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View Full Version : Possible to eat out in a reasonably healthy manner?



jahutch
07-16-2005, 07:46 PM
Well the subject pretty much says it. As far as "quick and easy" I know subway is pretty good. But beyond that - what about at normal restaurants? Is it even possible to eat in a healthy way when you eat out? Any suggestions on what to get?

Eating out is one of my major social activities - something I do with my buddies every weekend. And, unfortunately, most of my buddies are not into lifting / their bodies the way I am... Further I really hate cooking - I do it on occassion but I'm not the type of person who is going to "cook something and eat" then go out with friends.

So is this a lost cause? Is cutting oneself off from eating out (aside from cheat meals) really the only way to go about this?

Thanks!

getfit
07-16-2005, 07:50 PM
i believe alot of restaurants have quite a few choices to choose from!

you can always order a steak with a side order of vegies for example!

dissipate
07-16-2005, 07:56 PM
i usually very much prefer to cook my own food because that's how i know it's near 100% healthy, but i still eat out once in a while and this is what i do for the different cuisines:

western - take clear soups, look for the steak or roast chicken breast, switch fries to boiled potatoes, salad dressing on the side, stay away from dessert unless it's a cheat meal

asian - look for things in clear soup or boiled/broiled/steamed, ask for less/no oil (i'm not sure whether you can do that where you are.. maybe you try asking for no MSG as well?)

italian - stick with tomato bases

D Breyer
07-16-2005, 08:01 PM
for italian food how much worse is alfrado sauce then tomato based sauce?

ryuage
07-16-2005, 08:45 PM
I dunno if I was in the mood for alfredo sauce then tomato sauce would be worse and vice versa.

ReelBigFish
07-16-2005, 10:34 PM
about an average of 160 cals. per half cup serving from Alfredo to reg. Tomato sauce with alfredo obviously the higher.

ReelBigFish
07-16-2005, 10:39 PM
for Hutch, do you just want to know what it is you're eating, as in cals./fat/prot./carbs? if so, go to calorieking.com and they have that info for a lot of restaurants. If you are not concerned with all that then just be sensible when you go out. Order and 8oz. steak and eat 1/2 or 3/4 of it. Make sure it has no added butters to it(restaurants like to melt butter on top) Get some veggies and ask for no added butter or oils. Just think healthfully and don't be embarressed to ask for these things.

Patz
07-16-2005, 10:46 PM
Im on PSMF...

I went in to subway today, NEEDING food pronto. I asked the girl if I could get a salad with two of the big pieces of chicken they use for the sandwiches cut up in it. She did it, and at no extra charge! I used half a pack of dressing (6g of carbs), and I was all set!

Shao-LiN
07-17-2005, 06:23 AM
Can you eat out and eat healthy? Sure. Can you eat out and always keep an accurate account of the calories and macros that go into your body? Maybe, maybe not.

Sc00t
07-17-2005, 09:46 AM
My girlfriend went on weight watchers once, and she said that one slice of pizza hut pizza was like, 30 points, and she only had 18 for a whole day to use, so I guess pizza hut is a no no.

The problem with eating out is that you dont know what goes into the food youre eating, how it's prepared or anything. The plate of food doesn't come with a label with all of its nutritional information written on it.

-Sc00t

Nuts
07-17-2005, 09:53 AM
My girlfriend went on weight watchers once, and she said that one slice of pizza hut pizza was like, 30 points, and she only had 18 for a whole day to use, so I guess pizza hut is a no no.
I think that's a bit excessive. A whole personal pan pizza is 17 points, I don't see a single slice being more than 7-12.

Manveet
07-17-2005, 09:54 AM
Can you eat out and eat healthy? Sure. Can you eat out and always keep an accurate account of the calories and macros that go into your body? Maybe, maybe not.


:withstupi

That's pretty much what it comes down to.

BG5150
07-17-2005, 09:58 AM
If you are bulking, I guess there is a little more wiggle room than if you are cutting.

As for going out, it all depends on where you and your friends are going. Obviously if you are hitting fast food joints, there are less choices then if you went to, say, the Outback.

A lot of restaurants these days--especially the big chain ones--have little icons on the menu which indicate the "healthier" meals. Look at those first.

BG5150
07-17-2005, 09:59 AM
My girlfriend went on weight watchers once, and she said that one slice of pizza hut pizza was like, 30 points, and she only had 18 for a whole day to use, so I guess pizza hut is a no no.


All fine and good if your goals are the same as your girlfriend's--to fit into that size 6 by September.

ReelBigFish
07-17-2005, 11:32 AM
I think that's a bit excessive. A whole personal pan pizza is 17 points, I don't see a single slice being more than 7-12.

Actually one slice of pepperoni with hand tossed crust is 5 points. My mom has the books, she did that crap not long ago.

Patz
07-17-2005, 11:42 AM
A slice of pepperoni pizza, no matter where you get it (frozen or restaurant), will almost always be in the 300cal, 17g fat range. The same holds true for most foods. Portions (with the exception of somewhere like Scholtzsky's deli) will generally be the same, and macros will too. The little diferences shouldn't wreck your diet when eating out is an occasional practice anyway.

Sc00t
07-17-2005, 12:11 PM
Dunno maybe points in USA and points here are different? *shrug* maybe I just got it wrong, it was definatley over 10 points for a slice though, 100% sure on that.

jahutch
07-17-2005, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the info all. I appreciate it. A few thoughts.

First, regarding the little "this is healthy icons." Personally I find them useless, because the items on the menu with that icon are almost always tiny portions, and if you check the calories, the entree is like 300 calories. I'm a big dude, when I go to dinner, I want more than 300 calories. I don't mean to be stereotypical but it seems that the majority of the "this is healthy icons" are geared towards women on diets like weight watchers - not guys heavily into weight lifting.

