Best Restaurant Meals for Under 500 Calories
Everyone knows eating out can be a weight-loss battlefield. Luckily, we've got three guilt-free healthy dishes that you can order at your favorite restaurants, plus three popular foods to forget the next time you dine out.
What to eat: Beef and broccoli is your best bet when going out for Chinese food. Oyster sauce is one of the lowest calorie Asian sauces out there – and when half of your meal is vegetables, you’re cutting out a lot of unwanted calories. The true key though is to manage your portions. Measure out one cup of the beef and broccoli as your main dish and put the rest away. Then you will have enough room for two steamed pot stickers on the side! And it all comes out to just 495 calories.
What to avoid: Brown rice. People often think brown rice is the healthy option, but more often than not it’s cooked in butter, not steamed. Don’t be afraid to ask how the brown rice is prepared, and make sure to ask for steamed rice instead.
What to eat: Fajitas are a great option if you handle them correctly. A lot of Mexican restaurants give you the tortillas on the side. Go with chicken and veggies, but only use one tortilla. If you can resist the stack of carb-loaded tortillas, this dish ends up only being 484 calories.
What to avoid: Guacamole. While avocado is full of healthy fats, a little bit goes a long way. In a social setting at a restaurant, people tend to ignore the volume of what they’re eating, and can overindulge on this dip, packing on the calories.
What to eat: Stick with lean protein, like fish. This one is tough because most main courses at an Italian restaurant are doused in oil, so you can’t be afraid to be picky when ordering. If you order 4 oz. of fish, it’ll only cost you 150 calories, but make sure it’s cooked in light olive oil. Pair that with a side of grilled asparagus and a glass of red wine, and you’ve got a delicious healthy Italian meal for only 489 calories.
What to avoid: Olive oil. What a lot of people don’t realize is that olive oil is 100% fat. One tablespoon is 120 calories. And it’s everywhere at an Italian restaurant: with the bread, in your main course, and probably in every side dish. If you can avoid the pre-meal bread and oil, you will be in good shape.