Now I think we all know that eating out is not usually the healthiest choice, but do we REALLY know how badly it can sabotage our diet efforts? I, for one, was SHOCKED when I started to track my food and calories online. I could estimate with pretty decent accuracy the foods that I ate at home (thanks to the nutrition labels), but when it came to eating out, I was seriously mistaken (usually thinking I had eaten half as much as I had). For instance, as Kelly has pointed out in her food diary comparison with Carl’s Jr, I found this out at Qdoba (but it could be any burrito place like Chipotle).
Take this as an example:
Qdoba Mexican Grill -Queso Burrito with Steak, Rice, 3-Cheese Queso, Beans, Sour Cream, Cheese, Lettuce, Pico de Gallo, Roasted Chile Corn has 1,240 calories and 46 grams of fat! That’s more than my DAILY goal of calories, all in one dangerous silver aluminium bullet. And that doesn’t count any soda or chips or guacamole someone might order!
Check out the calorie calculator on their website! (I have to given them props for at least having the nutrition info so easily available) It really wracks up the calories for every item you add! And while most of the ingredients are healthy (they even have whole wheat flour tortillas after all!), it is still A LOT of food (huge portions) and a lot of high cal, high density foods. I still like these places, but usually now Britton and I will share a naked burrito with lots of lettuce, less rice and no tortilla (the tortilla alone is 300 calories!!) or Britton eats most of the tortilla.
In comparison, I can eat a healthy burrito at home and save more than half those calories!
Here is the calorie breakdown of this meal. You will notice that rice is missing -there is no need for rice in a burrito since you already have the tortilla and the black beans. Rice is just an extra source of carb cals. Also there is a lot more vegetables than you get at the restaurants.
Toufayan Bakeries -Low Carb, Low fat Whole Wheat Tortilla Wrap= 140 calories, 3 g fat
Fage 0% Greek Yogurt (in place of sour cream) =50 calories, 0 g fat
Black beans =1/2 cup -120 calories, 1 g fat
Late July Organic multi-grain Tortilla chips =7 chips for 60 calories, 3 g fat
Lettuce, tomatoes, peppers -50 calories, 0 g fat
Rotisserie Chicken breast -2 oz -50 calories, 1 g fat
.5 oz cheddar cheese ~50 calories, 5 g fat
Total: 520 calories, 13 g fat!
That is a huge savings of 720 calories! And cheese was probably the densest of all the food, but I only ate a little of it. Still, that’s a lot of food for a little bit of calories! And I still had over 700 calories left to eat the rest of the day, unlike the huge Qdoba burrito.
As we go out to eat and see the calories, we will try and point out how eating out, even when you think you’re doing well can seriously sabotage your diet. It’s a good lesson to remember to always either share your food when you go out, get half in a box to go or get the child’s size portion -even the healthy choices. And above all, try to make the vast majority of your food from home rather than from a restaurant.
Question of the Day: What are some additional healthy fixins that you have added to your homemade burritos?