Free Restaurant Items that Ruin Your Diet

When you’re eating at a restaurant and you’re on a diet, it is very important to make the right selections for your meals. The problem is that most restaurants are filled with little “traps” that could cause you to ruin your weight loss efforts, even when you feel as though you have made all of the right choices.

Some of the most dangerous items to your dieting efforts are those that are offered by restaurants for free with your meal. These are the items that can rapidly cause your calories, fats, and/or carbs to skyrocket, even when the meal itself was wisely selected. It only takes a few free add-ons to turn that ultra light garden salad into a high calorie and high fat disaster.
Consider the following free restaurant items that can send your diet completely off its rails:

  • Bread – nearly any sit-down restaurant will offer a basket of bread for you to eat while you wait for your meal to be prepared. Unfortunately, this can cause you to add hundreds of calories to your meal and a large number of carbs, without even noticing. This food that you don’t think of as “counting” can force your calorie count upward and can make it much harder for you to lose weight.
  • Butter, or oil and vinegar – it’s not just the free bread that can send your calories skyward, but also what you spread onto it. Spreading butter onto your bread or dipping it in oil and vinegar can easily double the calories of the bread, itself, boosting your fat intake, as well.
  • Salad dressing – that clever choice of a garden salad can rapidly go from a low calorie and low fat dinner selection to a dieting nightmare with the choice of the wrong salad dressing. Stay away from creamy dressings or sugary sweet options. Instead, either learn to love your salad without it, or opt for a simple combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This way, while you will still be adding some fat, it will be healthy fats that will assist the body to lose weight. Ask for the dressing on the side so that you can add only as much as you need instead of drowning each leaf.
  • Free refills – many restaurants will allow you to refill your beverage for free, particularly if you have ordered soft drinks or coffee. Soda is one of the fastest ways to spike your calories and should be avoided completely throughout your entire diet. If you are treating yourself to one rare glass of soda, then make sure that you don’t fall victim to the “bottomless glass” that will send your sugar based caloric intake out of control. Although coffee is extremely low in calories, that’s only if you drink it black. Avoid drinking one after the next that has been sweetened with sugar or honey, and softened with milk or cream.

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