When equipped with restaurant nutritional information before you go out to eat, ordering foods that stay within your dietary goals becomes much easier.
Nutritional Information Included
Not every eating establishment provides nutritional information for items on their menu, but many restaurants make the information available on their websites. What information is available is not standardized, but usually includes the amount of carbs, calories, grams of fat, sodium, sugar, etc. in each dish. Along with these statistics, more restaurants are also including things like common allergens found in the foods served on their menus.
Don't Browse on an Empty Stomach
Whether you're on a diet or just trying to stick to a budget, the rule of thumb is not to go to the grocery store when you are hungry. This is because you end up buying more than you intended and often you'll come home with snack foods or sweets that aren't good for you. A similar rule applies when you plan to visit restaurant sites. While they do provide nutritional information, you'll also be bombarded with two-for-one-specials, coupons for fat-laden entrees, or the latest dessert promotion. If you're not hungry, there is less chance of embedding a subliminal thought that triggers the desire to order an item that will blow your diet.
How to Use the Information
Print out nutritional information for your favorite fast food and causal dining restaurants and keep them in your car. This way you will be prepared, if you find yourself stopping for an unexpected lunch or dinner on a day when things don't go as planned. Part of any working plan designed to to help you stick to your diet should include being prepared when you eat out. Just because you're ordering at a restaurant doesn't mean you have to take in more calories, fat or carbs than you should. If the dish you want to order has more calories than you should eat, plan to eat half the amount served. To help ensure you stick to your plan, ask for a to-go box when you order you meal and place half the serving in the to-go box before you start to eat. Having a plan includes knowing the nutritional content of food before you eat it. The other part of the equation is to stick to the plan even when you're inundated with a myriad of choices on the menu. Equip yourself to make the right choice. Print out copies of the restaurant nutritional information for your favorite restuarants, now, and put them in the car so you always have them handy.
Where to Find Restaurant Nutritional Information
The following list is arranged in alphabetical order by restaurant name:
- Backyard Burgers - PDF
- Baskin Robbins
- Blimpie - America's Sub Shop - PDF
- Bob Evans
- Boston Market
- Burger King (Now offering a Gluten-Sensitive List)
- Captain D's - PDF
- Carl's Jr.
- Carrabba's Italian Grill
- Checkers - PDF
- Chili's - PDF
- Church's Fried Chicken - PDF
- Quiznos - PDF