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UGH! Restaurants...and we wonder why we're obese

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Old 06-08-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default UGH! Restaurants...and we wonder why we're obese

Last night we had a blackout so we had to go out for dinner and we went to Applebee's. So I had fully planned to order off their 550 and under menu and had a little over 600 cals availble for dinner. I took one look at the options and everything just looked tastless and awful. So I thought, well I'd rather just eat less of something that tastes better. I know I'd be getting more fat, sodium, etc. that way but I refuse to eat a bad meal anymore. So I went with a HALF portion of one of their regular salads. While we were waiting for our order I noticed the nurtional info hidden in the drink menu and looked up what I had order - 990 cals in a HALF salad!!!!! I'm mean give me a break! So luckily I saw that before my dinner came and I ate just over half my salad, but restaurant food still just blows me away. There wasn't hardly anything on that menu under 1000 cals...I commend the restaurants for trying to put better options on their menu and providing nutritional info, but I really think they could do better.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:18 PM   #2
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I don't know why restaurants completely ignore calories/sodium/fat when creating recipes. Good food can be made without outrageous amounts of the added things that are in alot of recipes. I wonder if the unhealthy ingredients are really a whole lot cheaper (I don't think that this is true....except maybe for fresh vegetables), it would be interesting to follow a recipe/food idea being introduced for a restaurant menu.
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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I always ask restaurants to put my dressing on the side and I eliminate the croutons. So basically I just eat rabbit food that consists of the romaine lettuce and chicken. It's hard to adjust, but one things for sure, you get an equal amount of dressing on each bite! AND...if you have left over dressing after your done, then VOILA! The extra calories in the dressing and croutons and cheese add up quick. I dip my fork half way into the dressing and then I get into my salad. That way you control how much dressing you are consuming. I'm kind of glad now that I can't eat cheese, because as good as it is, it's not worth the pain and guilt it gives me. Plus it makes me "sick"

What really makes me upset, is how come some restaurants won't let an adult order off the kid's menu? The portions are smaller, and a lot of the time the kid's menu is cooked differently and have more natural ingredients. This is why america is obese! Greedy Jerks!
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:35 PM   #4
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Yeah, it is horrible. Thankfully, I rarely get anything other than my own cooking at home to eat..which is bad enough (not health-wise though )
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #5
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For the record, I love Applebees under-550 grilled shrimp skewers. I think if you order the veggies unseasoned (I don't like the "seasoning" anyways, it's just salt slime), it's under 300cal...I looked it up once, forgot the exact number. But it's quite a substantial amount of very tasty food. 3 skewers of shrimp, yummy rice, and the veggies are good plain.

But I definitely agree, restaurants are out of control with portion sizes and excessive fat/sodium/calories. The triple cheese, bacon, crispy, creamy, meals can be on the menu, but why must they be the norm? Why are the reasonable healthy options the exception?

I'm only 22, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I'd love to go to a restaurant back in the 50's or 60's and compare similar meals. Just to see the difference in portion sizes and such.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:12 PM   #6
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Agreed with mkendrick, I like a lot of those under 550 meals. The pasta one is spicy and filling, the chicken is good, the steak is tasty, and the shrimp skewers also have a pretty good kick. They are also a decent amount of food.

Have you ever been to Chili's? OMG. Just LOOKING at their menu gives me a heart attack, lol. They just came out with a DOUBLE burger and their regular burgers are darn well near 2000 cals already! They don't have the nutrition info up yet but ew! (Also I actually really like their "Guiltless grill" Caribbean salad, 450 cals, although the dressing is pretty fattyyyy)
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:14 PM   #7
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I like the Applebee's Asiago Peppersteak. Very tender and tasty. Sodium is high so I drink plenty of water.

Yes, restaurants are a challenge which is why I have a thread asking for tips. Summer is a traditional time for travel and these issues come up more frequently.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:24 PM   #8
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I like Applebee's lower-calorie menu. There's quite a lot on there that tastes good. In fact, I think they have one of the better such menus.

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Old 06-08-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
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I agree- I almost always modify my meals now- my husband always says "is that enough food for you?"

And I'm like yes it is babe DON'T worry.

Last time I went to Denny's I got the "endless soup and salad" and I got 1 bowl of soup and one salad minus the croutons. I ate it all and when the server was like do you want more I was like "no I'm good" and she looked at me like no one has ever done that before! lol.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:47 PM   #10
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My simple rule: No chain restaurants. If I absolutely had to, Red Lobster. Maybe. But why bother, when I could go to someone else's privately owned seafood restaurant?

No restaurants with big balloony-looking lettering on their names or "family-style" written below that.

Eating the pile of lettuce with the grilled chicken breast on top is not fun. It's just not. So what good is a meal out if that's all I can order? I could get that at a big grocery store prepared foods section.

Just not worth it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #11
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The 550- and under meals are awesome. I mean, really REALLY good.

I love going to Applebees!
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:35 PM   #12
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I actually like chain restaurants when they have their nutritional info posted online so I can make an informed decision. I love P.F. Chang's and the apricot chicken at Olive Garden. Macaroni Grill has some great lamb skewers right now that are super tasty.

Sure, if I'm not trying to lose weight and I am eating a treat meal, I would prefer a hole in the wall, mom and pop restaurant. Sometimes, estimating calories is okay. Sometimes, I want the extra accountability of a posted nutritional menu!
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:46 PM   #13
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It's just nasty, my sister told me that apple bees was really bad...
then we wount up going to a hibachi restaraunt where i was forced to watch some fat ol' man throw over 500 calories worth of butter and 400 calories worth of oil into vegetables...ugh

It's so nasty!
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Old 06-08-2010, 03:57 PM   #14
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I don't eat there, but I had a similar experience looking up Houlihan nutrition. Most of it was over 1000! I eventually settled on the simply prepared salmon but yeah... it is so wrong. :P

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Old 06-08-2010, 05:56 PM   #15
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That's funny, my sister and I were just, 5 minutes ago, talking about how that Applebees menu makes it easier for us to go out to eat.

The portions on regular menus are out of control, but I do like the fact that so many of the menus are available on line with nutritional information. Just last night, my sister found herself unexpectedly going to Red Robin for dinner, so I pulled up the menu and texted what she should order and how menu calories it would be. It definitely makes it easier to stay on plan.
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