Published May 21, 2013

Hidden Healthier Menus at Your Fave Restaurants

by Helen M. Ryan
Woman illustrating Shh

What happens at a restaurant, doesn't stay at the restaurant. It goes right to your tummy. Or so it seems.

For me, one of the harder parts of losing weight is dining out. I am often shocked—floored, dumbfounded, rendered speechless—at the amount of calories and fat there is in seemingly innocent foods. I don't know about you, but I don't want to "spend" 1,000 calories and 30 grams of fat on a salad.

For those kind of calories, I want a pizza. Or nachos. Or a chocolate sundae.

I was very excited when I saw this article in Self Magazine. It's about the hidden, healthier menus at restaurants. I am not sure why these are hidden, because some of these really are true gems.

According to the article, Panera Bread, for example, has recently rolled out six "powerfood" menu items with some amazing nutritional numbers, including:

  • Power Breakfast Egg White Bowl with Roasted Turkey: 180 calories, 7g carbs, 25g protein
  • Power Breakfast Egg Bowl with Steak: 230 calories, 5g carbs, 20g protein
  • Power Chicken Hummus Bowl: 330 calories, 23g carbs, 33g protein
  • Power Steak Lettuce Wrap: 210 calories, 7g carbs, 28g protein
  • Power Mediterranean Chicken Salad: 360 calories, 12g carbs, 35g protein
  • Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey Salad: 320 calories, 12g carbs, 22g protein

Cosi is unveiling a 'for now' hidden 400 calorie Smart Fit Salad with kale, romaine, sweet potatoes, avocado, carrots, corn, black beans complete with honey-chipotle dressing made with Greek yogurt.

Want more? How about going off menu with "protein style" meals at  In 'N Out, Red Robin's Petite Burgers, Starbucks' "short" sized drinks, and the Ultimate Veggie Sandwich from Subway. Save a calorie here and there...because it all adds up.

There is indeed hope when dining out.