Eat THIS instead of THAT article
I found this article in a Men's Health magazine. It is a nifty guide for making better choices if you have to eat out. It is a little long but worth the read. Enjoy!
ON THE ROAD
If you're one of those guys who consume more meals behind the wheel of a car than you do at the head of the table, we can help you arrive safe and skinny. Here's the best stuff we found when we vetted the restaurant-chain gang and scouted around the generic eateries you'll find in any town.
At the Sandwich Shop
STRATEGY: Opt for whole-wheat bread. Go easy on the cheese, heavy on the vegetables and lean meats (turkey, ham, roast beef).
Dijon Chicken Sandwich (small)
329 calories, 4 grams (g) fat (saturated-fat content not available), 1,456 milligrams (mg) sodium
Fresh Fruit Salad (small)
86 calories, 1 g fat (saturated fat n/a), 22 mg sodium
The Original Sandwich (small)
525 calories, 24 g fat (saturated fat n/a), 1,781 mg sodium
6-Inch Roast-Beef Sub
290 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 910 mg sodium
200 calories, 8 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 170 mg sodium
Meatball Marinara Sub with Provolone Cheese
550 calories, 26 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,305 mg sodium
At the Fast-Food Joint
STRATEGY: Beware special sauces and creamy dips. Likewise, inspect your salad; at some burger joints, they're worse than the burgers. And above all, don't fall for combo meals, which add cost, trans fats, and liquid obesity (high-fructose corn syrup).
Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
270 calories, 3.5 g fat (1 g saturated), 940 mg sodium
170 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 110 mg sodium
Chicken Deluxe Sandwich (fried)
420 calories, 16 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,300 mg sodium
Small Waffle Fries
280 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated), 105 mg sodium
400 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated), 1,010 mg sodium
Side Salad with Low-Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette
55 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 740 mg sodium
Bacon Ranch Salad with Crispy Chicken (includes dressing)
520 calories, 31 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,560 mg sodium
200 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 870 mg sodium
Baked Potato with Sour Cream
340 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 40 mg sodium
Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwich
510 calories, 19 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 1,480 mg sodium
At the Diner (7 a.m.)
STRATEGY: Eggs are a potent Powerfood. So regardless of which greasy spoon you're at, start your day with plain eggs, whole-wheat toast, and lean grilled meat.
2 poached eggs
148 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 295 mg sodium
Plain wheat toast
per slice: 128 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 160 mg sodium
1 slice Canadian bacon
44 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 365 mg sodium
520 calories, 39 g fat (13 g saturated), 1,280 mg sodium
280 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated), 760 mg sodium
2 sausage links
250 calories, 22 g fat (6 g saturated), 370 mg sodium
At the Italian Restaurant
STRATEGY: Ask for fiber-filled whole-wheat pasta. Or look for entrées that feature lean protein or vegetables as their centerpiece, instead of cheese and carbs.
Minestrone (1 cup)
100 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 610 mg sodium
460 calories, 25 g fat (7 g saturated), 790 mg sodium
Antipasto (half order)
315 calories, 24 g fat (8 g saturated), 1,480 mg sodium
960 calories, 53 g fat (21 g saturated), 2,060 mg sodium
At the Sports Bar
STRATEGY: Order before alcohol impairs your judgment.
Salted nuts (per ounce)
168 calories, 15 g fat (2 g saturated), 190 mg sodium
Plain buffalo wings (half order)
350 calories, 24 g fat (8 g saturated), 510 mg sodium
Cheese fries with ranch dressing (1 cup)
750 calories, 54 g fat (23 g saturated), 1,225 mg sodium
Stuffed potato skins with sour cream (4 skins)
630 calories, 48 g fat (24 g saturated), 650 mg sodium
At the Mexican Restaurant
STRATEGY: Mexican restaurants can be good places to get vegetables, like the pile of grilled onions and peppers that comes with an order of fajitas. Just be careful of extra cheeses and refried beans, which are packed with fat.
12 chips with salsa (2 ounces)
340 calories, 17 g fat (3 g saturated), 410 mg sodium
Chicken fajitas with lettuce and pico de gallo 850 calories, 30 g fat (6 g saturated), 2,100 mg sodium
Side of stewed black, kidney, or pinto beans
120 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 400 mg sodium
12 chips with queso dip (2 ounces)
440 calories, 25 g fat (7 g saturated), 920 mg sodium
1,100 calories, 50 g fat (15 g saturated), 3,300 mg sodium
Side of refried beans
200 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 550 mg sodium
At the Chinese Restaurant
STRATEGY: You're in for a big dose of salt, whatever you do, so factor that into your daily meal plan. And pack half your meal away in a to-go box; a single portion will feed you twice.
