In a world where a simple restaurant visit can end up with you consuming over 2 000 calories in one single sitting (and most people don’t even know this), people tend to ask themselves that question. The short answer is; YES. Of course you can. Now, you might be thinking that the way out is to order the salad from the menu, but that is a trap at most restaurants and places serving food. You see, when they build their salads, they don’t think about what will fit your macros and calorie budget for the day. They think about how it will sell and if people will actually order it. And what sounds the most savory? Fried Buffalo Chicken salad with Blue Cheese dressing and Pepper Jack Cheese? Or Grilled Chicken salad with Plain Veggies? Yeah, thought so. Most people will pick the Buffalo Chicken option, thinking that it’s a salad. It’s healthy. The thing is, that salad contains over 800 calories! Sure, it’s not as bad as a burger, but it might be hard to fit in your other meals if you’re on a low calorie budget.
So what do you do?
My boyfriend is a BIG fan of Buffalo Wild Wings and thus, we end up going there once a week. Does that mean I cheat that day? Nope. I still stay within my macros with no problems what so ever. I do it by checking before. Whenever we go somewhere new, I check the menu online and the melas nutritional value. So at BWW, I don’t order the Honey BBQ Chicken Salad that contains 830 calories (although on their menu they accidentally switched places of the 8 and 3…). I order the Garden salad, but modified to fit me. Because even this one is full of croutons, cheese and a side dressing. So I end up with a plain lettuce and cucumber salad with grilled chicken and nothing else (which totals to 160 calories instead). That let’s me stay within my macros and the fact that it’s low calorie means that I can have something more fun at the next meal.
But what about dressings to make it less… boring, you may ask. I either ask for a slice of lemon to squeeze on with come salt and pepper, or use ketchup mixed with some black pepper on the side to dip in. I like it and that’s what matters.
So make a plan before and stick to it. And if you can’t find a way out on the menu online, ask at the restaurant. They’ll help you.
Tonight we went out to Noodles & Company, another place where some can have a hard time staying on track (at least if you eat 6 smaller meals and not 3 bigger ones). So this is what I do and I love it. I order a small Japanese Pan Noodles with either grilled chicken or sautéed shrimp on the side, as well as a plain tossed side salad. I then split the noodles in half and pack them to take home and eat the rest. On the salad I squeeze on some lemon juice and add some salt and pepper, and some siracha sauce that I mix with the shrimp and noodles. Super yummy and plenty filling! AJ orders a regular sized Mac and Cheese with Parm Crusted Chicken.