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You can only make well informed decisions if you are well informed

The other day some friends and I went to the movies and following the movie, we stopped by IHOP. While everyone was going  around the table placing their order, I was surprised to hear one of my friends order the Appetizer Sampler, which includes mozzarella sticks, onion rings and crispy chicken strips, served with honey mustard and marinara sauce. I was surprised by his order because he was just telling me about his new weight loss goal and how he had been eating well for the past few weeks. I jokingly said, “Well, I guess tonight’s your splurge night,” and he genuinely replied, “What do you mean? I ordered a healthy option.” He went on to explain how he would have usually ordered something closer to the Breakfast Sampler, which includes two eggs, two bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two pieces of ham, hash browns and two fluffy buttermilk pancakes. So to him, the Appetizer Sampler was the better option.

If you have ever attended Bob Wright’s Restaurant Game lecture, then you probably know that it’s easy to underestimate the quality of produce and calories in restaurant dishes. As Bob preaches, the best way to know if you are making a wise decision is to be informed. Head to the restaurant with a game plan. The more familiar you are with the menu, the better able you will be to categorize dishes into “unwise, better, and best.”

Before going out to eat, I like to plan what I am going to order ahead of time. Usually, I’ll have at least two options in mind so I still have some wiggle room to change my order while I’m in the restaurant. Look up the nutrition facts before arriving to the restaurant. If you don’t have time to look up that information before sitting down to eat, there are several phone apps and websites that make it easy to find nutrition information. Personally, I find livestrong.com user-friendly and very informative. Finally, always chart your calories. Writing out the calories you consume and the calories you burn everyday can help determine your eating habits. Meeting your daily calorie goals also gives you a since of accomplishment everyday! Visit our Track Your Meals page for a free downloadable food journal. Had my friend done his homework, he would have known that although the Breakfast Sampler was still high in calories (1180 calories), it was about 600 calories less than what he thought was a healthier alternative (Appetizer Sampler-1780 calories)!

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