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Video: The 4 worst appetizers for your waistline

  1. Closed captioning of: The 4 worst appetizers for your waistline

    >>> 7:43, this morning on eat this, not that, appetizers. a couple of wings or a little calamari at happy hour may not seem like a big deal but could actually ruin your diet. here with the skinny with "eat this not that 2011 " the no diet weight loss solution. great to see you. i'm not giving up pigs in a blanket . whatever you say today, i'm not giving those up. all right?

    >> thankfully they're not here.

    >> okay. most people think, all right, appetizers, if i splurge there, it can't be as bad as splurging on a main course . it could be the opposite.

    >> it could be absolutely the opposite. that's perhaps the most surprising reason that we're all having trouble losing weight . it's not the meals. it's what's becoming before the meals.

    >> we graze on these things.

    >> well, apparently. but in some cases it's like having three or four meals before your meal hits the table.

    >> let's give people an example. we have four of the worst offenders on the table here. the first is red lobster 's crispy calamari. you hear the word crispy, you know it's going to be a problem.

    >> you get a sense this could be k 1500 calories, 11 grams of fat. two days worth of sodium. this could be the calorie equivalent, matt, of having 17 rice krispy treats.

    >> before dinner.

    >> before dinner. not talking agenbout dessert, drinks, meal, nothing. one of the worst is this 100 calorie treat from red lobster . it's basically the lobster tail, not with the ramikin of butter. its that cocktail sauce. it's only 100 calories. the difference is, so big if you wanted to lose five pounds, a smart swap like this each day would have you losing that weight in 11 days.

    >> wow. that's huge. up next, back in the day, these were my poison of choice. potato skins and the more sour cream and junk on them, the better.

    >> this is pizzeria uno 's version.

    >> in this case, 2,000 calories. i mean, you would have to run 15 miles. that's more than a half marathon , to burn off your 2,000 calorie appetizer.

    >> it's the equivalent --

    >> of these 43 cheese and pepperoni bagel bites . that is your appetizer. you've got to go with the only thing on uno chicago's grill's menu under 500 calories and that's the gauc and chips.

    >> pf change sells these spare ribs here, 13,076 calories, 96 grams of fat. nobody orders this thinking it's good for you.

    >> you don't. but this is what tipped fred flintstone 's car over. this is a full pound of ribs. you're talking about 1,375 calories. you're talking about 96 grams of fat. this is the equivalent of 5 1/2 mcdonald cheeseburgers. now, you won't go wanting, matt, if you get the --

    >> got the wonton.

    >> it's only 350 calories. a swap like this every day means you're going to drop five pounds in summer.

    >> this is the neutron bomb of appetizer here's. the fries. we know they're bad. but then you throw the bacon bits and cheese on top of them.

    >> i know. and the ranch dressing . i don't know if they cook this at the outback or the jiffy lube . this is 2100 calories. this is 151 grams of fat. just to put it in perspective, a stick of butter is 88 grams of fat. this has 151.

    >> the equivalent of --

    >> 11 krispy kreme doughnuts . 11.

    >> you've gone ridiculous here. anybody who orders this here right here, these fries, is not going to be satisfied with this alternative you've come up with over here.

    >> which is why you have to saw this thing in half and take it to go or share it with friends, but if you do this, i mean, the great thing is just a few hundred calories. you're going to lose five pounds in 9 1/ 2 days . those are the eat this not that kind of smart swaps to make.

    >> without dieting.

    >> no exercise, no dieting.

    >> thank you, david.

updated 6/13/2011 12:32:37 PM ET 2011-06-13T16:32:37

Red Lobster Crispy Calamari and Vegetables
1,520 calories
97 g fat (11 g saturated)
3,050 mg sodium

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Shocking calorie equivalent: 17 Rice Krispies treats

This squid has been plucked from the ocean and dropped straight into the deep fryer. Actually, everything on this plate—aside from the oily ranch and zesty marinara—has received the deep-fryer treatment.

The lobster tail is a far better option. Almost all its calories come from protein, and it’s loaded with the mineral selenium, which helps prevent joint and muscle pain and can help keep your body’s hormones in balance.

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And at 100 calories, the combination of lobster and cocktail sauce is a perfectly portioned appetizer. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that by eating a 100-calorie appetizer before your meal, you could reduce your total calorie intake by 12 percent. (The 100 calories in the study came from a salad). But don’t make the mistake of dipping your lobster in melted butter. One ramekin has 350 calories. 38 grams of fat, and 23 grams of saturated fat.

Eat This Instead!
Main Lobster Tail
60 calories
.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
490 mg sodium
Cocktail Sauce (butter has 350 calories—not a smart move)
40 calories
0 g fat
480 mg sodium

100 calories
.5 g fat (0 g saturated)
970 mg sodium

Uno Chicago Grill Pizza Skins
2,050 calories
140 g fat (45 g saturated)
3,000 mg sodium
Calorie equivalent:
43 Cheese and Pepperoni Bagel Bites (That’s more than 5 boxes!)

You can’t expect much from the restaurant that promotes itself as the inventor of the deep-dish pizza. Even still, these skins deliver more than twice your recommended daily intake of saturated fat. You’d have to run about 15 miles to burn off all the calories on this plate. Unfortunately the options are limited—Uno only sells 1 appetizer with fewer than 500 calories (and only 3 with fewer than 700).

Eat This Instead!
Housemade Guacamole with Chips
480 calories
26 g fat (3 g saturated)
460 mg sodium

Outback Aussie Cheese Fries
2,134 calories
151 g fat (72 g saturated)
2,342 mg sodium

Calorie equivalent: 11 Krispy Kreme Glazed Doughnuts!

Somebody should take these fries Out Back and bury them. There’s as much fat on this plate as you’d find in 14 tablespoons of butter. A whole stick only has 8 tablespoons and 88 grams fat. There’s also more saturated fat on this plate than on any other plate on this table—that’s 3.5 times as much as a healthy person should consume on any given day. But shrimp is among the best sides you can order. It’s loaded with protein and tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes serotonin to improve mood.

Eat This Instead!
Grilled Shrimp on the Barbie
315 calories
21 g fat (8 g saturated)
657 mg sodium

P.F. Chang’s Spare Ribs
1,376 calories
96 g fat (28 g saturated)
1,344 mg sodium

Calorie equivalent: 5.5 McDonald’s Cheeseburgers!

If your goal is to inflate the spare tire around your belly, then these spare ribs are the way to go. This is a full pound of ribs—hardly a great way to kickoff a meal. And the Asian BBQ Sauce contributes more carbohydrates than you’d find in a Kit Kat (the ribs have 28 g carbs, Kit Kat has 27). Go with the pork-filled wontons and you’ll save more than 1,000 calories, and you’ll cut your saturated fat intake by 85 percent.

Eat This Instead!
Crispy Wontons (8 wontons made with pork)
360 calories
24 g fat (4 g saturated)
480 mg sodium

More from Men’s Health

The Best Low-Calorie Beers
10 Ways to Eat Healthy at the BBQ Shack
The world’s easiest weight-loss plan is here! Check it out: The Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet.
6 Rules of Good Nutrition

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