Turkey Bacon vs. Center-Cut Bacon, Plus Bar-Night Survival Tips!

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Hey, Hungry Girl!

Love your recipes! I've got a question though. Your recipes with bacon often call for "center-cut bacon or turkey bacon." When you list the nutritional information, is that with the center-cut pork bacon or the turkey bacon? Thanks so much!

Baffled by Bacon

Hi Baffled,

Great question! You're right -- we do call for those types of bacon interchangeably. When it comes to real (pork) bacon, we always go for the center-cut kind -- it's sliced close to the bone, so it's less fatty than standard strips. But some people don't eat pork, and some just prefer the flavor of turkey bacon. And since the stats are very similar -- 30 - 35 calories and about 2.5g fat per slice -- you can use either one without affecting a recipe's nutritional information. Some brands make extra-lean turkey bacon, with about 20 calories and 0.5g fat per slice, but we think the taste and texture of regular turkey bacon make it worth a few extra calories and a little bit of fat.

Some favorite brands at the HG HQ? Jennie-O and Oscar Mayer. And we love Hormel's Black Label Center Cut Bacon. If you want to go the all-natural route, try Applegate. If you're watching your sodium, look for lower-sodium varieties like the kind made by Oscar Mayer.

Sometimes HG recipes call for precooked real crumbled bacon, like the kinds by Oscar Mayer and Hormel. This is the easiest guilt-free way to satisfy a bacon fix. A tablespoon has about 25 calories and 1.5g fat. Feel free to a use a heaping tablespoon of this stuff in place of each strip of cooked and chopped center-cut bacon or turkey bacon in a recipe. For more guilt-free bacon info and products, click here!

Hi HG,

My friends and I hang out at a bar every weekend. Everyone is drinking and eating tons of fattening things. It's totally setting me back with my weight loss, but I don't want to give up that time with my friends. Help!

Bar Babe

Hi Bar Babe,

Don't worry. You don't have to give up your social life or take in too many calories. These tips should help you get through the night successfully...

Eat a filling meal at home before you head out. If you skip dinner and head to the bar hungry, you're more likely to eat the first thing you see on the menu, regardless of whether it's a smart choice. And bar food is notoriously fatty, so you're really limited there (especially in terms of full-on meals).

Be honest with your pals. Good friends care about you and will most likely be supportive. They might even help you out by ordering a few diet-friendly picks, like grilled chicken skewers (easy on the oil) and shrimp cocktail. Plus, they can help keep you on track when you feel tempted to order that towering margarita.

Don't go overboard with the alcohol. That's where many of the calories are in those cocktails. Click here for our latest Happy Hour Survival Guide so that you'll know what to order. And have a glass of water or club soda in between cocktails, to slow you down and keep you hydrated.

Don't make it all about the food and drinks. Throw darts, dance, play pool, sing karaoke... Just not all at the same time :)

Throw a new meet-up location into the mix -- one where food and alcohol aren't the main focus. How about a bowling alley? Or save money by hanging out at a friend's house. I've got tons of tips for a great night in with the girls...

Have fun!

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