Eating out on a diet does not have to be quite as restrictive at breakfast time – when you are supposed to eat like a king with a hearty lumberjack big breakfast. But even a person on a big breakfast diet has to use some common sense.
Here’s a rude awakening for dieters who love a good brunch or big breakfast while eating out on a diet at these four popular breakfast restaurants/pancake houses.
No 1: Skinny Tip for Eating Out at Big Breakfast Joint: Perkin’s Family restaurant. I love the nutritional calculator you can find at the Perkin’s Web site that lets you build a meal ahead of time to figure out the calories and fat in a meal.
Here’s an example of how it worked for me. I chose my favorite Perkin’s Granny’s Country Omelet with cheese sauce, diced ham, hash browns, pancake syrup, whipped butter, pancakes which started with 2,060 calorie and 81 grams of fat.
Next, I un-clicked the cheese sauce which bring it down to 2,030 calories. After all, I don’t need two types of cheeses.
Then, I took out the diced ham which brings it down to 1.910. Take out the blended soybean oil brings it down to 1,880. Take out the whipped butter blend (for the pancakes) which brings it down to 1,800. Take out the hash browns (which you could take home) and it brings it down to 880 calories. Finally we are under 1,000. But I wonder if they can even make the omelets without the soybean oil, so I add that back in for a total of 910 calories.
For another, I try the Perkin’s “Classic Eggs Benedict” with 1,160 calories. Take out Hollandaise sauce (ask for it on the side) and whipped butter blend and you are down to 860 calories.
Order the Perkin’s Belgian waffle with no powdered sugar or whipped butter blend for 490 calories. The Perkin’s breakfast potatoes have 250 calories.
No 2: Skinny tip for Eating Out at a Big Breakfast Joint: Denny’s restaurant. Avoid the scrambles while on a big breakfast diet such as the Denny’s Meatlover’s with 1,130 calories and 66 grams of fat and Denny’s Heartland with 1,150 calories and 66 grams of fat.
Avoid the Lumberjack Slam on a big breakfast diet with 850 calorie or the French Toast slam with 940 calories. Instead, on your big breakfast diet, order the Veggie-Cheese Omelets with 500 calories.
You could order the chicken sausage patty with 110 calories; either two scrambled eggs for 250 calories or egg whites for 50 calories. You may also choose the turkey bacon for 76 calories for two strips for the big breakfast diet.
If you want buttermilk pancakes, its 340 calories for two but don’t order the chocolate chip ones with 720 for three.
No. 3: Skinny Tip for Eating Out at a Big Breakfast Joint: First Watch: The Daytime Café. I was absolutely shocked the first time I found out that just 1 blueberry pancake at First Watch has 455 calories and 23 grams of fat.
Choose instead the First Watch mushroom and cheese omelet with 370 calories and 31 grams of fat. Don’t order the Gravy Train Omelets with 908 calories and 72 grams of fat.
A moderate choice is the First Watch Florida French Toast with raisin bread which has 579 calories and 12 grams of fat. If you are craving biscuits choose the First Watch biscuits and turkey sausage gravy with 590 calories and 29 grams of fat – but consider it a once a month indulgence.
You can’t go wrong with the First Watch fruit bowl or turkey sausage at First Watch on a big breakfast diet.
The First Watch Key West crepe with turkey, avocado, bacon and Monterey Jack cheese has 754 calories but you can improve on it by saying hold the cheese and bacon. Remember, the First watch potatoes aren’t so bad at all with 130 calories and 4 grams of fat
No. 4 Skinny Tip for Eating Out at a Big Breakfast Joint: Mimi’s Café offers the low-fat fitness omelets with 510 calories and 4 grams of fat. An even better selection for eating out on a diet at Mimi’s Café is the ham and broccoli egg white omelets with 183 calories and 5 grams of fat.
For those who love crepes like me, you may have to just say “no” to the Mimi’s Café roasted chicken crepe with 1,101 calories and 83 grams of fat. The Mimi’s Asparagus and Brie Quiche can do a little less damage with 712 calories and 46 grams of fat.
Make sure to avoid creamy hollandaise or order it on the side as you would dressing.
If you order the Mimi’s Café Asparagus omelets with 577 calories and 47 grams of fat; just ask for the tomato asiago cream sauce on the side and say “hold the jack cheese, please.”
You may be better off with the French toast breakfast with two eggs, bacon or sausage with 605 calories and 34 grams of fat, although syrup adds calories and sugar.
Feel free to order only side items at Mimi’s Café while on a big breakfast diet. For example, order 1 egg with 71 calories, 5 grams fat; red skinned potatoes with 235 calories and 15 grams of fat; smoked ham with 122 calories and 7 grams of fat and fresh grapefruit or a plate of fresh fruit.
Big breakfasts are perfect for eating out on diet, but don’t go overboard at breakfast or brunch unless you just finished a marathon race.