Eatin’ good in the neighborhood just got a lot easier to do if you’re on Weight Watchers. Applebee’s, who has worked in partnership with the weight loss brand since 2004, just announced its extension of the relationship. To celebrate, they’re unveiling three new menu items endorsed by Weight Watchers.
Diners will find a new steak, shrimp, and chicken entree upon their next visit to Applebee’s, and each meal boasts 12 PointsPlus or less. These meals also appear on their Under 550 Calories Menu.
Grilled Jalapeno-Lime Shrimp offers a generous serving of grilled chipotle lime shrimp and black bean corn salsa flavored with lime juice and cilantro. This meal comes with mixed grilled zucchini, marinated tomatoes, onions and red peppers with steamed white rice. This meal has 8 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
Creamy Parmesan Chicken
is a juicy grilled chicken breast with an au gratin Parmesan sauce served with sides of steamed spinach and mushroom rice pilaf. This meal has 12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus.
Cabernet Mushroom Sirloin is a cut of Applebee’s seven-ounce grilled House Sirloin with sautéed Portobello mushrooms and onions in a Napa Valley Cabernet sauce. Sides include steamed herbed potatoes and garlic broccoli. This meal has 12 Weight Watchers PointsPlus
While Weight Watchers members can use the app, member site, or materials from meetings to learn the PointsPlus values in countless restaurant meals, Applebee’s is the only restaurant where customers will find approved meals right on their menu. With lean cuts of meat, vegetable sides, and flavorful ingredients, diet or not this would be a smart menu to order from. We’re especially glad to see cooking preparations like steaming and grilling used.
We’d still love to see a few minor alterations to these menu items, and you should at least try to ask for them when you order. This will reduce the calories further, or the PointsPlus values, or simply add healthier items to your meal. You can make these requests to any menu item at any restaurant.
1. No white rice. Ask your server if you can swap the white rice (read: void of nutritional value) for a serving of brown or wild rice.
2. Skip the oils. Ask your server if your vegetable sides can be steamed, and if the preparation involves oil ask them to leave it off.
3. Sauces on the side. Ask your server if the au gratin Parmesan sauce can be served on the side instead smothered on top of the chicken breast.
All in all, it looks like Applebee’s and Weight Watchers have really worked to provide meals that diners don’t really have to think twice about. If you’re adding spirits to your meal, consider one of their 100-calorie SkinnyBee margaritas (just skip dessert if you do!).
Researchers found that one third of customers opt for half portions of rice or noodles when given the option, even when the cost in not significantly less. Cutting down the serving size of starchy sides like these can represent a major calories savings, even when the entree remained the same.
The research was conduced at a popular Chinese restaurant not far from Duke University, typically frequented by students, staff and visitors to the campus hospital. The standard serving of rice or noodles is 10 ounces for 400 calories. Patrons where asked, “Would you like a half-order to save 200 calories?” Depending on the day, 14 to 33 percent of patrons said yes. Moreover, those who ordered the smaller side dishes also ate less, the researchers determined.
The researchers also tested to see if adding calorie counts to menus and offering a small discount for smaller servings would motivate patrons to eat less, however these changes did not affect ordering habits. We’re more likely respond to visual cues to tell us how much to eat, rather than slowing down and waiting for our bodies to trigger feelings of fullness.
Even with road closures, more time spent in traffic, and parking rates unusual for the Circle City, it is hard to find anyone complaining in Indianapolis. We are all excited and proud to be a Super City. Despite the spike in business and catering orders that restaurant owners were already seeing the two weeks before the Super Bowl, I was able to interview a few local business owners to hear the truth about how they are or are not doing things differently for the Super Bowl.
One major rumor is that restaurants are jacking up prices to gouge out of towners this weekend, but Monon Food Company in Broad Ripple and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company/Scotty’s Brewhouse assured me that they are not. The Scratch Truck food truck may have to cover additional expenses during the week leading up to the Super Bowl because they will be hiring additional staff and renting out extra space for all the food preparation that they need to do, which they anticipate being up to six times what they do during a normal week. While they may not be increasing prices, all the restaurants I spoke to assured me that they will be bringing in additional staff to ensure the best service possible.
Since Indianapolis is host to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indianapolis 500 – every year, which sells three times the tickets that the Super Bowl will, as well as other major racing events that bring in fans from around the world, we are no stranger to crowd management. However, all of the restaurant representatives agreed that the Super Bowl is different. Tim of the Monon Food Company explained that the “press experience around [Super Bowl XLVI] far exceeds other events, so there is more excitement and more spectators who are coming to town just to party,” even if they are not going to the big game on Sunday. (more…)