Should you start your restaurant meal with a salad to ‘save’ on calories?

November 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Are you saving your diet by starting with a salad?

I know, I know, we’ve been telling you forever to eat your veggies – you know this already…plate, plate, plate!

So what to do when you’re out at a restaurant where most dishes do not provide ½ a plates worth of vegetables? One might consider ordering a salad to start – but beware! Salads in a restaurant setting may be more than you bargained for. Let’s take a look at some of the calories restaurants post pertaining to the ‘starter’ salads they serve.

  1. The Keg: house salad – 170 calories, Caesar Salad – 350 calories
  2. Earls: Mixed green salad – 230 calories, Caesar Salad – 553 calories
  3. Montana’s: House starter salad – 70 calories (not bad actually!), Caesar Salad – 370 calories
  4. White Spot: The Spot salad – 186 calories, Caesar Salad 567 calories

…you get the idea. What that means is that by starting with a salad, you’ve likely just added a minimum of 200 calories to your meal. And without that salad right on your plate displacing some of the other higher calories items – you’re likely going to eat all of them too; thanks starter salad – for nothing!

So what do I suggest? Ask for steamed veggies with your meal. And ask for them prepared with little or no added fat. You’ll pay extra for these but you were going to pay for the salad anyway ;)