(StatePoint) There’s nothing better than a night on the town. But when you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, restaurant menus aren’t always your friend.
Here are six foods to avoid -- some are sneaky, some are loaded with calories and sugar and some are just easy to overdo.
1. The Bread Basket: Besides water, the pile of bread delivered to your table is one of the few things you’ll get for free. But it’s not completely free. Each roll, when slathered with butter, can amount to around 140 calories. Here’s a tip from South Beach Diet ambassador, Jessie James Decker, “I like to order a fresh salad to start my meal so that I’m not quite as hungry. It allows me to avoid the bread.”
2. Margaritas and Daiquiris: Even a lime margarita -- without strawberry, mango or other flavors -- can be close to 300 calories with an astounding 36 grams of sugar. If you go for a second round, you’ve downed 600 calories before the appetizers even arrive. Opt for a seltzer with lime or glass of white wine instead.
3. Guacamole: Avocado is loaded with healthy fats that can help you stay full, have been shown in studies to burn off belly fat and benefit heart health. Add lycopene from the tomatoes and guacamole seems like a great choice. But serving size matters. A proper serving is just a quarter cup, which at most restaurants, gets scooped onto one or two chips. And those chips aren’t helping, either. With chips and dip together, “tableside guacamole” served at major chain restaurants can be almost 1500 total calories.
4. Caesar Salad: But it’s salad! Right? Technically, yes. But it’s covered in cheese and creamy dressing that can be up to 180 calories per serving. Croutons alone can deliver 93 calories in just a half-cup serving. Add protein, and you could be consuming almost half a day’s worth of calories. Your best bet? Stick to garden salads with vinaigrette dressing on the side.
5. Chicken Wings: Wings pack a big caloric punch for being so small. That’s because they’re more skin than meat, and most buffalo sauces have a pretty simple recipe: half melted butter, half hot sauce. A “small” order of medium-heat wings from a top chain has 820 calories and a jaw-dropping 45 grams of fat. That’s more fat than you’ll find in four servings of butter. Split an order and make it your meal or skip the wings and get grilled tenders with dipping sauce on the side.
6. Anything “Loaded,” “Double-stuffed,” “Creamy,” “Cheesy” or “Fried”: All those terms are missing one word -- “over.” They’re overloaded, overstuffed and usually oversized. An order of “loaded” potato skins at one popular restaurant has almost 1400 calories and nearly 100 grams of fat.
For more healthy tips, visit palm.southbeachdiet.com.
Eating out is a favorite pastime for many. So, don’t give it up. Simply learn to navigate menus, sticking to items that keep you on track.