mc Donalds because of the "fresh" and you also have this idea that there is some sort of health there, but in reality that is not the case. Most of the food is high in calories, fat, and carbs.

I remember a video on Youtube posted by a woman who was on her weight loss journey and she was commenting on her previous eating habits. One of her comments was about Baja Fresh and how she used to get the seafood entrees thinking that it wasn't so bad because it is "fresh" and "healthier" than the other options. The reality is Baja Fresh is a fast food joint with high fat, high calorie food. Of course you CAN, according to the website, make healthier choices, but the reality is the food isn't good for ya. It's a splurge place...you know when you need comfort food you rush out to get something like tacos! lol

I think what also scares me are "salads" that places like Chilis and Applebees offer. I mean you think "Ohh I'm having a salad so that is healthy," when in reality it is probably one of the more unhealthier choices. I believe some chain out there actually has a salad that ranked as one of the worst foods for either 2008 or 2009. I can't remember the details though.

I mean sure one can make healthier choices at any place, but you know at least when you walk into a place like the Cheesecake Factory, well you pretty much know what you're getting into. I think places like the Olive Garden or Baja Fresh almost trick you into thinking it isn't as bad as other places.

Michelle1210
06-26-2009, 03:22 PM
It's horrible!! it's like there saying we understand your on a diet, we'll be your friend and make you this lovely healthy salad *wink wink* just so they can have your business. It is betrayal, I feel betrayed that I've been hoodwinked, and fell into there web of deception.

Jacquie668
06-26-2009, 03:53 PM
Ahhhh I found it, from second annual "Eat This, Not That" 2009:

15. Worst Salad of 2009

T.G.I. Fridays Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad
1,360 calories
Fat: unknown (The company refuses to disclose the nutritional content of the food they're serving you.)
Sodium: unknown

The worst "healthy" sandwich was the Blimpie Veggie Supreme sandwich. Apparently loads of cheese and oil.
-----------------

Haha good thing I don't eat meat or cheese. Most of the "salads" out there in restaurant land I wouldn't eat anyhow, but still it is a bit of trickery these places do to get your business.

blueridgegirl
06-27-2009, 05:04 PM
Fox - I'm a fan of chipotle, too. Wow - a burrito can have 1200 calories? I don't get cream or cheese or anything, and usually feel like I'm doing okay, but wow. I mean, I know they're big, but still. Usually my bf and I split one when we go, which isn't too often, thankfully.

You all have mentioned Panera sandwiches, but I go there to meet a friend regularly and checked out their coffee drinks and pastries and holy cow! I can't remember any numbers of the top of my head, but I know some of the coffee drinks and smoothies were way high. I'd been getting a scone (b/c I figured, hey, at leats it's less sugar than the really sweet pastries) but fat, calories, and carbs were through the roof. Turns out a croissant is the best choice - not that it's GOOD for you, but if I'm going to get something, it's the least bad thing I can get.

Good thread! Thanks for everyone's input!

PammyFl
06-27-2009, 06:03 PM
Whats sad is that some fast food places there's less calories in a regular burger over a "healthy" GRILLED chicken sandwich. You really have to pre plan what your going to eat. Its very sneaky.
Take for example McDonalds....
Premium Grilled Chicken Classic Sandwich: 420 Calories
Premium Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich: 530 Calories
Quarter pounder: 410 calories

Salacious
06-27-2009, 11:10 PM
A lot of it is shocking, but at most "chain restaurants" they smother your meat (Steak especially) in butter or other oils. I remember when I started at Chili's, one of my test questions was "What makes a Classic Sirloin irresistible?" and the answer is Garlic Butter. It's the same with sides, whenever some orders vegetables, unless they specify otherwise, we drench them in garlic butter, Parmesan, and seasoning salt. It makes harmless veggies into a caloric mess.

But yeah, it does suck that there are rarely any healthy choices at most restaurants.