Live in the Midwest? Then you’re probably familiar with Culver’s, the butterburger and frozen custard fast food restaurant chain best known for its quintessential Wisconsin eats. For dieters, that’s the key phrase: “Wisconsin eats.” If you’re familiar with traditional Wisconsin fare, it isn’t healthy or diet-friendly — many favorites include brats, deep-fried cheese curds and hand-battered cod fillets.
But fret not: You can eat at Culver’s and fit it into your diet and macronutrient goals if you know what to order. So what should you get?
Culver’s Prime Rib Sandwich
This sandwich is incredibly filling due to its generous amounts of shaved rib meat. To make this diet-friendly, omit the butter and Swiss cheese. This cuts out roughly 100 calories and 10 grams of fat. Load up on low-calorie condiments instead, such as mustard, ketchup or dill pickles.
Total macronutrient count: 397 calories, 19 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 28 grams of protein.
Culver’s Flame Roasted Chicken Sandwich
This sandwich contains grilled chicken and a modest serving of vegetables, making it friendly for most high-protein diets. Still, it also contains a serving of high-fat butter, so ask them to omit it. This will remove approximately 30 calories and 5 grams of fat from the sandwich. Remember, it’s best to get your fat sources from food, not condiments — it’s more satisfying.
Total macronutrient content: 278 calories, 5 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbohydrates and 27 grams of protein.
Culver’s Grilled Reuben Melt
Like their Prime Rib sandwich, this melt contains a hearty serving of meat, which adds to its excellent protein content. Unfortunately, it also contains butter and a heap of high-calorie dressing, adding 130 additional calories to the melt. Ask the cooks to omit it and get your calories and fat from a healthier source. You may also omit the cheese to save an additional 160 calories, but this will also remove 12 grams of good, muscle-building protein. My recommendation: Keep the cheese, but remove the high-calorie condiments.
Total macronutrient content: 448 calories, 18 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbohydrates and 39 grams of protein.
Culver’s Chicken Cashew Salad with Flame Roasted Chicken
This salad has a good balance of protein and carbohydrate sources, which can help satiate your hunger. That’s good if you want to fuel your body and avoid cravings for unhealthy food. Culver’s also notes it contains cashews, which contain healthy fats. Nothing needs to be omitted from this salad, but be careful with the dressing — most of their dressings are high in calories and fat.
Total macronutrient content: 443 calories, 24 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbohydrates and 39 grams of protein.
Culver’s Bacon Bleu Salad
Again, this is a great choice for dieters who want to satisfy their stomachs in a relatively healthy manner. The protein and carbohydrate sources — flame-roasted chicken and several servings of vegetables — are healthy and flavorful. To save on calories, remove the bleu cheese crumbles or raisins and ask for a low-calorie dressing on the side. I would recommend keeping the raisins and cheese crumbles, however, as these additions add more flavor to this already low-calorie meal.
Total macronutrient count: 331 calories, 13 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbohydrates and 36 grams of protein.
If you stick with any of the above choices, you shouldn’t have any problem staying within your diet goals. Planning to order something not on this list? To avoid consuming too much fat, carbs or calories, keep these tips in mind:
* Chicken is your best bet for a high-protein meal.
* Soups are good, low-calorie substitutes for a traditional side, such as fries or cheese curds.
* Avoid anything that has been deep fried or contains the word “butter.”
* Always ask your server to omit the butter and any dressings.
* Satisfy your thirst with water, diet soda or unsweetened tea.
* Add more flavor to your meal with low-calorie condiments, such as honey mustard, hot sauce or reduced calorie dressing.
Follow these tips for continued dieting success while eating out — your waist will thank you!