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Calorie Counting and Dining out

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Old 09-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
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Default Calorie Counting and Dining out

So...as most of you can probably relate to...food is a very social thing for me and I LOVE to go out to eat. I feel as though for me to really be successful, I need to find places where I can still go out to eat and socalize with friends but make healthy choices. I have found a couple of places where I can do that, but I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions on good places to have dinner?
Chili's and Islands both have healthy menus, also Pei Wei has a noodle bowl that I split in half and is only 300 calories...but that is pretty much all I have found.
I'm trying to stay at 1200 calories a day, under 120 carbs and under 30g fat.
Any advice?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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I found Uno works for me - really anywhere where I can disect thier menu online first and plan for it. Claorie counting is all about planning. I used to keep a little piece of paper in my wallet with calorie counts for restaurants we ate at frequently. It came in handy.

I'm delighted to see you have the exact same weight ticker I did before I removed mine. (It's wasn't moving, so I decided not to depress myself with it!) I realize that's an odd thing to say, but it's been one of those days where very very little things make me happy.

Cheers!
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:32 PM   #3
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haha about the counter! =) We must have good taste! lol...
What is Uno?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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http://www.unos.com/
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:05 PM   #5
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Red Robin has a great calories counter and customizer online so you can customize your meals and count calories. Cosi (if you have any around you) is great, and TGI Fridays is a great spot too!
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #6
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You have to remember also a restaurant may SAY this is only 300 calories but it could be more in actuality as the chef's aren't measuring portions out to a T.

When I want to eat out one place I love to go is a pho house. I usually eat pho tom or tai pho.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ph%E1%BB%9F
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Applebee's used to be a good choice for me. They had the Weight Watcher options. I don't have one around here any more, but looking at their menu online, it appears they still offer those options. It's points instead of calories but you could probably still get a close idea of how many calories, etc.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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Outback isn't bad. They definitely have some good choices, and a lot of their grilled stuff doesn't have a lot of oils and sauces added to them. Last time I had their shrimp on the barbie a salad and half of a sweet potato. I was stuffed.

Next time you go to pei wei, try the edamame! It's healthy, full of protein, and definitely doable calorie wise. Of course, you can get a whole bag of it at the grocery store for less money, but still...

I get frustrated when a restaurant doesn't have their info available at the restaurant itself. I've decided that anywhere I go, I'm asking if they have it. I figure if enough people start asking about it, they might get a freaking clue!
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:09 PM   #9
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Mmmm Pei Wei!! I miss it! I used to live right down the street from one when I lived in Raleigh.

I would check websites for nutrtional info before you go out. Decide what you are going to have before hand and don't look at the menu so you can't change your mind.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:16 AM   #10
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We have weird schedules and last night we needed dinner at around 11PM. Well, the only place open was Denny's and I was shocked that they have some new healthier options. The Chicken sausage is very spicy and good, and they have calories online.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:29 AM   #11
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wow you guys...thanks! Keep 'em coming! Love it!

Unfortunately I don't have an Uno or an Applebees near me...
Eumie--I can totally relate...I try to do my research before hand...but I don't know why everyone can't post their nutritional facts! rawr! lol...
Nella-I know! I <3 Pei Wei. I get the Dan-Dan noodle bowl with rice noodles instead of egg noodles. SO yummies!
Thanks again everyone...any other recommendations are so welcome! =)
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:38 AM   #12
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My diet picks include: Resturants
Uno's (my fav pick)
Outback (look at their website if gives you ideas and how to ask for it)
If you feel you have strong control at that time you can go to a buffet style like Old country buffet or golden corral. I like it because your family can get what ever they want and you have great choices of salads, fruits, veggies(but watch what they are sitting in) and then pick what "other" items you want. Go online and plan ahead.
Chilli's: Guiltless menu Look online for info because some of them are higher than others and the salt can be high.

More fast food choices
KFC grilled chicken
Taco Bell Fresco meanu <--- really good and fits diet so well

Over all, I try to look online for all places in my area so that I know what I can have. I pick some good basics so if I am out with friends/family I don't have to worry and pick something way over.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:03 PM   #13
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I'm a big fan of independent, locally owned places so I'm finding it harder to eat out and know how many calories I'm consuming as most of the local places don't have a nutrition content list.

Today, I went to a local bakery/sandwich place with a friend and ordered a hummus sandwich with fruit. I ate half the sandwich and tried to decompose the components to figure out how many calories were in the dish - I was probably off (I can't really know about their hummus or their bread, as they make both on site), but I figure it's worth trying.
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerab View Post
You have to remember also a restaurant may SAY this is only 300 calories but it could be more in actuality as the chef's aren't measuring portions out to a T.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ph%E1%BB%9F
Yes, exactly. Or, they are using the closest item from the point they are standing. Study after study has shown that lower calorie options are vastly incongruent from what is advertised.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.

That being said, if you are eating out infrequently, it is probably fine.
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Old 09-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #15
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I'm with ya, it's definitely hard to stay on track when eating out a lot. Here are some of my favorite 'healthy' menu items (that actually taste good):

Mimi's Cafe: Marinara Chicken Ciabatta Sandwich w/fruit cup • 650 calories

PF Chang's/Pei Wei: 1/2 order Ginger Chicken & Broccoli w/ 1/2 cup brown rice • 560 calories

Olive Garden: Linguine Alla Marinara w/ minestrone soup • 600 calories
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