Be Careful with Those Salads

October 6, 2007 · 5 comments

Diet Blog points to an article on AOL (I didn’t even realize they had websites!) called Unhealthy Restaurant Salads that was a real eye-opener for me. It really shows why it is so important to pay attention to the details of what you are eating and the importance of education.

“I’ll just have a salad” is something I have uttered numerous times, often times accompanied with “and a bowl of soup.” Since I love the cream based soups and I like my salads with lots of junk on them like Caesar’s or Cobb’s I’ll bet there are numerous times when I have eaten 1500 calories at a sitting thinking I was eating healthy.

From the AOL article:

While Chili’s Southwestern Cobb Salad sounds scrumptious, it contains an unappetizing 970 calories — and that’s before you add the dressing. That’s more than half the amount of daily calories recommended for the average person trying to lose — or even maintain — weight. While we love a good Cobb salad, for those calories, you could chow down three medium sized slices of cheese pizza.

I’ve eaten that salad. I thought I was being good. 1000 calories before dressing! That’s crazy.  This reminds me of the shock I felt when I discovered that the foot-long Tuna sub meal I was eating at Subway was about twice as many calories as a Big Mac meal.

Paying attention to information like this can be the difference between success and failure.

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Skinny Guy October 6, 2007 at 12:12 pm

When you give up the control in preparing your meal to restaurants, you need to be extra vigilant because it’s a lot easier to make something sound healthy than it is to actually make it healthy.

That’s why I’m usually a PITA when ordering at restaurants. I also tend to tell the server that I’m going to be a PITA and then tip accordingly.

Israel October 7, 2007 at 12:20 am

whats a PITA?

john - from fat to fit October 7, 2007 at 6:58 am

“Pain In The Ass” - PITA

Skinny - As a waiter in a past life I can say I had to deal with many diet-related PITAs, and if more had taken the attitude that you do it would have been cool. Of course having lived in their shoes I tip very well myself, paying attention to things like tipping a lot more if I am preventing them from turning over a table like if I am killing time at an airport.

It’s not only about giving up control it’s also recognizing that you are also giving up portion size. While the calorie ratings are done on what the “recipe” calls for there is a lot of room for error and usually they err on the side of giving you more than they should.

Jennifer October 7, 2007 at 7:32 am

Definitely a good reminder- a lot of times I choose a salad for lunch at work as a healthy option. Since it’s a salad bar, I’m in control of the portions, and toppings, but I have to remind myself that I can take the healthy part away if I put too much “stuff” on top.

john - from fat to fit October 7, 2007 at 8:06 am

Being able to control your own portions is certainly a plus of salad bars. But I know for myself I am nowhere near controlled enough yet to be able to visit a salad bar, or any buffet for that matter, and refrain from piling on WAY too much stuff. I’d love to get there though.

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