Monday, August 24, 2009

News about Fast Food Lunches

I've been doing a lot more looking at restaurant Web sites lately for the nutritional information. I was pleasantly surprised by how many have this information available, but I wish it was universal. For instance, Cracker Barrel doesn't have one, and other restaurants (like Famous Dave's BBQ, from which we got takeout tonight) only has a partial listing. When the official lists aren't available, it takes a bit more investigation and sometimes estimating. I estimate on the high side when I'm not sure because I don't want to think I'm taking in fewer calories than I actually am.

When I do eat out, I've made different decisions than I've made in the past. As I mentioned in a previous post, most of the time I cut the portions in half and make the meal last for two. I also am trying out different menu items. For instance, at Famous Dave's I used to get the BBQ chicken wings and dip them in ranch dressing. I really wanted them tonight, but they aren't listed in the nutritional information -- which leads me to believe they're one of the higher-calorie options. Instead, I tried the char-grilled chicken sandwich and only ate half of it for 222.5 calories.

I saw an article today (read it here) about how high the average calorie counts are with fast food lunches. I cringed as I thought of all the times I had a burger and fries and an apple pie from McDonald's or a Frito Pie and cheese tots from Sonic. I can still have these on occasion, but not all at once and I have to plan for them. And they need to be the exception rather than the rule, no matter how much I crave them.

Today's progress:

Calorie intake: 1,335

Exercise: 45 minutes mowing (I feel better because of the exercise, and perhaps the neighbors won't stage a lawn intervention.)

Steps: 7,502


Michelle on August 25, 2009 at 10:21 AM said...

I do have such a hard time eating appropriately when I'm dining out. The bad stuff just calls to me, the portions are so large, everyone around you seems to be indulging, etc. It's a real challenge. Trying to plan can help.

MaryC on August 26, 2009 at 8:56 AM said...

I just read a really encouraging article. The link is kind of complicated and the article is short so I'll just copy it here.

The average American adult gains one to two pounds each year, according to various reports. But new research in The Journal of Nutrition suggests a way to prevent this weight gain or even encourage weight loss—without dieting. The secret: eat more fiber.

Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah followed the eating habits of 252 middle-aged women for nearly two years and found that those who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight. Women who decreased the fiber in their diets gained.

The scientists boiled the findings into a single weight-loss formula: boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed resulted in losing about 4½ pounds over the course of the study. And this held true whether a woman was eating 3 or 25 grams of fiber a day at the start of the study. While it helps you feel full, "fiber has no calories," says Larry Tucker, Ph.D., lead researcher and professor in the Department of Exercise Sciences at Brigham Young. So if you fill up on high-fiber foods you crowd out less-healthy foods, explains Tucker.

Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. Here are four foods that will help you get your fill.

* Raspberries: 1 cup = 8 grams
* Green Beans: 1 cup = 4 grams
* Chickpeas: 1 cup = 12.5 grams
* Blueberries: 1 cup = 3.5 grams

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 26, 2009 at 9:56 AM said...

Michelle, I know, we certainly live in a mega-size portion society. Perhaps why we're the fattest nation on earth. It's hard to resist, but I'm trying to make better choices more often. It doesn't mean I don't cave sometimes (like last Saturday at the Mexican restaurant), but I try to make up for it by cutting back more often than not and increasing the exercise when I falter on the eating end of things.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on August 26, 2009 at 9:57 AM said...

Mary, thanks for the article. I try to buy bread with lots of fiber too. Aids with digestion.

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