A steakhouse meal can be indulgent without being gluttonous.
If you’ve been following along with my writing, you know how much I appreciate decadent, rich, flavorful meals. The steakhouse provides sensory moments that are second to none.
It takes some practice and a little discipline, but you can order your meal in a manner conducive to achieving your fitness goals while thrilling your palate.
Let’s use the menu from Maestro’s, since the restaurant’s affordability makes it accessible to American families in every tax bracket. I kid, but I believe this is a once in a blue moon happenstance worth saving your shekels for.
You’ll be sitting with company (hopefully), so sharing some items will be an option, but we should walk through this exercise as if you’ll be consuming the lion’s share.
Every meal at a steakhouse should start with an appetizer; so let’s try the seared ahi tuna. At roughly 260 calories, 0 grams of sugar and 31 grams of protein, you’re off to a good start. Buttery in consistency, this is an even better choice if you’re walking into your meal dealing with some aches and pains. From whfoods.com:
No single category of nutrient has been more clearly determined to have anti-inflammatory health benefits than omega-3 fatty acids, and tuna is equally well-established as an important food source of omega-3s.
Now we can move on to the main course. Remember, this meal is about health. If this was a meal to completely indulge with abandon, you might see the 48 ounce Double Cut Porterhouse on my plate. But if your fitness goals include getting or staying lean, I suggest ordering the 8 ounce petite filet. For full flavor and moisture, I suggest medium rare, but I won’t judge. A filet contains about 42 calories per ounce, so let’s estimate high at 400 calories and another 48 grams of protein. Muscle heads rejoice!
Our relationship with our steak doesn’t need to be one-sided. We can ask what it’s doing for us nutritionally. From SFGate:
Red meat is rich in iron, a mineral needed to carry oxygenated blood to all your tissues and organs. Without sufficient iron, you may feel tired and listless. Filet mignon is also a good source of a number of B vitamins, which help your body retrieve and use energy from the foods you eat, according to Medline Plus. Additionally, filet mignon contains magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, minerals needed to produce enzymes and reduce the risk of heart disease. Magnesium may also play a role in reducing the frequency of migraine headaches, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Your side dish order is easy. A cup of roasted Brussels sprouts has roughly 90 calories for a one cup serving. Let’s assume that some flavorful butter is added boosting the count by 50% to 135, total. Brussels, roasted properly, are crispy and delicate at first bite and do more than their share to keep you healthy. From whfoods.com:
Researchers have looked at a variety of cardiovascular problems — including heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and atherosclerosis — and found preliminary evidence of an ability on the part of cruciferous vegetables to lower our risk of these health problems. Yet regardless of the specific cardiovascular problem, it is one particular type of cardiovascular benefit that has most interested researchers, and that benefit is the anti-inflammatory nature of Brussels sprouts and their fellow cruciferous vegetables.
You know my mantra, “fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar makes you fat.” However, I’m a reasonable man and wouldn’t ask you to walk away from a meal like this without a dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Luckily for you, fresh seasonal berries will curb your desire for the crème brûlée and the 80-90 calorie spend will be well worth it. On top of the fact that you’ll be ingesting boatloads of vitamins and minerals, you’ll finish your meal feeling complete. From Everyday Health:
Because of their fiber and liquid content, berries give us a sense of fullness, Copperman says, and feeling sated is an important part of managing your diet program.
Congratulations, ladies and gentleman. You left your steakhouse experience having consumed 885 calories, or roughly the same number of calories as a slice of cheesecake and a piña colada. Weight Watchers this meal is not, but it’s overflowing with dense health benefits. You should feel proud of your discipline and resourcefulness while enjoying a good steak and warm ambiance.
Next up, a healthy meal at 7-11. Again, I kid.