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It seems it can be difficult to stay on a diet when eating out is on the agenda.  But steering clear of high calories and high fat can be a whole lot easier by passing on these five types of restaurants.  

1. Fast Burger Places

Although this seems like a no brainer, skip the enticing burger and french fries.  You probably will not have the will power to skip the fries even though your goal may be the chicken salad on the menu. Burgers generally are not the problem.  It's the secret sauce, slices of cheese and giant sized bun that up the calorie and fat counts.  Plus who can resist the smell and taste of french fries? Picture a burger weighing in around 700-800 calories on its own for most fast food restaurants.

2. Chinese Fast Food

Chinese food can be loaded with calories, sodium and fat thanks to the oils, noodles and deep fried batter added to good things like vegetables. Count on 1000 calories and up per dish, so splitting them with a friend is a good option.

3. Fried Chicken Drive-thru

Just the "fried" in the name alone should give a clue to steer clear of these front doors. There are 1800 calories in a plate of fried chicken and biscuits at your local Perkins restaurants.  And once you order the fried chicken, a side of mashed potatoes and gravy are sure to follow, so add in another 330 calories for Popeye's mashed potatoes and gravy with 1700 grams of sodium.

4.Barbecued Rib Places

Although barbecue sauce is lower in calories than buttermilk ranch for dipping chicken fingers, the "Big Slab" of barbecue ribs from Famous Dave's, with the full meal including a corn muffin and two sides of french fries and baked beans, has 2,770 calories and 4,320 mg of sodium.  An average male of 180 pounds only needs 1,800 calories per day to maintain his weight, and that amount in one meal is almost double the needed intake.  Plus, the American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

5. Deep Dish Pizza Joints

The words "deep dish" are pretty much in the same family as "deep fried". The additional dough and cheese that fills this void will make a mark on your diet intake. According to CalorieKing.com, even a medium slice of deep dish cheese pizza (sans sausage or pepperoni) weighs in around 400 calories.  And who eats just one slice of pizza? The key here is thin crust and add veggies. That's one way to still have pizza and keep to your diet plan.

Although making healthy choices are possible at any of these places, avoiding them altogether can help stop the temptation. Better yet, have a plan in mind and prepare your food at home or order on the phone before you're enticed to impulsively order at the restaurant.

If you have any health or fitness related questions, please feel free to reach out on Facebook or email me directly at andrea@womensforum.com.

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