Hungry Girl Goes...To A Diner

Here's a list of diner dos and don'ts—courtesy of Hungry Girl!
Hungry Girl Cartoon

Here's a list of diner dos and don'ts—courtesy of Hungry Girl!

FIGHT IT! Chef's Salad
This isn't 1983, people! Why anyone is even pretending that a chef's salad is a reasonable option is a mystery to me, but I see it all the time at diners. This salad is typically crammed with various hunks of deli meats (not bad) and chunks of hard cheeses (getting worse). Then it's topped off with a river of Thousand Island dressing. Skip this retro lunch unless you love the idea of a salad that can have as much fat, calories and PointsPlus® values as a Big Mac and fries!

BITE IT! Grilled Chicken Salad
Here's a better option for you. A nice grilled chicken breast on top of a plate of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and more yummy veggies. Order a fat-free dressing or a nice balsamic on the side (then dip, don't pour), and you're all set.

FIGHT IT! The "Diet" Plate
Here's another throwback for you. Next time you're at the diner don't be surprised if you see a "diet" plate that consists of a fatty burger patty topped with a scoop of fatty cottage cheese—and a syrupy peach half for dessert. Yikes! That 600-plus calorie fat-fest of a lunch is anything but diet-friendly. Note to the diner owners out there: It's time to remove this item from your menu! There, I feel better now.

BITE IT! Your Own Creation
Don't be shy. Create your own version of a healthier plate. Go for lean meat and a side of fruit salad or steamed veggies. Skip the cottage cheese altogether because more often than not diners serve the full-fat kind.

FIGHT IT! The Word "Deluxe"
Items on the menu that contain the word "deluxe" typically come with French fries and one of those hula-hoop-size onion rings. Who needs it? Even reasonable wraps, veggie burgers and simple sandwiches are often sabotaged nutritionally by that fancy word. Just say no!

BITE IT! Special-Order Sides
Even if you want that sandwich, wrap, or burger get it with a side salad. Ordering greens or veggies is a better way to go. And if you want a potato, get one that's baked not fried.

FIGHT IT! Complete Lunches or Dinners
Yes, they're money-savers, but they can send the calorie count of your meal soaring into the quadruple digits. Do you really need fruit juice, soup, salad, an entree and dessert? Just because you can get all of that for $9.99 doesn't mean it's a good idea.

BITE IT! A La Carte
Instead of that four-course meal, pick and choose some key items carefully. Starting a meal with a broth-based soup is a great idea. If you skip the appetizer or soup, you may want to indulge in a smart dessert, like Jell-O, sorbet or a baked apple. But downing everything all in one meal equals bad news.

HG’s Diner Hot List HG’s Diner Not List
Turkey or chicken breast Fried foods
Lean meat-based salads Sauces and gravies
Grilled fish The bread basket
Fruit salad Cakes and puddings
Broth-based soups Creamy soups

Where's Hungry Girl going next? Check back next week to find out!

More About Hungry Girl
Learn how Hungry Girl came to be—and more!

Read about HG’s airplane tips from last week.

Hungry Girl, aka Lisa Lillien, distributes her tips, tricks and takes on new food products through her daily emails and Web site. Check out

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