60 calories, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 1,000 mg sodium
750 calories, 19 g fat (3 g saturated), 2,150 mg sodium
Chicken or pork egg roll
200 calories, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 450 mg sodium
General Tso's chicken
1,600 calories, 60 g fat (10 g saturated), 3,200 mg sodium
AT THE GROCERY STORE
STRATEGY: Make a list before you step into the Zone of Certain Temptation. Be specific: Instead of writing "snacks" and buying the entire Dolly Madison collection, write "yogurt" or "sliced almonds." This way, you'll be able to make tactical strikes: Buy only what you need, instead of the crap they're trying to palm off on you. (For more grocery-cart must-haves, go to Abs Diet Challenge.
WORK THE GREENS Green vegetables and berries form a crucial part of the Abs Diet. Most produce is just as nutritious frozen as it is fresh, so be judicious. If you rarely use vegetables, buy frozen. If you burn through greens like Ernie Els, stick with fresh.
Top of the list:
Mixed-green salad blend
Best buy: The more colors, the more antioxidants. Look for one with red radicchio, pale green endive, and dark green spinach.
Best buy: Tight buds mean fresh broccoli.
Best buy: Look for unroasted and unsalted loose nuts, to cut sodium.
YOUR MUSCLE MAKER: The Abs Diet is partial to turkey, but that doesn't mean other meats are off-limits. The key is getting the most lean protein for the least amount of saturated fat. Turkey does the job exceptionally well--but only if you buy breast meat. Mixed ground turkey can contain as much saturated fat as beef.
Top of the list:
Fresh turkey or chicken cutlets
Best buy: Check the label for sodium; some raw meats are plumped with a salt solution you don't need.
Best buy: Fillet cuts (the oblong strips) cook quicker and more evenly than steaks (the U-shaped cuts).
Lean ground beef
Best buy: Pick the 95 percent lean, to dodge saturated fat. Mix in vegetables like chopped onions or spinach, to add moisture and flavor.
THE GREAT WHITE HELP: Think of the dairy section as fat-loss central--if you play the percentages.
1% milk and reduced-fat yogurt
Best buy: Horizon and Stonyfield Farms organic varieties. Cow antibiotics are for sick cows, not healthy guys.
Best buy: Eggland's Best. They're fortified with an extra shot of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Best buy: Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese. Why grate your own? These melt evenly, unlike most other low-fat cheeses.
And when you're in the health-food store or GNC, pick up this great muscle-boosting, fat-cutting by-product of the dairy industry . . .
Best buy: Look for protein powder that also includes casein, another dairy-based muscle builder.
WHAT'S IN STORAGE Canned foods are guy foods: They last forever. Just watch out for sodium, the hypertensive preservative.
Best buy: Del Monte Diced Tomatoes, No Salt Added--low sodium and no high-fructose corn syrup.
Best buy: StarKist Premium Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water.
Water cuts the fat, but the no-draining-needed bag seals the deal.
Best buy: Crazy Richard's Natural. Peanuts--and just a touch of salt--are its only ingredients.
Best buy: Extra virgin, which means the goods haven't been damaged by mixing with other lesser oils.
Grains and baked goods
THE INCREDIBLE BULK: Fiber is crucial to weight loss, and the best place to find it is in whole-grain baked goods. If the first ingredient listed isn't "whole grain" or "whole wheat," keep looking.
Best buy: Pepperidge Farm or Milton's. Both offer a variety of high-fiber whole-wheat breads.
Best buy: DeCecco Whole Wheat. Although it's high in fiber, this brand isn't too tough or chewy.
Best buy: Arrowhead Mills Steel
Cut Oats will take 7 to 9 minutes in the microwave, but pack a potent 16 g fiber per 1/2 cup.
COLD COMFORT: Shop here last and you'll likely make it home with your ice cream intact. "Ice cream?" you say. Right. This plan is designed for human beings rather than robots.
Berries and fruit
Best buy: Cascadian Farms Organic. Go organic. Berries and fruit often top the lists of high-pesticide produce.
Best buy: Van's Gourmet Flax. Slightly sweet whole-wheat flavor, with 1.6 g omega-3 fatty acids.
Best buy: Edy's Grand Light is sweet and creamy, and has two-thirds less saturated fat than regular.