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Hungry Girl Today: 3.30.12

We thought it was time to revisit the den of zesty, fast-casual temptation known as Chili's. Before you dine, study up on this need-to-know info...

HG Heads-Up: The sodium content of the food at Chili's and similar chain restaurants is often pretty high. If you're watching your salt, you may want to shy away from restaurants like this.

Essential Beginning-of-the-Meal Tips

The appetizers are bad news. Trust us -- the only thing with less than 700 calories and under 50g fat per order is the Fried Cheese. That's hardly a smart starter.

Get in the house! The regular house salad, without dressing, has 150 calories and 6g fat. (See our dressing picks in the Salad Menu section below.) Skip the cheese and croutons, and it'll be even lighter. This is your best bet to start off your meal.

Keep away from those chips! They might seem reasonable because they're served with salsa and aren't bogged down with cheese but, um, THEY'RE NOT. These sneaky tostada chips clock in at 1,020 calories and 51g fat!

The Soup Scoop

While the calorie counts per cup aren't disastrous (160 - 210 calories), the fat content in Chili's soup lineup is a bit high for us (10 - 15g per cup). A bowl clocks in at 330 - 410 calories and 20 - 30g fat. However, since there are SO many nutritional grenades on the menu, you could do worse. The lightest pick is the Southwest Chicken & Sausage (PointsPlus