Many health-conscious people dread dining out. Restaurant food is meant to please your palate, so it commonly contains excess sodium, fat, sugar or all three. The good news is that eating out doesn't have to cause anxiety. While restaurant chains like Rib Crib do contain high-calorie items, you can implement some adjustments so dining out fits within your diet.
Pack on the Veggies
Rib Crib serves a variety of vegetables, so make these a base for your meal. Vegetables are low in calories and high in volume thanks to fiber content, which helps fill you up. Swap out a higher calorie side such as French fries or baked potato with grilled vegetables. Avoid putting any extras such as butter or dressing on the vegetables. Another tip is to eat your vegetables first, recommends Hope Warshaw in her book "Eat Out, Eat Well."
Be Careful With the Salads
It may seem like a good idea to have a salad when you're watching your calories. However, not all salads are created equal. The salads at Rib Crib are calorie-dense. For example, the dynamite chicken salad contains close to 700 calories, 61 grams of carbs, 58 grams of protein and 23 grams of fat. The lowest calorie salad on the menu is the smoked chicken salad, which contains 420 calories, 27 grams of fat, 40 grams of protein and 5 grams of carbs. Share your salad or divide it into smaller portions, and save the rest.
Diving into the Barbecue
Let's face it, Rib Crib specializes in barbecue, and it's likely that you may want to indulge. Keep in mind that the sauces on the dish and the cut of the meat play a role in the calorie content, so choose wisely. One of the better options on the menu is the beef brisket, which contains 210 calories, 24 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs and 15 grams of fat. The barbecue sandwich is 600 calories, so divide it in half and save the rest for another time. A full portion has 26 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs and 14 grams of fat.
Despite being known for its barbecue, Rib Crib offers a variety chicken and turkey dishes that are lower in calories than many other menu items. The grilled chicken with broccoli contains just 200 calories, 2 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Leave out the biscuit if you want to keep the calories down. Another low calorie option is the smoked turkey with green beans. It contains 220 calories, 18 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat. You can add barbecue sauce to either of these dishes. Keep in mind it contains 60 calories per 2 tablespoon serving.
- Everyday Health My Calorie Counter: Complete Nutritional Information on More Than 8,000 Food Items from Popular Brands, Fast-Food Chains, Restaurant Menus, and Common Groceries; Maureen Namkoong MS RD
- Eat Out, Eat Well: The Guide to Eating Healthy in Any Restaurant; Hope Warshaw