It has been sweltering throughout much of the U.S., and while high temperatures and humidity can lead to eating light, hot weather can also result to unconsciously taking in hundreds of excess calories. Here are six major calorie traps you may unknowingly fall into while attempting to chill out–and what to reach for instead.
Trap #1: Choosing calorific salads
A garden salad is a natural choice on a hot day, but between dressing and toppings like cheese, nuts, avocado, and dried fruit, even healthful salads can pack as many calories as hearty hot dishes. For example, a Seared Ahi Salad at PF Chang’s contains 740 calories, 130 more than Shrimp Lo Mein. At CPK, a full portion of BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad with avocado contains 1,280 calories, 220 more than The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza with bacon. And at Chili’s, a Quesadilla Explosion Salad contains at 1,360 calories, 30 more than a Classic Bacon Burger – including the fries!
How to lighten up
When dining out, check out the nutrition facts online in advance, as well as a description of the meal, so you can plan some strategic omissions. A great rule of thumb is to avoid doubling up on similar ingredients. For example, the Chili’s salad includes both corn relish and corn tortilla strips. It’s also topped with shredded cheese, in addition to cheese quesadilla wedges. To avoid overload, pick your favorites, and forgo the can-live-withouts.