It’s a good rule of thumb these days to eat and prepare your own food if you want to eat healthy. It’s also much more beneficial for your bank account too. But the pull of the best steakhouse and seafood restaurants can be difficult to resist, especially when you’re out on a date or hanging out with good friends.
But how can you eat in these places and still remain healthy? Of course, the first rule is moderation. Don’t go to these places every day, and don’t eat too many meals.
Here are some tips on the healthiest options to order:
- Get a top sirloin. A serving of 9 ounces comes in at less than 400 calories. That’s only a few more calories than what you get from the same size of a skinless chicken breast. Just get 7 ounces and you can get that intake to less than 300 calories. If you see any visible fat, just trim it off.
- Order a filet. With 9 ounces, it tops off at about 340 calories, and you get a lot of protein in the bargain. That’s great for muscle growth. Reduce the serving to just 6 ounces, and the calorie count drops to 220 calories.
- Share a New York strip. It’s true that on a per-ounce basis, this cut has the same number of calories as a chicken breast. The problem is that the servings usually are much too large, so you can end up with 12 ounces of meat with 650 calories. Divide that by 2, and problem solved.
- Find a healthy side dish. This can be broiled tomatoes, sautéed spinach, or steamed broccoli. You get lots of vitamins and minerals without going over 160 calories. You can get asparagus too, though you need to say no to the hollandaise. All these side dishes are commonly found in good steakhouses.
- Say no to prime rib. This isn’t what you want if you’re trying to lose weight. A small serving is at least 900 calories. The more common 12-ounce serving wallops you with more than 1300 calories. You also get 2.5 days of your recommended fat allowance.
- Avoid the creamed spinach. You get lots of fat and 880 calories. Just go with sautéed, okay?
- Avoid the high-calorie toppings. These include bleu cheese crumbles, lobster, shrimp, and mushrooms. They can add an extra 200 calories.
- Start with shrimp cocktail or oysters on the half shell. If the restaurant has seafood options, these are good choices. You limit your calorie intake and maximize the protein.
- Go for the gumbo. Each cup offers just 200 to 250 calories. If you need to cut that down even more, you can just tell the waiter to hold the rice.
- Steamed, broiled, or grilled. These are the cooking methods you want, whether you’re ordering fish, shrimp, or lobster. Each 6-ounce serving can offer 300 calories at the most, and some even have only 150 calories.
- Order steamed or grilled veggies too. You can also get mixed greens, or perhaps a spinach salad with just light vinaigrette. These are better alternatives to French fries, coleslaw, or onion rings.
- Keep away from the fried platters. A typical seafood platter comes with 1,300 calories along with at least 80 grams of fat. Your better option is to ask for grilled seafood instead, since frying can triple the calorie count. Then replace the French fries with veggies, and your meal comes in at a more reasonable 400 to 500 calories.
The best steakhouse and seafood restaurants don’t have to be places of temptation. With a little bit of knowledge and discipline, you can have a good time in these and still make sure you don’t over-indulge.