Bad decision on a plate: The Bloomin' Onion

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We all know how challenging restaurant meals can be when you are trying to lose weight - or just trying not to gain any more. It’s especially challenging when you’re working with a flawed thought process, as I am.

For example: Go out to eat at Outback. Peruse menu. Decide on Toowoomba Pasta. Feel belly rolling uncomfortably over the top of jeans. Peruse menu again. See Bloomin’ Onion. Think, “Onions. That can’t be too many calories. I’ll have that. Plus, it’s only an appetizer. Onions + Appetizer = small meal, smart choice.” Pat self on back.

Had I taken my dining out experience seriously and done my homework before going, I would have discovered that the Bloomin’ Onion has at least 2300 delicious calories* – and 134 grams of fat. If you’re on Weight Watchers, that’s 57.5 points.

I’m not going to lie to you. I love the Bloomin’ Onion. That’s just good stuff. But knowing the nutritional information of many foods sucks the perceived joy right out of it. I haven’t had one in over two years. And I sometimes miss those days of blissful ignorance.

Still, I console myself with knowing that, for less than half the calories of a single Bloomin’ Onion, I could enjoy all this:

8 oz prime rib: 450 calories
House Salad: 200 calories
Jacket Potato (with butter and cheese!) 300 calories
Steamed Veggies: 69 calories

Still a lot of calories for one meal, but so much more satisfying than a Bloomin’ Onion would ever be. And at least half of that prime rib would end up on Mr. Jelly Belly’s plate.

Most chain restaurants have websites where you can look at a menu and view nutritional information. Looking at this information and making your dinner choice before you go (and sticking with that decision) can save you from making the types of bad decisions I am prone to.

You can also find nutritional information for restaurants at sites like The Daily Plate and CalorieKing. And if you’re looking for Weight Watcher points, try Dottie’s Weight Loss Zone.

Thank God I never order dessert. Chocolate Thunder From Down Under: 1220 calories.

*I say “at least 2300 calories” because several sites show the nutritional information for ¼ of the onion and that comes in at 787 calories and 70 grams of fat. Multiply that by 4 and it comes out to more than 3000. Can the dipping sauce be that many calories? Yikes!


Tanya said...

Just that name makes me laugh, and I can't explain why here, lol.

I'd much rather eat that many calories on a bunch of other foods than one big blooming onion, lol. They are too greasy for me anyhow!

However, everyone should indulge and ENJOY the indulge once in awhile. If not, life is miserable and that's worse than being a bit chubby! :)

Have a good day my dear!

Cyndi said...

Ugh, that is disgusting. I probably had my last bloomin' onion when I was about 25 and still had a metabolism. Why does the yummiest stuff have to be the worst for you?

midlife mommy said...

Hmm. I like that justification for ordering the prime rib! I really have to do something; cholesterol and BP creeping up. Ugh. Just not quite ready, I guess.

MizFit said...

Im way more likely to cave to the thunder :)
this makes me thankful Im not an onion fan---even fried, errr, blooming.