Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years = time for a new weight…. but wait!.....

Trimming down is a popular New Year’s resolution and common calorie levels recommended for weight loss diets range from 1200- 1600 calories per day. (Individual needs will vary of course, depending on health background, age, sex activity levels etc- a perfect reason to consult with an experienced dietitian if you want to lose weight). What may be surprising is that many meals served in restaurants, sometimes even single items, can meet or exceed these levels alone! Imagine having one meal of prepared food that is the equivalent to what you should be eating in an entire day! Before you head out to your local eatery check out some interesting comparisons below:

Craving Mexican?
Chomp on a Grande quesadilla, oversized burrito or nachos with the works and it can easily add up to 1200-1500 calories, 60-80 grams fat, 80-100 grams carb and that doesn’t even include chips on the side!

Try healthier options like chicken or fish tacos, tortilla soup or a grilled chicken salad with salsa as the dressing and you will be in the figure friendlier range of 200-400 calories, 5-10 grams fat and 15- 30 grams carb. Having a side of black beans instead of rice or chips will add only 100-200 calories, 1-3 grams of fat, 15-30 grams carb, and as much as 8 grams of fiber!

Sitting down for a Chinese food meal?
Kung Pao Chicken, lo mein noodles or fried rice can be as much as 1200-1500 calories, 80-100 grams fat and 60-90 grams carb a plate!

Making the choice to have lettuce wraps or a Chinese chicken salad (wontons and dressing on the side), or steamed chicken/ fish with vegetables (sauce on the side) will be a more reasonable 200-500 calories, 3-10 grams of fat and 15-30 grams of carb.

Making way to mangia Italian?
Munching on various types pf pasta, or few slices of pizza and garlic bread easily amounts to 1200-1500 calories, 60-80 grams of fat and 90-120 grams of carb, if not more.

Having a grilled chicken salad or grilled chicken/fish with veggies (light on the oil) only leaves you taking in 300-500 calories, 5-12 grams of fat and 12-30 grams of carb. A cup of minestrone amounts to only 80-150 calories, 3-5 grams of fat and 12-24 grams of carb, with 3-5 grams of fiber too.

Heading to and ice cream shop? Want something sweet and frosty?
Gulp down a large milkshake or malt and you’ll swallow about 1200-1300 calories 30 grams of fat, 200 grams carb, and 187 grams of sugar!

Opt for a sugar free fudge bar [no sugar added] instead at only 40-50 calories, 0 grams fat and 13 grams carb or have a small soft serve nonfat frozen yogurt for 100 calories, 0 grams fat, 15-30 grams of carb.

*Note: specific restaurants are not listed as these are average listings taken form a variety of restaurants.

For more info and a complete guide to low-fat restaurant eating, click here

See examples of 1200 and 1600 calorie diets that actually include 3 whole meals and 3 snacks!

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