(PCM) 1. Skip the bread basket and tortilla chips at restaurants. A few buttered rolls or mindlessly snacking on tortilla chips can add hundreds of calories to your meal before your main entree even arrives! Ask your waiter not to bring it to the table, and order a bowl of broth-based soup or a side salad if you can’t wait.
2. Choose thin crust pizza over regular, and vegetable toppings over meat. This can save you up to 100 calories per slice, and blotting off excess oil can save another 50.
3. Skip the cheese and mayo! Order any burger or sandwich without the cheese or mayonnaise and you can save 200 calories. One slice of cheese has anywhere from 80-100 calories or more, and sometimes restaurants will double up! And then there’s the mayo; one tablespoon of mayonnaise can add 50-100 calories depending on the brand, and most restaurants and fast-food joints add more than that. Skip both of these fattening toppings and ask for healthier substitutions like grilled onions, hummus, and other flavorful vegetables, and use low-calorie condiments like ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce.
4. Choose vinaigrettes over creamy dressings. Don’t ruin an otherwise healthy salad with creamy dressings loaded with fat. Just two tablespoons of the average creamy dressing (ranch, blue cheese, honey mustard) contains anywhere from 130 to 200 calories. The problem is, most people use double the recommended 2-tablespoon serving size. Opt for low fat dressings and vinaigrettes, which have at least half the calories and fat of the regular, creamy stuff.
5. Order your chicken grilled, not fried. You can save hundreds of calories by requesting for the chicken in your salad or on your sandwich to be grilled instead. Anytime chicken is described as crispy, fried, battered, or crunchy, that means it’s loaded with extra fat and calories. It’s a simple request – don’t be afraid to ask!
6. Watch out for high-calorie beverages, especially alcoholic drinks. The typical margarita can contain up to 400 calories at your standard chain restaurant, as do many other specialty cocktails. If it sounds like a dessert, it should be considered one! Choose a spirit mixed with club soda and a splash of fruit juice, a light beer, or just stick to plain water. And remember that soda and sweetened iced teas can also add a few hundred calories to your meal, depending on how many refills you request.
Small changes can make all the difference in losing weight and staying on track!