You can eat away from home without sabotaging your weight-loss plan. You just need to be menu-savvy about making decisions.
When ordering food at a restaurant, do you know which items may be loaded with fat and calories? Unlike when you're grocery shopping, the foods in a restaurant may not have nutrition labels listing their fat grams and calorie content.
Hidden calories refer to the extra calories in many dishes that come from ingredients you may be unaware of. That's why they're such a problem for people grappling with weight control. Ingredients are often added to enhance the flavor, color or texture of food — for example, seasonings, sauces, cheesy toppings or dressings. And sometimes they're part of the process used to prepare the dish — for example, oil or butter for cooking. These calories add up fast.
Use these tips to steer clear of hidden fat and calories in restaurant food.
Appetizers. If you're having an appetizer, choose one that contains primarily vegetables, fruit or fish. Lettuce cups, edamame, fresh-fruit compote and shrimp cocktail served with lemon are healthy appetizers. Avoid fried or breaded appetizers, which are generally high in calories. Of course, you can also save calories by skipping the appetizer altogether and just focusing on your entree.
Soup. The best choices are broth-based or tomato-based soups. Creamed soups, chowders and pureed soups can contain heavy cream or egg yolks.
Bread. Muffins, garlic toast and croissants have more fat and calories than do whole-grain bread, breadsticks and crackers. Skip the temptation by asking the server not to bring the bread basket.
Salad. Your best choice is a lettuce or spinach salad with a low-fat dressing on the side. Limit all of the high-calorie add-