Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Help! I'm eating out.

Anyone who knows me also knows that cooking is not something I particularly enjoy. I love to eat out or get takeout. I'm sure lots of writers can relate, especially when you're on deadline like I am this week. But eating out can be disastrous when trying to make a lifestyle change that includes losing weight. Eating out is possible, however, if you plan a little and go in with a certain mindset. Here are some tips:

1. Avoid fast food when at all possible. Sometimes this is difficult if you're on the road. If you find yourself somewhere like the golden arches, at the very least look at the menu for better options than the biggest burger they offer. For instance, at McDonald's a Caesar salad with grilled chicken has 220 calories and 6 grams of fat while a Big Mac has 560 calories and 30 grams of fat.

2. When you go out to eat, order your meal and a takeout box at the same time. When your meal arrives, cut everything in half and put half in the takeout box. Eat the other half. Not only does this help prevent you from overeating, but you've saved money by making two meals out of one. I love doing this since I work from home because I don't have to spend more than a couple of minutes heating up the leftovers for lunch the next day.

3. If I eat a salad, I want ranch dressing. But instead of pouring it on the salad, from now on I'm going to make sure it's on the side and just dip my fork into the dressing before each bite. Way fewer calories consumed that way.

A wonderful resource for figuring out how many calories, grams of fat, grams of fiber and amount of carbs menu items at restaurants have is Dottie's Weight Loss Zone. Be sure to check the other parts of Dottie's site too for tips and inspiration. A lot of it is geared toward those doing Weight Watchers, but it's also useful for anyone who isn't.

One of my other goals is to read an article or part of a book each day about living a healthier life. Today, I read the tips Dottie has on her site labeled Secrets to My Success.

Today's Progress:

Forgot to weigh this morning before I ate breakfast. Must leave note for myself on nightstand or on fridge.

Calorie intake: 1,378

Exercise: 55 minutes mowing the lawn (burned 437.4 calories), 15 minutes housework--laundry, vacuuming, etc. (burned 56.3 calories), 20 minutes walking (66.2 calories burned)

Steps: 10,102


Deb Marlowe on July 29, 2009 at 6:55 AM said...

Hi Trish! Great idea for a blog! I'm crossing my fingers that my post makes it today!

I'm right there with you on the trying-to-be-healthier train! I've had ups and downs, but I've found that for me, it's all about the daily choices. If I stop and think about my exercise routine or what I'm about to eat, I'm far more likely to choose wisely!

Eating out can be hazardous! The dressing on the side really works for me. I love your idea about cutting the portion in half--so many of our restaurant portions are way too large.

I'm so happy you've started this--we can all cheer each on!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 8:49 AM said...

Hey, Deb. You made it! Maybe the comments function will play nicer with everyone today.

And good luck with your own journey to healthier living!

Anonymous said...

Dividing your portions in half in a restaurant is a great idea! They always give you way too much, and I always find myself eating more than I want, just because it's on the plate in front of me. Some restaurants will give you half (or kid-sized) portions if you ask (but then you still have to fix something else for lunch the next day!).

One thing I try to do to cut down on the urge to order out is to fix extra portions when I do cook, so that I have some tasty leftovers waiting in the fridge. There are some recipes that I always double or triple, especially if it's something that freezes well.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 10:28 AM said...

Good idea on freezing the extra portions, Laura. I need to get better about meal planning. That's something I'm really lax about.

Theresa Ragan on July 29, 2009 at 10:59 AM said...

Hi Trish. I'm having a hard time posting but I'm going to give it another try!

I love your new blog here! this is great!

In the past year I have been working out three times a week for about 2 hours and then walking another 2 days besides. I cut out most sugar and flour and I've lost 20 pounds. In the past week I've lost another 5 pounds thanks to a parasite I picked up in Nepal, but that's cheating. :)

I am excited to come back and see how you're doing. Keep up the good work!

Theresa Ragan on July 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM said...

oh good it worked! I wanted to add that I eat salmon three times a week. I buy it in bulk and each piece is individually wrapped. I thaw it out in the morning and then it's ready to be cooked by dinner time!

Marie-Nicole Ryan on July 29, 2009 at 11:13 AM said...

