Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Have You Read That Label Lately?




Today I took a tour through my calorie counter book. The dining out section to be exact. Holy Crap! I can't believe that I have been mindlessly inhaling all those calories every time I ordered something not prepared in my little kitchen.

Some entrees contained over 1,000 calories - a few even went over 2,000! And how deceiving the menus can be! Unless the calorie count is advertised - fuggeddabowdit! Like at Arby's.... if you think you're being a good girl by ordering the market Fresh Sandwich instead of the traditional Roast Beef - you're not! The regular Roast beef is 320 calories. The Roast Turkey & Swiss sandwich? 720 calories! ARGHH!

It gets worse. My absolute favorite entree at Applebee's is the Crispy Orange Chicken Skillet. I know...anything with the word crispy as a descriptor should be avoided like the plague...but I kept telling myself it couldn't be all that bad. Wrong! How about 1,710 calories!

And if you think salads are safe - not always so! If you order a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad at McDonald's - you might as well have ordered a Double Cheese Burger and a small Fry. It's a wash. They're both the same calorie wise.

My point here is - we need to be informed about what we shove into our pie holes! Just because it contains lettuce - doesn't mean it's okay. And fancy marketing means diddly squat. If we eat it - they make money and that's the bottom line. They'll sell it anyway they can.

From now on I'm going to really investigate my choices. That doesn't mean I'll never order a Crispy Orange Chicken Skillet again in my lifetime. But if I do - I'm going to plan for it. It's going to be a treat. And it means I'll have to give up something else somewhere that day.

It's all about moderation. And knowledge. And willpower... and the first two count most!

9 comments:

The Cakehole said...

Here in Japan the family style resturant menu all have pictures and beneath them is a calorie count for each dish. It's a wonderful, terrifying thing to know the counts in some of these things.

Christine said...

Isn't that just an eye opener!? Yikes. Makes you want to just stay home and cook every day of the week! It's just so easy to go out though! Scary stuff.

Linda said...

WELL SAID!!

There was a TV programme showing here in the UK, just the other day actually and WOW!! The calories, salt, fat etc etc that was added in some foods was astounding AND the low cal/fat versions weren't all they were cracked up to be because after the tests they found that a lot of the full fat versions were in fact less fat and cals etc than the low cal/fat versions....AMAZING!

Hugs xx

Kathy said...

Knowledge is key!

Thinking Thin said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and giving me your input. He does have issues but he is working on them, for himself not for me. He has been working towards a better him for a year so there is hope for him :).

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. I totally agree with you about being aware when we eat out. I have looked through that dining out book too and it is startling that the salad I love so much from Applebee's is worse than a Big Mac. I think that all restaurants should be required to post the calories, fat content, etc on their menus. Maybe someday...in the meantime I don't eat out much.

Scale Junkie said...

I love this post. I too called the Crispy Orange Chicken at Applebees my favorite dish until I read the nutritional information. Calorie King site has great information. I carry a list of "acceptable" foods from restaurants I'm likely to visit. I feel so much better making an educated choice instead of telling my self that "its not so bad for me" lie.

Honi said...

yikes... those calorie books are brutal with the truth... very good post.. very thoughtful One thing we do when we go out is share an entree.. we love Italian.. we know the calzones were we go are about 400 calories each so we share one.. and each order a salad with dressing on the side...

Heather said...

that is very true...almost ANYTHING is bad for you when eating out. evne a simple chicken breast has probably been marinated in some type of solution as well as cooked in oil. that is precisely why restaurants are fighting against that new proposal to list their nutrition facts. they dont want people to see just how bad the salad is for them!

but you are right..in moderation, you can make good choices for yourself when eating out.

Teale said...

I have the WW dining out guide, which has hundreds of meals listed from restaurants... and it's unbelievable how many calories/points are in things that you *think* are healthy! That's why it pays to be informed!