Make Over Your Restaurant Meals with Carryout

There are many benefits of getting your restaurant meals “to go”. You will not be tempted by the bread or chips and salsa that sit on your table as you are waiting for your meal. You can easily split a meal or eat a smaller “appropriate” portion and add a low calorie side such as a fruit or vegetable from home. Restaurants often use large serving dishes. At home you can use a smaller plate to gauge your portion size. Here are some examples of how to decrease the calories of your favorite restaurant meals by getting them “to go” and adding some healthy quick fix items from home.

Restaurant: Chipotle

Meal at Restaurant: Chicken Burrito and ½ order of chips. Total-1525 calories

Carryout Meal Makeover: Split meal and use healthier tortillas and fruit from home as a side.

Carryout Order: Burrito bowl with chicken, rice, black beans, tomato salsa, lettuce and cheese (565 calories). The contents of this bowl can be used for two meals.

From Home: Each half of the burrito bowl makes 2 smaller burritos using Mission Life Balance medium tortillas. Each tortilla is only 110 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 30 mg calcium, and has DHA omega 3 fatty acids yet is thin, soft and similar to Chipotle tortillas. Add a side of fruit, such as a cup of sliced strawberries (50 calories).

Total calories: 555 calories (for two smaller burritos using half the burrito bowl contents and Mission tortillas and 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries.)

End Result: You just cut 970 calories from this meal and added fiber, calcium, Omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins and antioxidants from the strawberries. All this goodness and you still got to have your Chipotle burrito.

Restaurant: Pizza Hut

Meal at Restaurant: 2 slices of large hand tossed crust pepperoni and mushroom (660 calories) and one cheese breadstick (200 calories). Total-860 calories

Carryout Meal makeover: Have a salad with plenty of vegetables and light dressing from home instead of the breadstick and exchange large slices for medium. Total-550 calories

Carryout Order: 2 slices of Pepperoni and mushroom medium pizza (460)

From Home: Side salad with lots of vegetables and light salad dressing (90)

End Result: You just cut 330 calories and added fiber, antioxidants, from the salad with plenty of vegetables while still getting to have your favorite pizza.

Restaurant: Olive Garden

Meal at Restaurant: Chicken Scampi (1020 calories) and two breadsticks (300 calories). Total-1320 calories

Carryout Meal Makeover: Split a meal, have just one breadstick and add vegetables from home as a side. Total- 680 calories

Carryout Order: ½ portion of Chicken Scampi, one breadstick

From Home: One cup steamed broccoli.

End Result: You just cut 640 calories added fiber, antioxidants and vitamins from the broccoli and you still got to have your favorite pasta meal.

Comments 1 comment

Jen 7 years ago

Awesome tips - thanks Pocket Book Dietician!!!

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