By Dr Harry
One of life's treats is eating out at a restaurant. But it can be difficult to control exactly how many calories you are consuming. If you are trying to maintain a stable weight, the thought of eating out can be stressful. When you visit a restaurant not only are the portion sizes difficult to judge, but you can't be sure what goes into this sauce or that dish. It's not like when you are at home and cooking for yourself, but it’s not something I want to give up either.
So when I visited McDonalds the other day (to research this article, of course!) I was struck by how each menu item on display had a little box clearly showing how many calories are in each serving. So the Fruit Bag was 42 calories, while the McFlurry (ice cream) was 410 calories!
When I was given my tray, the trayliner (which on one side shows the latest promotion) has on the reverse side a table of nutritional information - which goes into a lot of detail about the fat, sugar content etc. of all the food and drink. The McDonald’s Android app also makes it extremely simple to see this info.
Intrigued by this discovery I've started to look for nutritional information in all the places I eat.
Since my wife and I spend a lot of Friday evening's after a long working week at the Asian fusion restaurant Wagamama, I was quite disappointed to find that there is no nutritional information displayed in their restaurant, on their menu or even on their website. The “Frequently Asked Questions” section on there does promise that this will be coming in the next few months.
Another place we frequently visit is Nando's. Goodness knows how many Nando's I've eaten but I imagine it's over one hundred.
Good news here; their website contains menu listings with calorie and nutritional information, allowing me to tot up the calories of one dish versus another. So checking out my favourite food combinations I can see that 1/2 chicken, chips and corn equals 778.6 calories (they are very precise!)
I also usually have a "bottomless" soft drink, which in reality is 2 or 3 glasses of coke or fanta; another 200-300 calories. Sometimes we have dessert - which is usually a mouthwatering chocolate cake. Unfortunately I have just learnt the caloric cost of this - another 733 calories! I might have to share one next time.
The calorie total for one such meal is a trouser-stretching 1750 calories. The guideline daily calorie consumption for adults is between 1800 and 2500 calories, so that one Nando’s meal is okay if you don’t plan on eating much else that day!
If this information became more widespread in restaurants I think it would be helpful for those who want to keep their calorie intake within sensible limits. This can be useful to ensure you don't end up over-consuming which might lead to fat creep.
Until all my favourite restaurants do publish this information I will have to use satiety as my guide. And continue to track my weight weekly using the Fat Creep™ weight tracker app.
Although your personal finances and your business success are my primary interest, I believe you only operate at peak efficiency when you're fit and healthy. If you feel good, it filters through to your work. To help you with that, click for your free ebook: The Quick Guide to Sexy