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Caution: Offensive Restaurant Nutritionals Ahead!
Shocking Restaurant Nutritionals... AHHHH!
Our inbox has been FLOODED with emails about this story since it broke about two weeks ago. In case you're unfamiliar with it, here's the scoop. Eight Scripps-owned TV stations in different cities had reporters order a total of about twenty so-called "healthier" meal options at Applebee's, Macaroni Grill, Chili's, Cheesecake Factory, etc. The food was then sent to a lab to be tested, to see if the nutritional stats provided by the restaurants were accurate. The results were ASTOUNDING, to say the least. The worst offender of the bunch was one of the Pollo Magro "Skinny Chicken" samples from Macaroni Grill. It contained nowhere near the "less than 6g fat and 500 calories" the menu claims (let alone the 330 calories and 5g fat listed on the website's nutritional page) -- it actually had over 1,000 calories and just under 50 grams of fat. INSANE! (FYI, a "Skinny Chicken" sample taken from another city actually had only 320 calories, but still contained 14g fat. So you never know!) All four items that were tested from the Chilis Guiltless Grill menu contained more than twice the fat they should have had -- the Guiltless Chicken Platter actually had more than 30g fat, as opposed to the 9 grams claimed by Chili's! Many of the other offerings had about 100 more calories and 13 additional fat grams than they were supposed to. Instead of just crying over this, let's be reasonable and take away some valuable info here...
1. You can never fully trust the restaurant nutritionals you read on websites and menus. There are too many unknowns (like who is actually preparing the food, how closely they follow directions and measurements, etc.).
2. Pay VERY close attention to your food. If the portion seems WAY too large to have the calories listed, chances are it has more calories. If it is supposed to have 6g fat and it is floating in oil, trust us -- it DOESN'T contain just 6 grams of fat (sorry!).
3. For more control over your meal, special order when you can -- even the "lighter" dishes. Ordering things grilled or steamed with sauce on the side is the best way to go.
4. Ordering items listed as "diet-friendly" or "light" is still probably better than ordering standard menu options -- if the stats are off on the lighter dishes, just imagine how bad the regular stuff could really be!
For full lab results on the items tested, click here -- it's worth checking out.
Spotted on Shelves...
They're all sweet snacks this week... just a friendly warning!
NEW Fiber One Chewy Bars! - Okay, do NOT freak out, people, but we have gotten official word that the world-famous Fiber One Chewy Bars are being shipped to supermarkets (starting this week!) in two NEW flavors -- Oats & Apple Streusel (130 calories, 2g fat, 9g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*), and Oats & Strawberries with Almonds (140 calories, 3g fat, 9g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*)! We've tasted these new bars, and they are REALLY amazing (especially the apple ones!). So keep an eye out for 'em -- it may take a good month or so for them to get to all your stores, but be patient.
S'mores Alert! - Apparently there are TWO new guilt-free s'mores options that are being spied on shelves! There are Hersheys Smores Snacksters (1 package = 100 calories, 3g fat, 0g fiber -- POINTS® value 2*). Each of those snack packs comes complete with all the appropriate elements -- chocolate chips, mini grahams, and mini marshmallows! And there are also Honey Maid Mini S'mores -- pre-assembled tiny s'more sandwiches, and you can have 9 of 'em for 150 calories, 6g fat, and <1g fiber (POINTS® value 3 - 4*, depending on if you round up or down for fiber). S'more it up!
Betty Crocker Cupcake Mixes - These (approximately) 9-oz. boxes are PERFECT for all of the HG recipes that call for "half-the-box" of cake mix (like our Death by Chocolate Cupcakes and Caramel Pumpkin Pudding Cupcakes!), and they come in Yellow and Devil's Food. The stats are pretty much the same as regular cake mix, so it's all about using the mixes in creative ways to make guilt-free goodies. This is exciting news -- especially if you've been using half the box of cake mix and storing the rest in a Ziploc bag (we find that annoying, too -- it's not just you)! Pssst... each box even comes with 12 cupcake liners! Woohoo!
New Fiber One Bars Are HERE... Don't Faint!
Free Samples, Fun Sweepstakes, & Tour News... YAY!
Free Flavored Splenda - Get Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Flavors for Coffee in French Vanilla for FREE. Click here to nab your TWO free sticks, while supplies last.
Moms Rock! - Did you miss Mother's Day (whoops!) or are you a deserving mom yourself? Check out LifesBestDays.com for a chance to win a celeb-studded keepsake book that celebrates moms, from our friends at Quaker. Also, 5,000 folks will each win a free photo book from Shutterfly to personalize with their own family memories.
HG Hits San Diego - Yep, we're still at it. This is the very last official date on the HG book tour (for now!), so don't miss the fun, prizes, book signing, free snacks and general excitement this Thursday, June 5th! Near San Diego? Click here for the full 411 and here to RSVP. And keep an eye out for some additional Hungry Girl tour dates -- they'll be popping up soon (PROMISE!!!!).
Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World isn't the only must-have book of the season. The latest page-turner in our carry-on luggage is a candid, touching memoir called Moose, by Stephanie Klein. The book is a very real, honest, and insanely well-written account of the author's life as a chubby adolescent at "fat camp", and it'll make you laugh -- and cry. We love Stephanie and this book, so check it out! ***On a totally different subject, we've heard that Starbucks has decided to ditch their sugar-free mocha syrup, so their Skinny Mochas will be a thing of the past. Don't fret, though -- Skinny Lattes in Vanilla, Hazelnut, Cinnamon Dolce, and Caramel will all stick around! ***A recent study out of Canada has found that drinking caffeinated coffee before eating cereal (even low-sugar cereal) could actually spike your blood sugar levels significantly more than drinking decaf with your cereal. It is suggested that full-caf coffee alters the body's response to sugar, raising blood sugar levels once the carbs from the cereal hit your system. If you watch your sugar levels, click here for the full scoop. ***We love NYC's brand-new "Burn Calories, Not Electricity" campaign -- it's brilliant! And did you know that climbing stairs burns about 700% as many calories as standing in an elevator does? Click here to learn more. That's all we've got. HG out!
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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints™ values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints™ trademark.
SmartPoints™ value not what you expected?Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints™ values on our website.