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Eating out - caloric junk is EVERYWHERE

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Old 08-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #1
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Default Eating out - caloric junk is EVERYWHERE

I'm constantly speechless as I drive around and see the restaurants/fast food joints that offer almost nothing but high, high fattening fares. It's like America is deliberately trying to make the population obese (sorry - more obese). Virtually all fast food stops are way off-limits to me, and dine-ins aren't much better. In fact, they all seem to glory in their mega-calorie offerings - like the Monster Thickburger at Hardee's, Wendy's "Quad Baconator" (four beef patties!), Burger King's "Triple Whopper," Ruby Tuesday's "Smokehouse Burger" (1,382 calories), Chili's "Smokehouse Bacon Triple-The-Cheese Big Mouth Burger" (without dressing - 1,840 calories), etc., and not including the dishes in the dine-in restaurants with all their cheese-covered pastas and sauce-flooded entrees.

Unless there's a Subway in the area, I usually have to stop off at a supermarket to find anything low-fat or low-cal for a decent meal, unless I just *want* to clog my arteries and add a quick pound or two. It's a pity we can't have offerings more like Japan, which seems to be relatively free of these insidious restaurants. I just don't understand why this country doesn't want to eat healthier. If no one bought this stuff, these restaurants wouldn't be selling it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:27 AM   #2
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I agree completely. And eating that fat-and-sugar-laden food turns into a vicious cycle, causing us to crave more and more of it. I, too, have to go to the grocery store if I want something "quick". Subway is okay but boring for me, ChickFilA has a really good low calorie salad (if you choose a decent dressing), but other than that I stay out of fast foods places. But heck, I'm saving money that way too, so it's a double win for me.

Unfortunately, too many people choose the easy route for everything, including eating, and don't want to put forth a little extra effort required to make sensible choices, nor do they want to make the effort to think for themselves. That's why the fast foods industry thrives.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:31 AM   #3
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Yep. I am "safer" when I cook at home.

The other thing I try to do it avoid chain restaurants of all kinds because that food is probably made in a factory or by Sysco and it's definitely not healthy. Or, I stick to a salad and protein.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Going out to eat has lost all its food joy for me the food is so unhealthy, it's generally $100 incl tip for our family of 4, and I can make better food for a lot less at home.

When I go out, I usually get a salad, ask them to hold all the high calorie stuff, with dressing on the side. So, a totally boring, expensive salad. Whoopee!
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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I think part of the problem is that low-cal meals -- such as grilled chicken or a salad -- are pretty easy to make yourself. So, not too many people are willing to pay restaurant prices and/or travel for things they can just as easily make at home.

That said, I was fortunate enough to find a local restaurant chain that makes an absolutely fabulous Waldorf salad (made with a low-cal apple/balsamic dressing, rather than the usual mayo dressing)...and it's served with a small piece of grilled salmon on the side. The meal is to die for, and I now treat myself at least a couple of times a month. I would order that dish even if I weren't on a diet...it's so tasty and so filling. It's really a plus if you can find a restaurant that serves something that is healthy and tasty, because you then at least have a viable option for eating out.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
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One good thing is that next year, all major restaurants and fast food joints will need to post their calories. Personally, I see this helping me. Also, some restaurants are offering lower calories menus now. My new favorite is Applebees because they have multiple tasty meals under 550. I do agree that most food available outside of the home is pure junk though.

As far as eating out goes, these are things I order. Not the best, but not as bad as some other choices.

McDonalds
Grilled Sweet Chili McWrap is 360
Fruit & Yogurt Parfait is 150

Wendy's
JBC w/o Mayo is 340
Caesar Side Salad is 250
Sour Cream and Chives Potato is 370

Subway
6 in. Turkey Breast on Wheat w/ Cheese, Spinach, Cucumber, and Southwest Chipotle is 420
6 in. Chicken Breast on Wheat w/ Cheese, Cucumber, Jalepeno, Spinach, and Honey Mustard is 390

Applebees
Creamy Parmesan Chicken w/ Sides is 460
Roasted Garlic Sirloin w/ Sides is 450
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #7
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I cannot stomach fast food after spending years at home cooking. I don't know how I ate that every day once upon a time!
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #8
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I forgot to add - with the eateries making us all fat, the tendency is now to look at those people who are trim as gods. I guess it's why they're constantly on the magazine covers in the supermarkets so much.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:22 PM   #9
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Chipotle is my goto for a sensible meal when out and about. I usually split a bowl with my husband or save half the bowl for later.

