How to Manage Restaurant Calories

Counting calories is hard enough as it is. Counting calories mean that you have to make a conscious effort to scrutinize every food, snack or beverage you consume. When I started making a habit of counting the calories in the food I eat, my family and friends were weirded out by me. Soon enough though, after I explained general calorie information, they became as passionate as myself in keeping track of what they eat. restaurant calories

Based on experience, regularly eating in restaurants and fast food chains is the fastest way to gain weight. It’s easy to pack unnecessary carbs and calories when you’re eating out since you don’t how the food was prepared. Hence, you can underestimate the calories on it. So if you think that ordering salad is harmless, think again because hidden in the recipes of these allegedly ‘healthy’ foods are calories, salt, and sugar that rival those from pastas and pizzas.

1. Salad

Salads are generally viewed as healthy alternatives to appetizers such as mozzarella sticks, fried calamari, etc. But not all salads are created equal… at least in terms of nutrition. For example, California Pizza Kitchen’s Waldorf Salad contains a whooping 1,290 calories and 84 grams of fat. That is equivalent to around one McDonalds cheeseburger plus one large fries and a can of soda. If you’re craving for salad, try California Pizza Kitchen’s Half Caesar Salad instead. It more or less have the same ingredients but only contains 250 calories effectively saving you 1,000 calories. But of course since you’re in California Pizza Kitchen, you’ll probably consume these calories on their pizzas and pastas.

2. Smoothie

Smoothie sounds healthier than frapuccinos but that’s not always the case. Jamba Juice’s Strawberry Surf Rider in large contains 640 calories which is almost double of what a coffee frapuccino in venti contains. If you want something healthier, choose Jamba Juice Strawberry Swirl Smoothie which contains only 380 calories. Try also not to upsize your drink as it will save you a lot of calories.

3. Fish

Fish is another ingredient that most people eat without reservations. Fish, in itself, is very nutritious but can be made into a dish that packs the calories. Case for example is Cheesecake Factory’s Miso Salmon which contains a shocking 1,670 calories and 39 grams of saturated fat. You know Lays chips right? Well, consuming this dish gives you more calories than munching the whole large bag. If you want to feel less guilt, opt for Cheesecake Factory’s Grilled Salmon which still contains 710 calories.

4. Vegetables

I remember my mom used to pester me for not eating enough vegetables when I was young. Vegetables are nice and good for the body but just like fish, they can be cooked in such a way that they contain too much calories. PF Chang’s Crispy Green Beans for instance has 1,205 calories and 103 grams of fat. The best alternative is PF Chang’s Garlic Snap Peas which has little calories at around 200. 

Check our specialized calorie counting app which comes with an extensive database of fruits, vegetables, dairies and other food products.