If you eat at restaurants, you have a 90% chance of eating in excess of 1500 to 2000 calories in one meal.
For most of us that’s close to, or in excess of, a full day’s worth of calories… all consumed at one sitting. Let’s see… 3500 calories in excess of what our bodies need per week equals one pound of weight gained … hm …
OK, that sounds pretty awful, but let’s see where those calories came from and how we might deal with them.
Pre-dinner bread & butter: 200 calories (or more)
Pre-dinner cocktail: 150 calories (or more)
Appetizer: this could be a 500 to 1500 calorie bomb on its own!
Steak: 300-500 calories (if it’s one of those massive slabs o’ beef you see at many steakhouses I’m being conservative at only 500 calories)
Potato: 150-300 calories (have you added the butter and sour cream yet?) Vegetable: 100 calories (don’t forget that cheese sauce, butter, hollandaise, etc.)
Dinner Drink: 150 calories
Dessert: 300-750 calories
After Dinner Drink: 150 calories
And that’s only if you CONTROL yourself. If you go on a rampage, you could be looking at 2500 or even 3000 calories in one sitting.
Those numbers are scary.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this dietary nightmare while still dining out and most importantly, enjoying your food.
Try these 5 steps to cut 1000 calories from your dining-out diet…
1) Plan ahead (look at menus on-line before you go to a restaurant; give some thought to which appetizer is worth the calories in one place but no in another)
2) Skip the bread (or as one friend of mine calls it – the “butter carrier”
3) No booze (many people know that fat delivers 9 calories per gram consumed while protein or carbs deliver only 4 calories per gram, but did you know that alcohol delivers a weighty 7 calories per gram and slides down really quickly?)
4) No potatoes (look for quinoa, wild rice (actually a grain) brown rice, couscous)
5) Only the tiniest bit of dessert (every dessert can become a sharing experience. Win friends! Influence people!
By the way, what REALLY doesn’t work is the “starve for 2 days and eat like a pig at one meal” plan but more on that in another post.
As is true in most aspects of our lives, it’s all about the choices we make.