Don't let the term "starters" or "appetizers" lure you into a false sense of security.
Sometimes, these items are just as caloric -- if not higher -- than entrees.
Consider some of the following examples from Chili's restaurant.
The buffalo wings appetizer (containing 9 pieces) adds up to 1,170 calories, 15 grams (75% of a day's worth) of saturated fat, and 4,130 milligrams (two days' worth) of sodium.
In the mood for classic nachos? Then I hope you are okay with ordering 1,450 calories, 57 grams (almost three days' worth!) of saturated fat, and 2,730 milligrams (over a day's worth) of sodium.
Oh, you want those with beef? That will be 1,740 calories, 65 grams of saturated fat, and 3,700 milligrams of sodium.
The Texas cheese fries appetizer, meanwhile, clocks in at 2,070 calories, 73 grams of saturated fat (almost FOUR days' worth) and 3,730 milligrams of sodium.
Even if shared, these are nutritional bombs.
Let's say the Texas cheese fries are split by a table of three.
Assuming each person gets an equal share of food, that's 720 calories, 25 grams of saturated fat (more than a day's worth) and half a day's worth of sodium a piece!
Combine that with a sandwich or a ribs-centered entree (averaging 1,000 calories without the side of fries) and you have a day's worth of calories.
Your best bet at this chain? First, swap an appetizer for a soup.
A cup of Southwestern vegetable soup contains 110 calories, the broccoli cheese variety clocks in at 160 calories, and a cup of baked potato soup adds up to 220 calories.
While not low in sodium, none offer more than 650 milligrams of sodium (that's almost 85% less sodium than some of the monstruosities I previously pointed out.)
And stay away from any menu item labeled as bottomless. Eating 800 calories of corn chips before your meal comes out isn't as impossible as you may think!
When it comes to your entree, stick to grilled fish dishes, pita sandwiches (no more than 500 calories) or grilled chicken sandwiches.
If you're in the mood for anything else (burgers, ribs, fried chicken platters), satisfy your craving by splitting your meal with a friend. You'll save some money -- and anywhere from 600 to 950 calories!