You know that turkey burger you opt for when you’re out with the girls who end up chastising you for always choosing the healthiest thing on the menu while making them feel guilty as they order potato skins and anything that comes with fries and is oozing with cheese? That’s right,that turkey burger, you savvy eater. Good for you for being able to look a double bacon cheeseburger with fries in the face and refuse its allure. You can certainly order one more glass of vino for all the calories you’ll be saving yourself this meal time!Or can you?
Ah, the hidden fats and calories that lurk in every restaurant meal. You really never do know what you’re getting do you?
Which is especially true if you find yourself living in an area that is way too overpopulated with franchises and you consider a gourmet italian meal to come from the likes of a Macaroni Grill.(Houston, we got a big problem!)
Have you noticed the calorie counts that accompany every single meal on a franchised menu these days? How do these places stay in business? My conspiracy theorist tendency has me believing that Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Hydroxycut, Atkins, South Beach and all other diet meccas have come together and secretly financed the uprising of these franchises so as to seduce the American population with salt, sugar and fat—the three things the human brain can not defend against—in an effort to become billionaires! How seedy.
Did you know that the ‘healthiest’ thing on the menu at the Cheesecake Factory is something aptly called the ‘Weight Management Grilled Chicken’. This comes in at just a hair under 600 calories. Try finding anything else that comes close to that number on the menu and I’ll buy you a cheesecake. (Go ahead, try.. there are at least 20 pages to that menu to boot!)
Anyway, back to the turkey burger. So there you are, out on the town with the girls hitting the neighborhood hot spot, Ruby Tuesday. (If this is in fact your neighborhood hot spot you may want to consider moving.) And since you’re feeling rather saucy tonight and you didn’t drive, your gal pal with the Dodge Durango got you there safely, you decide you’re going to imbibe on a few cocktails, consuming most of your calories in liquid fashion. Hence, the turkey burger, wait… make that theavocado turkey burger, because somewhere along the way you heard and know for a fact that avocados have heart-healthy fats. You go you pioneer of healthy eating, all the other girls are now looking up to you!
Here is comes though cowgirl, the harsh reality that is going to send you flying off that high horse into a pile of fat grams and calories. That avocado turkey burger, from your favorite hot spot, comes at ya with a whopping 1,130 calories, 68 grams of fat and 62 grams of carbs (for all you carb haters out there). How’s that for trying to do the right thing?
So be careful even when you’re 99% certain it’s a healthy thing because if it’s coming from a restaurant or a savvy marketer, the one thing you can be certain about it that you can’t be certain about anything. (Prime example, Wendy’s newest campaign is centered around promoting its new ‘natural-cut’ french fries. Um… seriously? They probably poured more money into focus groups trying to find a way to get the word ‘natural’ to be somewhere in their marketing and all they came up with was ‘natural-cut’? What does that even mean? I’m pretty sure thousands now feel quite pious when ordering them though… job well done oh savvy marketer!)
So think twice before you order that turkey burger as the potato skins may actually end up being the healthiest thing on the menu… so long as you eat the skin!Anne Marie Costanzo is a nationally certified personal trainer and owner of Little Black Dress Personal Training. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (914) 841-1121.