Picking a winner

Yesterday my father and I traveled to Maryland for my bi-annual visit with my grandmother. In our typical fashion we picked up my grandmama and took her to one of the local restaurants. Since we didn’t want to be too casual, we selected TGIFriday’s over Panera (we’re so classy).

I sat down, opened the menu, and what did I see? Thousands upon thousands of calories. Seriously, they put them on the menu. I know that there are plans to put calorie content on menus in the future, but Maryland has already started. It was shocking and appalling. The items I would typically consider boasted 1200 calories or more. Well there was no way I would willingly consume my daily caloric intake at lunch. So I scrutinized the menu for an item with a more appropriate amount.

Sad to say there were very few items less than 750 calories. Choosing from these options I found a chicken dish with a side of broccoli and rice that suited my fancy. The other options were not as appetizing (to me at least). As for my family, my father threw caution to the wind and ordered a sandwich with fries. What was confusing about the calorie count was the fact that the menu said his meal was 1250 calories and separately it noted that the fries were 400. I couldn’t tell if that meant it was 1650 or just 1250. Perhaps I’m over analyzing it?

Thanks to this trip, I’m going to start rethinking my restaurant selections. Most of the time when I go out I don’t consider what I’m putting into my body, I just enjoy myself and splurge. As great as that has been, I need to focus on selecting the healthier items. Perhaps this will light a fire under my ass to start cooking more…

What do you think about calorie content on menus? Do you think it will change your ordering habits?

On a happier note, the winner of the Chobani giveaway is…

Congratulations Cheryl!  Please e-mail me with your contact information so we can get that case of yogurt headed your way. For those of you who didn’t win, I suggest getting out to the store and trying a new flavor. Greek yogurt is a fantastic snack option and Chobani has a ridiculous number of flavors to enjoy.

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About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in Life, Product and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. When I saw the calories on the food at California Pizza Kitchen, I about died! My favorites were way up there in the 1500 calorie range. I tried to justify it to myself by remembering that I don’t ever eat a whole CPK pizza at once, but wow. Seeing the number like that sure makes you think twice.*

    • I had no idea that each pizza was that many calories! Typically I get a half salad at CPK, but I feel like even that has too many calories. I think I may have to start making “healthier” pizzas at home, at least that way I have some idea of how much cheese and other ingredients are going into it.

  2. Ever since I started trying to lose weight I look up nutrition info before I’ll even go to a restaurant. Buffalo Wild Wings is now off the list forever. Life is hard.

  3. Since you’re moving to California you will find almost every restaurant menu has the calorie content displayed…you’ll also see them posted on the board menus at places like Panera, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, etc. I think he small mom & pop places don’t yet. It has most definitely changed what I order and where I go out to eat. And I don’t think it’s a bad idea for the consumer…maybe bad for the restaurant…but I read one survey that found most people still ordered what they normally would regardless of the calories. I can’t live that carefree (or carelessly).

    • I definitely can’t live that carefree! I see those numbers and immediately make a better choice (which is probably a good thing?). I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous to see the calorie content whenever I go out, but it will probably be good for my waistline!

  4. I do what Sarah does–look up the calorie info on their website before we go to the restaurant. It’s hard though–we can never just spur of the moment go to a restaurant, because I’m so Type A that I HAVE to know the calories ahead of time. BUT, it’s like, hmmm, can I really TRUST the number they have listed?!! What if the chef that day wants to add in three extra pats of butter or something and it throws everything off!? Hahaha…. I mostly cook at home now because of this. We used to go out a lot more, but it definitely saves us money {and calories} by eating at home.

    • You are so right, the chef has the liberty to add a little extra of this or that which can really change the calorie content of a dish. I may have to start doing my research before going out. That or I’ll have to start cooking…

  5. Have you ever looked at the website eat this, not that? It TOTALLY changed the way I look at foods in restaurants!!

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