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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

HitchFit Healthiest Restaurant Menus

The 10 Healthiest Restaurant Menus

When you’re on a diet or going through a lifestyle change, going out to eat at a restaurant can be a worrisome experience. There is no worse feeling than having to sweat over a menu not knowing what to order, let alone making the ultimate decision to eat healthy when you go out. You want to be able to go out and enjoy being with friends, but not derail your lifestyle change. This is possible, but you’ll need a healthy game plan to keep your diet on track!!
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The healthy game plan we’ve designed comes in two parts. The first part our healthy restaurant guide is identifying restaurants that have an abundance of healthy options. To do this, we like to use a site that has a listing of nutritional facts from an array of different restaurants. The second part of the healthy game plan is to identify what is or isn’t a part of your diet. This comes in handy if the nutritional facts for a restaurant aren’t available. Try to follow general health rules such as:
  • Always grilled food instead fried food
  • Fruit or steamed vegetables instead of carbohydrate-heavy French fries and pasta
  • Smaller portions or splitting a dish with someone
  • Lastly, if available, items from health-conscious menu sections
To help ease some stress when ordering out, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 healthiest restaurant menus along with a healthy game plan of how to order for each one.
1. Red Lobster (believe it or not!!)
This fresh seafood establishment is known for the cheddar bay biscuit, but at 150 calories per biscuit, its best to avoid these altogether (in fact, at any restaurant, avoid the bread basket!!). Instead, steer your eyes toward Red Lobster’s Lighthouse Menu items; the omega 3 rich tilapia with broccoli is a safe bet. As a general rule, dodge dishes labeled “crispy”—that translates to deep fried!! That’s a no-no!!
2. Subway
There is a reason why so many athletes serve as spokesmen and -women for subway. The deli sub chain has an abundance of healthy meal options along with a handy meal builder available on their site to aid you. As a general rule, dodge any sub with meats other than turkey, chicken, ham or roast beef. Fill any sub sandwich with veggies and remember that cheese and condiments add calories—use sparingly, if at all!
3. Chick-Fil-A
As the clear front runner of fast food chicken restaurants, Chick-Fil-A has only one menu item that breaks 500 calories—that item being the 530 calorie sausage biscuit. Believe it or not, Chick-Fil-A’s char-grilled chicken sandwich paired with a fruit cup totals out at 360 calories. As a general rule, opt for the fruit cup or side salad over the waffle fries.
4. Applebee’s
Headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, Applebee’s has two notable sections of their menu titled “Under 550 Calories” and “Weight Watchers”. As a general rule, stick to these two sections as the rest of the menu is riddled with unhealthy menu items.
5. Noodles & Co.
Offering the dishes inspired by Asian, Mediterranean, and American cuisine, Noodles & Co. offers a handy cheat sheet to creating a meal with 500 calories or less. As a general rule, dodge the Buttered Noodles and Pesto Cavatappi—they are the most calorie heavy at 460 each.
6. Seasons 52
Known for the freshness of their menu, Seasons 52 offers large variety of healthy grilled menu itemsthat are always a good decision when trying to lose weight. As a general rule, dodge the squash trio as a side—it is the only side item that is over 200 calories. The grilled boneless Rainbow Trout is a safe choice at 430 calories. Plus, it’s delicious and fresh!
7. Panda Express
This Americanized Chinese fast food restaurant has menu options that are healthy, but they can be extra friendly with their portions. So as a general rule, dodge the orange chicken, sweet and sour chicken or anything with pork. The broccoli beef is a safe choice—just be sure to have them cut your steamed rice to a third of a portion.
8. Yard House
This upscale-casual restaurant can be extra tempting with its huge beer selection. But avoid those enticing suds and order the Seared Ahi Caesar with dressing on the side! At 380 calories, you’ll stay on track with no worries. For more options, Yard House’s nutritional guide is available here.
9. Chipotle
For many, Chipotle is an addiction, and an unhealthy one at that. Luckily, every menu item is customizable. The key to sticking to the healthy game plan here is to choose the right combination. Thanks to Chipotle’s menu calculator, this is an easy task. A healthy combination we like is three crispy tacos with carnitas, black beans, lettuce, and fresh salsa. As a general rule dodge, the carb-loaded tortilla, rice, sour cream and cheese!!
10. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue
As two Kansas City natives, we gotta have our barbecue!! So we couldn’t make a list without featuring some of KC’s finest. Barbecue in general isn’t the healthiest of cuisines, but Jack Stack offers healthy menu items. The smoked turkey sandwich is a great healthy option, but you’ll need to modify it some: Hold the fries and order the vegetable kabob in its place. At 470 calories, you can enjoy some barbecue (just be sure to go light on the sauce!!).
To stay on track with your healthy lifestyle change, you have to be conscious about everything you eat. With this healthy restaurant game plan, you should have no fear about eating anywhere other than home. Just be sure to follow the general rules. If done properly, you can achieve that transformation you’ve always dreamed of!!

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