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Beware The Three Course Meal

Last night we went out to the Chart House restaurant in Old Towne Alexandria.  This is a very scenic place with beautiful views of the National Harbor right across the way.  We had not gone out there in many years, as on the weekends, the place tends to be jammed and now with social distancing, the capacity is far less for seating.

When I looked at the menu there was a great array of choices that sounded wonderful: seafood dishes, prime rib, fish etc.  The prices were fairly substantial for all of their meals and these were basically priced a la carte, i.e. additional costs if soup, salad, appetizer, side dish and/or dessert was ordered.

However, what caught my attention:  A “Three Course Meal Deal”.  You get to choose a salad or soup, a main dish/side from a limited selection and a dessert.  The price for the Three Course Meal deal was far less than ordering these individually.  So, wanting prime rib that night anyway, I ordered a Caesar salad and the prime rib.   Both were great.

After enjoying some of their warm bread, eating the salad and delighting in the wonderful prime rib I was very full.  When the plates were taken away what then appeared was their chocolate lava dessert:  Some sort of chocolate cake with a hot fudge middle and on top with vanilla ice cream right next to this chocolate volcano.  Wow….not the type of dessert you can ask  “please wrap this up and I will take it home”.  So, knowing full well I had zero business eating any of this and offering sharing to my wife, brother and sister in law, (they all declined) I started eating small little bites.  However, by the time we walked out, I probably consumed ½ of the dessert.

The point:  By ordering a meal based on a “deal” I set myself up for adding over 400 calories to my dinner.  Human nature took over:  I was not hungry but yet still felt compelled to not waste this scrumptious dessert.  This morning I am beating myself up a bit for this behavior that I constantly advise our patients not to do.

So, beware the “Three Course Meal” and other deals that involve a dessert that will derail weight control efforts.  It’s not worth the $$$ savings.

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