Counting calories can be tricky. I will make plans, prepare, and be diligent… until the weekend. Those few days of social gatherings, outings, etc. can ruin a good week. I do not want my hard work Monday-Friday to be destroyed by a few poor choices.
One of the main ways I have learned to combat this dilemma is by learning to eat smart at restaurants. I want to enjoy my meal, be full, and not break my calorie bank… and with a little testing, here are some truly delicious meals UNDER 550 calories!
6 oz. Classic Sirloin* with Grilled Avocado (420 cal)
“Seasoned & topped with spicy citrus-chile sauce, grilled avocado slices, garlic roasted tomatoes, cilantro. Served with fresco salad.”
If you’re getting chips and salsa, skip the avocado, and definitely drink water to keep the calories low! Mmmm. I love steak.
This dish with salmon is only 540 calories! While salmon is my favorite fish, if you are looking to cut even more from this meal, try the “Simply Grilled Tilapia with Fresh Mixed Veggies,” which comes in at a low 380! I highly suggest adding a side of rice to keep you fuller, but it is 250 calories. Alternatively, grilled asparagus for 60 calories!
Guys, you have to watch it here. THOSE BREADSTICKS. Holy my goodness.
If you want to order real food, you’re going to have to skip the salad and breadsticks. OR you can order soup! The excellent Chicken & Gnocchi is 230, Minestrone is a low 110. There are even more options! Regardless, eating a salad (150 calories if you just eat 1 serving!) and soup would put you at 480. This way you can eat about 1/2 of a breadstick to meet your 550 goal, or go with the Minestrone soup and:
400~! You can have another breadstick. 🙂
Buffalo Wild Wings
Grilled Chicken Buffalitos for 500 calories!
Adding a side to this dish will most likely put you over the 550 mark, but not if you get the celery and carrot sticks!
The Cheesecake Factory
To be totally honest, there are not a lot of low-calorie options on the regular menu. It’s not my top pick when I am trying to lose weight, but when others want to go- it can be done!
The Skinnilicious menu has some great options.
For example, the Skinnylicious Grilled Turkey Burger is 500 calories. Veggies on the side would bring you up to 550.
Skinnylicious Chicken Soft Tacos are 500 calories as well!
This is A’s favorite restaurant. I get so weird about it.. like the food is great and they have a ton of options, but I always fight him about going here? I need to work on this. It’s weird.
The brilliant thing about cracker barrel is the fresh vegetables- you can order just about anything you want, and the calorie saving potential is real! Did you know you can get their chicken tenders grilled instead of fried as well?
This is one of my favorite go-to’s: grilled chicken tenders with mixed vegetables and greens. (Watch those biscuits though!)
Another option is the “Lighter Twist” menu. I highly recommend the Apple Cider BBQ Chicken Breast for 290. You get 2 sides with this dish: Fresh steamed broccoli for 40 & whole kernel corn for 180 brings your meal to: 510! Try not to blow it on a biscuit (160 calories).