ReelBigFish - 1/2 to 3/4 of an 8oz steak? You are kidding right? Maybe I'm a lost cause, but I can polish off a 16oz steak with no trouble. If I eat ALL of an 8oz steak with some veggies, I'm likely to go home and eat a bowl of cereal because I'm still hungry.

Regarding pizza - an entire large THIN CRUST pepperoni pizza from Dominos is 1500 calories. A lot of calories, but considering you can eat 1000 on some greasy burger from a fast food joint its not as bad as one might think. Note going with hand tossed ups the calories considerably. I mention this for the benefit of those who love pizza as a cheat meal :).

On the subject in general - I think you guys are right, the inability to know exactly how many calories I am eating is what gets to me. I can estimate stuff quite well now - but you always wonder what they "do" to stuff at restaurants, you know? haha. I suppose what I've been doing is right then... stick with beef/chicken. Lose the fries in favor of a salad. Sauces/dressings on the side. And so on. Then you at least know you are eating reasonably healthily, and you know you are getting plenty of protein. I guess not knowing the exact numbers is just something we bbing control freaks have to deal with haha :). I guess its good that while i watch what I eat in general, I am not TOO scientific about it, or I'd go insane with these restaurants.

thajeepster
07-17-2005, 12:15 PM
you can usually get away with a steak, plain baked potato, and steamed veggies at most restaurants without getting stares by your friends. Just make sure you get a lean cut, and dont go for the huge "dinner size" portions, alot of times they give you like a 12+oz steak. You dont need that much. The 5oz or 6-7oz portions are much cheaper and can help you from devouring too much.

ReelBigFish
07-17-2005, 06:38 PM
hutch I totally agree with you man. I figured you were worried about keeping your cals. in check. I may weigh only 145 but i used to be 200 and I can throw down some food. I can easily eat a 12 oz steak and all the sides that come with it. I'm the same way too about wanting to know how many calories are in what ever it is I'm eating.

beachmuscles
07-17-2005, 07:22 PM
I have the same exact problem...

I know for a fact you can eat healthy at Chilis. I go there and get grilled chicken, corn, rice and veggie. It's called guiltless chicken platter I think. There is also a few other ones such as Salmon with rice/black beans. It's also not too expensive meal usually comes out to about 10.00 with tip, I mean I'm sure its not optimal but good if you just wanna go out for a change. It shows everything protein/fat/carb/calories. I think most of them are around 350-500 cal meals.

ReelBigFish
07-18-2005, 12:03 AM
T.G.I. Fridays even has a couple meals now that they give cal. and fat content for. Grilled Chicken and Grouper I belive. They both come with veggies and rice and the chicken has a side of grilled veggies. they are both 500 cals and 10g. of fat by the way.

Unreal
07-18-2005, 08:57 AM
I went to claim jumper last night. Had a bowl of steak chili and a salad with light vinegarette. That was more than healthy until I got the chocolate chip calzone for desert and packed that down.

I wonder how many cals something like that. I put it on fitday as three large chocholate chip cookies and icecream. 800-900 cals which is probably accurate. Even with that was at 3100 cals for the day, and did well over 90 minutes of cardio so I was probably still below maintance even eating out with desert.

ddegroff
07-18-2005, 10:25 AM
one thing to remember is resturant portions are usually much bigger than you would make at home. I usually split it up and eat half later.

hoser813
07-18-2005, 10:46 AM
If your on the run, and you have an Arby's by you, their Market Fresh sandwhichs look pretty healthy, and Jack in the Box has some other healthy choices on their menu. You still shouldnt be frequenting fast food joints, but if you have to, try to find the healthiest thing on the menu.

beachmuscles
07-18-2005, 08:43 PM
You'd be amazed but there is a trainer at my gym, use to compete in the early 90's...I'll be sure to find out his last name, hes real old school though. He's about 7% bodyfat, and over 200lbs.

He tells me everyday he eats lunch at Wendy's...2 grilled chicken breast no bun, small chili, and a potatoe.

Shao-LiN
07-18-2005, 08:45 PM
Well, that's a relatively healthy meal. Grilled chicken, a potato and a small chili isn't exactly a stretch of junk food.

DannyboyXJ
07-18-2005, 11:10 PM
You'd be amazed but there is a trainer at my gym, use to compete in the early 90's...I'll be sure to find out his last name, hes real old school though. He's about 7% bodyfat, and over 200lbs.

He tells me everyday he eats lunch at Wendy's...2 grilled chicken breast no bun, small chili, and a potatoe.

Ditto.

I used to work at McDs and I'd simply cut up a couple grilled chicken breasts and make a dinner out of it. That or simply have a salad with some light dressing.

I never gained any wait while working there; even when I'd eat 2 meals a day there on work days...

As long as you pick the right stuff, even fast food can be pretty healthy...

--Dan.

Shao-LiN
07-19-2005, 06:45 AM
Ditto.

I used to work at McDs and I'd simply cut up a couple grilled chicken breasts and make a dinner out of it. That or simply have a salad with some light dressing.

I never gained any wait while working there; even when I'd eat 2 meals a day there on work days...

As long as you pick the right stuff, even fast food can be pretty healthy...

--Dan.

Total calories. You're in a deficit or at maintenance, no weight gain.

Unholy
07-19-2005, 07:32 AM
Definatly. In the weight gain sense a calorie is a calorie doesnt matter if you eat butter all day, as long as your under maintenance cals you will not gain weight. But if yo udo want to keep muscle and minimize fat gain your % breakdowns count.