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The land-or-sea smackdown.

Leslie Barrie
December 02, 2014

There's nothing fishy about lobster's triumph. "Ounce for ounce, it has fewer calories and less fat than even a lean filet of beef," says Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. It's especially a good order if you're a member of the Clean Plate Club—finishing the whole thing does zero damage to your diet.

"A lobster tail, at 170 calories, is nature's perfectly packaged portion," Middleberg notes. And while a tail boasting 8 ounces of meat has less protein than a comparably sized slab of steak, you're still getting close to your full recommended daily allowance.

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The caveat: That cup of melted butter (300 calories and 21 grams of saturated fat in about 3 tablespoons) will drown out your best intentions. Instead, squeeze on a lemon wedge, then dip your fork in the butter before skewering a piece.

More steakhouse strategies

Go surf or turf

Otherwise you're basically eating two meals. (Steak-and-seafood combos can run upwards of 1,000 cals!)

Be smart about shrimp

Popcorn shrimp are tiny but deep-fried and caloric, as are coconut shrimp. Order a shrimp cocktail to save as many as 400 cals.

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Lean up your steak

Ask the server to have it prepared without butter. Most restaurants use a pat (or more) but don't mention so on the menu.

Make it a Manhattan

Clam chowder, that is. At about 90 calories a cup, it's at least 100 calories per cup lighter than the creamy and fatty New England variety.

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