Cheesecake Factory: Add Nutrition to Your Meal with These Simple Tips

Cheesecake Factory

Want to eat cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory without getting fat? Yeah, so do we. How often in life do you find yourself and your spouse or friends asking the question, “Where do you want to eat?” only to find that the answer is, “Cheesecake Factory!”? It happens all the time, and for good reason. The Cheesecake Factory not only has amazing drinks and food, they have one of the most enjoyable and enviable dessert menus of any restaurant in the country, and it’s hard to resist one of those amazing and decadent pieces of cheesecake. How can you say no to something that comes in virtually every imaginable flavor and tastes like Heaven in your mouth?

Too bad cheesecake is so unhealthy. And too bad you just consumed a massive serving (that’s probably at least twice the recommended serving size – if not more) of something equally unhealthy and now you’ve just consumed thousands of calories and feel completely guilty about it. Your self-esteem suffers. And your waistline suffers. More importantly, Cheesecake Factories are always located in a mall, so it’s really hard to shop after you leave the restaurant feeling at least 5 pounds heavier and having to look at yourself with self-loathing in the Nordstrom fitting room mirrors. It’s a sad day. Fortunately, you can actually have a fairly healthy meal at the Cheesecake Factory – cheesecake included and self-loathing noticeably missing.

Order From the Skinny Menu

One of the things you’ll notice first about the Cheesecake Factory menu whether you are looking for a dish filled with nutrition or not, is the fact that the menu is huge. It has page after page of decadent menu options from brunch to lunch to dinner. There is also a skinny menu designed to help patrons eat something healthy without making themselves feel as if they’re eating too much. One of the best things you can do, and one of the things you can do to add nutrition to your meal, is to order from the Cheesecake Factory’s skinny menu. The items listed here have far fewer calories than anything else on the menu, and they’re some of the healthiest options at the restaurant.

Order Smaller Portions

Here’s the deal; you can order a “lunch” portion of anything you want and get a meal that’s about half the size of the regular portion. This is a great start, but you’ll notice that even in the smaller portion, this is a big dish. No matter what you order, even the lunch portion is massive. It’s at least twice the recommended size for any meal portion, and you need to do yourself the big favor of not eating everything on your plate.

One way to do this is to ask to have half the meal boxed up. Either do this first so you’re not tempted to eat it, or eat half and then ask for a box. When you eat something that already has approximately 550 calories, you can half the calories in that meal, making it a much healthier menu option. While not everything on the Cheesecake Factory menu is completely void of good nutrition, you sometimes have to do what you have to do to make things healthier on your own accord.

You can also order a meal and share it with a friend. When you’re dining together, Cheesecake Factory has no issue splitting plates between diners. This helps to split the calories – and the lack of nutrition – as well as the bill.

Skip the Bread

Cheesecake Factory has amazing bread and when your server asks you if you’d like a basket, it’s difficult to turn him down. Unfortunately, you need to turn him down. It’s not good for your personal nutrition level to indulge in the basket of bread offered to you at the Cheesecake Factory. It’s even worse if you eat the bread and lather it with the butter that comes along with it.

While you’re at it, you might want to consider skipping the appetizer as well. It’s difficult to turn down all this amazing food, but if you want to have lunch that’s even close to nutritious at his restaurant, you have to.

Customize Your Order

Believe it or not, you can ask your server to customize your order on your behalf. For example, if you’d like a salad and want to add a bit more nutritional value to it, ask to have the croutons and cheese withheld. You should also ask for the dressing on the side, and skip the fatty dressings in favor of something a bit healthier such as balsamic vinaigrette in its place. Additionally, you have the freedom to order burgers without buns, skip the fries and have a side salad in place of those and order water to go with your meal instead of a calorie-filled soda or tea.

Some easy ways to reduce the number of calories in your meal include forgoing mayonnaise, holding dressing, ordering chicken grilled instead of fried, and skipping sides such as sour cream for your quesadillas. They are all small changes, but they’re all effective changes.

Cheesecake – What’s Most Important

Unfortunately, we can’t do anything to help you make the cheesecake healthier at Cheesecake Factory. Unless you forgo the entire thing; there’s just no way. So what we can suggest is a way in which you can still order the cheesecake, but without the added fat and calories and the unhealthy stuff that goes with all of that. Split it; agree on a flavor and ask your dining companion to split a piece of cheesecake with you. This gives you half the calories – which isn’t exactly great but it’s far better than consuming all the calories – and half the guilt.

You can also eat half and save half for another day. You’re still eating all of it yourself, but it does seem so much better for you to do this over the course of two meals rather than one, doesn’t it? While it’s just not possible add nutrition to the items on the Cheesecake Factory menu, it is possible to at least remove some of the unhealthy aspects – and still enjoy that cheesecake.

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Feeding America


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