• Bob, these tips are what I live by as I spend so much time on the road. Staying healthy by following these tips is actually VERY easy!

    From Lyle Orr
    July 24, 2011

A Lesson on Restaurant Games: The Xtreme Eating Awards

Even as obesity rates continue to climb, American restaurants continue to find creative ways to pile on the calories.  Applebee’s new advertising  campaign slogan suggests you should get your food, “stacked, stuffed and topped”.  An article in this month’s issue of one of my favorite health newsletters, Nutrition Action Health Letter, exposes some of the worst restaurant items you can order. Dubbed the XTEAM 8

 Here they are: ( for comparison, the average adult should consume about 2000 calories, 1500 – 2300 mg of sodium and 20 gms of saturated fat per day)

Restaurant – Menu Item – Calories – Sodium (mg) – Saturated Fat (g)

IHOP – Monster Bacon ‘N Beef Cheeseburger – 1250 cal – 1590 mg – 42 g

Denny’s – Fried Cheese Melt – 1260 cal – 3010 mg – 21 g

Great Steak – Extra Large King Fries – 1500 cal – 4980 mg – 33 g

Applebee’s – Provolone Stuffed Meatballs with Fettuccine – 1520 cal – 3700 mg  – 43 g

Cheesecake Factory – Farmhouse Cheeseburger (with out fries) – 1530 cal – 3210 mg – 36 g

Cheesecake Factory – Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake – 1540 cal – 59 g

Cold Stone Creamery – PB&C Shake – 2100 cal – 68 g

Morton’s – Porterhouse Steak (24 oz.), mashed potatoes and creamed  spinach – 2570 cal – 2980 mg – 85 g

Fried Cheese Melt from Denny's


As Bonnie Liebman, director of nutrition if the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the organization that publishes the Nutrition Action Healthletter, puts it,” It’s as if the restaurants were targeting the remaining one out of three Americans who are still normal weight in order to boost their risk of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer. Of course all restaurants, including those mentioned above, have better choices as well.

The following tips can help you consistently make the better choices, and keep calories under control.

  • Keep hunger under control by having regular meals and metabo meals, when you are very hungry its’ hard to make wise choices.
  • Scan the menu, ideally online, before you go to the restaurant and categorize your choices into the Unwise Better Best options.
  • If there are no good choices on the menu, create your own meal by requesting the entrée with sauce on the side, a side of “naked” veggies and house salad, dressing on the side.
  • If you choose to have alcohol, don’t order it until you have placed your food order, remember “resolve dissolves in alcohol”.
  • Take steps to manage portions, for example, split  entrees with a friend or a partner, order “half to go”, order the small portion.
  • Always order salad dressing and other sauces on the side and use the “dip and spear technique”.
  • When given the choice you choose the restaurant. Some restaurants are like Seasons 52 are catering to those who want healthier, calorie controlled choices. If there is a restaurant in your area that offers healthier options, support it and spread the word.
  • Except for occasional special occasions, pass on the appetizer and dessert.
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