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Just say no...to chain restaurants

In our efforts to skinny down this year, Big Daddy and I have curbed our eating out and takeout habits. This list reinforces the Why.

Some of these are no-brainers -- Denny's, Dairy Queen, Baskin Robbins -- but others surprise me. Lemme just say ew gross! to Macaroni Grill for duping us all these years with their "salads." And Baja Fresh don't sound so fresh to me.

Sadly, the two places we have "dined" in (and I use the term loosely) recently are Chili's and Applebee's because they both have lower-calorie menu options (and because they're cheap and kid-friendly). Who knew that even Chili's "Guiltless Grill" should cause so much shame?

And why haven't Applebee's (home of the Weight Watchers partnership), Friday's, and Outback yet published their nutrition information? Whatever could they be hiding? (The last time we ate at Outback, easily five years ago, I ordered a medium steak and the waitress came out to tell me they were all out of medium steaks. Huh? Can't you just throw a rare steak on the barbie for a few minutes longer? Evidently, the pre-packaged steaks are not so made-to-order as they'd have you believe.)

The big surprise on this list: McDonald's scored a B+ because of their salads and yogurt choices. Wonders never cease.

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