If you really want to spoil your appetite for restaurant food, go online and look up the individual restaurant's nutritional information. A lot of the restaurants have this as a part of their web sites. When you see how many calories and fat gms are in your favorite dishes. Print it out and take it with you when you go to the restaurant. Or better yet, go with a PLAN. I ate out twice last week and even went to a party and lost 1.4 lbs that week when I weighed in.

As an aside, you're going about this in a very Type A manner. LOL But that's what I'd expect from you, Trish. *BEG* But it's important to dive in and go full force. Just make it what you can do for the rest of your life. Eating healthy is a way of life, not a diet.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 1:14 PM said...

Theresa, your work on fitness the past year has inspired me. But ugh on the Nepalese parasite. Hope you feel better soon.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM said...

Marie-Nicole, you know me, Miss Type A Chickie. Must have list for everything. :)

Beth on July 29, 2009 at 2:53 PM said...

Hey, Trish! Great idea for a blog - I'm rooting for you!

I've lost 8lbs by cutting back on my pop, cutting out sugar completely twice a week and amping up my exercise. I incorporated jogging into my usual walking routine which has really helped. I try to make some small change at least once every two months so it becomes a habit :-)

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 5:25 PM said...

Hey, Beth! Great ideas. I think I'm going to just have to face the fact that I can't have Coke anymore. Tried Coke Zero today -- hate the aspartame taste.

I doubt I'll be jogging anytime soon, but I do love to walk and go hiking. I wish I had a hiking buddy, but I don't so I don't get to go that often. Need to drag hubby on an excursion to a state park or somewhere after it cools down a bit. Hiking in the 90s with high humidity isn't pleasant.

Caren Crane on July 29, 2009 at 7:06 PM said...

Trish, I'm with Marie-Nicole on looking things up ahead of time. If I'm lunching with friends, I go online and find nutritional information, make a choice, and stick with it when I order. Without that, I would go with the "impulse order". Not a good idea!

Also, I have had Type 1 diabetes for 28 years, so I've become something of an expert at guesstimating about grams of carbs and fat in things. Always avoid anything creamy. Always. No ranch dressing, no alfredo, etc. If it's bad for you at home, it's ten times worse in a restaurant!

The best way to make sure you eat well is to fix your own fresh food and avoid packaged stuff. No mixes or boxed dinners or stuff like that. I was forced to give all those up about 10 years ago when I became severely allergic to MSG, so avoiding them is easy for me, but tempting for those in a time crunch.

A great thing to do is to buy a fryer on sale and stew a chicken each week. You'll have fresh chicken broth (for soup and for liquid for cooking rice, etc.), plus tons of fresh chicken for enchiladas, chicken salad, soups, stews and anything else you can dream up. Saves money and gives you lots of options. Plus, if you have chicken and broth already in the fridge, you'll be more inclined to cook dinner!

You've inspired me and I'm back on Phase 1 (sometimes 2) of the South Beach Diet, plus exercising in a dedicated way. Thanks, Trish!

Caren Crane on July 29, 2009 at 7:08 PM said...

Another tip about fast food: Wendy's small chili plus a Caesar side salad OR a Jr. hamburger and a side salad are a great fast food lunch. Not too much saturated fat or too many calories. Be sure to skip the cheese on the burger and the crackers with the chili, though!

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on July 29, 2009 at 8:41 PM said...

Caren, great tips. So, for the less cooking-inclined like myself, how and how long do you cook the whole fryer? I am not a natural cook. My sister got all the Betty Crocker genes in our family.

Oh, glad to hear that about the Wendy's chili. I like it in the winter. I'll have to learn to like it without crackers because I was always heavy on the crackers.

Monica McCabe on July 30, 2009 at 10:47 AM said...

Great blog idea, Trish! The hardest part of weight loss for me is keeping the motivation going. I'll go great for a few weeks, then get bored with the perpetual starvation or push for exercise and slack off. To keep on track I have a small calendar that I note my weight every morning. Watching it go down, even slowly, helps momentum.

I've also started walking more. Hubby & I carpool so I get to his work a little early and walk for 30 minutes. That's about 1.25 miles four days a week and it's really helping!

And motivation is always easier when you have a nice reward at the end. For me it's a trip to St. Lucia in September. I know I'll never be bikini weight, but I'd like to be semi-comfortable in a one piece. The Caribbean is loaded with french poodles, I'd settle for being a happy spaniel. :~)

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