I never ate fast food in general, maybe a Taco Bell bean burrito once in a great while but I wasn't a fast food type.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:41 PM   #10
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I love to eat out; I eat dinner out about once a week. But I rarely, if ever, go to a fast food or chain restaurant. I love fine dining and ethnic food, and I am lucky to live in a place where a diversity of such choices is available and to be able to afford them. I can't order indiscriminately, of course, if I want to eat on plan, but I have go-to items at my favorite restaurants and strategies for approaching meals at new restaurants.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:05 PM   #11
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Yep. If I HAVE to eat out, it's Panera or Subway for me. Otherwise, I only go out to eat if I know that I'm going to purposefully go off my diet, which probably happens about once a week.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #12
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I enjoy good food. Now the fast food "triple patty" type food, that is not good and I'm okay avoiding that, but good restaurant quality food...yea, that's hard for me to decline. I'm lucky enough to live around some high quality, chef-owned restaurants where the food is unique and delicious.

I try to go for something that appears on plan when I try new places like this, but once I get it I know it's not (usually just the splash of olive oil they use to finish the dish is enough to add a significant sum of calories)...and I'm okay with that. I don't go to these places often, and I refuse to never allow myself that fine tasting food that I enjoy.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:44 PM   #13
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I love to eat out too. I used to go out several times a week. Totally did NOTHING for my figure other than blow me out to an eggplant shape...and not the Japanese kind either!

I am very, VERY concerned with how ridiculous the fast-food landscape has become in this country. Yes, we are all responsible for what we put into our own mouths. But apparently, many in our nation don't understand that AT ALL.

These days, going out is a very special treat, and I will only go to a few select restaurants that I know very well and will give me exactly what I want. And I will calorically splurge at that meal. I only go out once a month now.

Whatever we used to get when going out, I can make a much tastier and healthier version at home. I do like Chipotle, but I've got a sensitivity to their meat marinades. All I can eat there is a salad with no dressing, and I can make that at home. I marinate and grill meat and bag it into portions, pop it in the freezer for future use. This morning I roasted a free-range turkey. It's already cut up and bagged and in the freezer. There's also a sliced tri-tip in there. I keep the fridge loaded with salad fixings from the supermarket and vine-ripened tomatoes from the farmer's market. I make a big tub of my own salsa every few days, as well as guacamole, so we have Chipotle at home fairly often. We'll grill our own burgers. I even make really great fish n chips and French fries, but not that often. (Alton Brown knows how to do it best, on Food Network.)

I keep the TV off most of the time, and the rest of the time we watch things on Netflix or On Demand and ff through the commercials. I need to not see the commercials. I'm highly suggestible!
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Just the other night I was craving Chili's ribs. The rib dinner comes with two sides so I ordered corn on the cob, and salad...sounds healthy, right?

I added up the calories for the entire meal and it was 2,040!

That meal is intended for one person, for one meal! My boyfriend and I split the meal and I was able to control the calories for the salad by using minimal dressing. Even my boyfriend was shocked when I told him the calorie content. He said he's eaten the entire meal more than once, and he never ordered salad, lol.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PreciousMissy View Post
Just the other night I was craving Chili's ribs. The rib dinner comes with two sides so I ordered corn on the cob, and salad...sounds healthy, right?

I added up the calories for the entire meal and it was 2,040!

That meal is intended for one person, for one meal! My boyfriend and I split the meal and I was able to control the calories for the salad by using minimal dressing. Even my boyfriend was shocked when I told him the calorie content. He said he's eaten the entire meal more than once, and he never ordered salad, lol.
Oh yeah, been there, done that - I've occasionally ordered a full rack of ribs instead of a half rack on those times when I was particularly hungry. I knew that they weren't exactly low-fat, but I'm afraid to look at the calorie count on those. And these were barbequed.
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