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ORDER UP: Tips For Ordering at Restaurants

Updated: Mar 18, 2022

  1. Request sauces and dressings on the side to control your added fat and sodium.

  2. Order without cheese to save between 50-110 calories.

  3. Portions matter. Order the size you wish to be, such as small vs. biggie.

  4. A 4-oz. serving of meat is the same size as the palm of a woman’s hand.

  5. Drink a glass of water while waiting for your food. It will aid with #digestion and help you to feel full.


We lean toward Chick-fil-A because of its clean, white packaging, the chicken that’s notoriously lower in fat than most places’ beef patties, and its sparkling playgrounds. Don’t be deceived. You can do just as much damage here as you can at McDonald’s.

When you compare Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Biscuit (440 cal/17g protein/47g carbs/20g fat/3g fiber/1240mg sodium) to McDonald’s Southern Style Chicken Biscuit (410 cal/17g protein/41g carbs/20g fat/2g fiber/1180mg sodium), you can see there’s not much difference. If you are a woman watching your waistline, this could be as much as a third of your day’s caloric budget.

Instead, pick Starbucks’ Egg White, Spinach, and Feta Wrap (280 cal/19g protein/33g carbs/10g fat/6g fiber/830mg sodium), and keep it light with black coffee. I’ve found at #Starbucks that the longer the drink name, the more sugar it may contain. Grande tea? Zero sugars. Grande brewed coffee? Zero Sugars. Grande Caffé Vanilla Light Blended Frappuccino®? 39 grams of sugar.


You’ve only got an hour, so you pop into Holiday Deli & Ham with a friend and aim directly for the salads. You decide upon the seemingly innocuous Asian Chicken Salad (833 cal/47.6g protein/49.8g carbs/53.3g fat/12g fiber/555.2mg sodium) when the better pick would actually be the Strawberry Mandarin Salad (238 cal/8.3g protein/30.4g carbs/11.9g fat/8.3g fiber/24.4mg sodium).

Watch for hidden sodium in salads and bread. Asian-style foods are often prepared with loads of soy sauce, which means a heavy dose of sodium.


It’s tempting to grab for anything within reach when your blood sugar drops between lunch and dinner. Have a healthy choice ready to go. Instead of a single scoop of Baskin-Robbins’ Cherries Jubilee with 240 calories and 12 grams of fat per 4 oz. scoop, pick up the same size, satisfyingly flavorful TCBY Mountain Blackberry fat-free frozen yogurt for just 80 calories.


It’s time to connect with the family for dinner after a busy day. The kids want to go to someplace with crayons and coloring sheets, and you don’t want to cook. Instead of Red Robin, where the specialty burgers average 1100 calories, 50 grams of protein, 50 grams of fat, and more than 60 grams of carbs, stop into local favorite Huey’s (now in Germantown), and guiltlessly enjoy a Heart Healthy Low Fat Huey Burger with a side salad (500 calories/32g protein/9g fat/40g carbs).


Robin Beaudoin

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