We've all been there - sitting at a restaurant, staring at a menu, wondering "What on earth can I have on here?". It's hard to determine points at a restaurant when you don't know what goes in the dish. Even the dishes that seem healthiest can be oil-laden. Unfortunately, you'll often need to make a best guess assumption with point values. If you're at a major chain, you may luck out and be able to get nutritional information off their website. Often, however, even the major chains withhold this information. For example, if you want to know the actual WW points for the new Applebees "Under 550 Calories" dishes, you're out of luck - they don't offer the calories, fat, or fiber on their website.
There are tons of sites that seek out this information from restaurants and list their point values. My favorite, which I have been using for year, is Dotties Weight Loss Zone (dwlz.com). Not only does Dottie include all the major chains, but she also lists out point values for ethnic foods. This helps if you're ordering chinese or going out to an Italian restaurant that's not a chain restaurant.
The site can be a bit hard to navigate at times, so here are the two areas I use most:
Restaurant Points: http://www.dwlz.com/restaurants.html
Food Lists: http://www.dwlz.com/WWinfoTOC.html (on the right hand side)
Dotties Weight Loss Zone lists calories, fat, and fiber, as well as Weight Watchers points, but be sure to recalculate the points values to make sure they are up to date. There has been dispute over the accuracy of her nutritional info, so when possible, always use the actual restaurant's nutritional information. Dotties Weight Loss Zone and similar sites are a great value to those of us doing Weight Watchers and help us stay on track when out at restaurants!
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