Eating Out

restaurant eatingA friend and I were having a discussion about maintaining one’s weight when you eat two meals daily in a restaurant. OK, we might also have mentioned a mutual acquaintance and said something about his weight. Strictly informational, not judgmental.

She suggested it was impossible to watch your weight when eating out all the time. I agree with “improbable” but not impossible.

One has to be mindful of two things. First, the restaurant is there to please you and does that through large portions and the triumvirate of salt, fat and sugar and, second, you have to care about your health.

So, eating healthy is no easy task when a delicious meal sits in front of you.

Here are 8 tips to keep in mind if you want to eat better when frequently (or even occasionally) dining out:

  • Alcohol calories add up quickly
  • Appetizers are often fat laden
  • Appetizers used as an entree can help “right size” your portion
  • Bread baskets/chips and such can be declined BEFORE they’re brought to your table
  • Side dishes can make up your entire meal
  • If there’s a convenient fridge post-meal, consider taking half your meal with you
  • Salads can come to the table naked so you can decide how much dressing it needs
  • Hot, broth-based soups serve to curb your appetite (assuming you’re paying attention)

The typical restaurant meal weighs in at about 1000 calories so you’ll want to contemplate YOUR calorie needs before placing your order. Deciding what you’ll eat before you enter the restaurant and even ordering without opening the menu are good strategies too.

What restaurant strategies do you use to be well?



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Dieting Math

Just finished reading an article suggesting 90/10 eating for weight loss. Ninety percent of the time you adhere to a “diet” and the other 10% you eat what you want. Last year, I think it was 80/20 and the year before that was 5:2. As in days.

I hope it’s not just my advancing age but more of my wisdom when I say, “Those are BAD PLANS!”

They all reinforce going “on a diet” and then “cheating.” Restriction and deprivation and then overeating or splurging.

And, please, how are you going to do the 90/10 calculation? Are you going to eat 9 healthy foods and one that’s not? Are you going to count up to 90 healthy calories and 10 not-so-good for you?

How long are you going to stay on a diet? What’s the general success rate of weight loss diets? What happens after you lose the weight?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to consider what you routinely eat and like? And then take a single step: reduce portions. A calorie deficit is what it takes to lose weight. Wouldn’t changing a double cheeseburger to a single cheeseburger leave you satisfied and not feeling like you’re on a diet?

With a plan to downsize your portions, weight loss can be accomplished fairly painlessly. Of course a second step would be nice. How can you modify the foods that you like so that they’re healthier? But, why not take a sane first step?

Move to a smaller dinner plate. Portion BEFORE you cook. Avoid eating directly from a package or container.

Slow down your eating rate so you can enjoy what you’re eating 100% of the time to be well.





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