Thursday, September 30, 2010

Much Munch

Do you snack? Should you snack? The idea of snacking is commonly traced to our ancestors who ate frequent high-calorie, small meals throughout the day to maintain energy (so they could catch the wild animals they were chasing). There are many diet programs that prescribe snacks between each meal. And, for some people with health issues (like diabetes), maintaining proper blood sugar throughout the day is a matter of life and death.

Somewhere between the body's need to snack and today an entire industry emerged devoted to snacking. A report published this year says 27% of children get their daily calories from snacking and unfortunately those snacks are often processed, sugary and salty concoctions with little health value.

Snacking, in and of itself, is not a "bad" practice. Adding un-needed calories and fake food to our daily diet is a bad practice. The decision to snack or not to snack is best made as a personal one. If your body feels hungry (i.e., tummy growling) between meals, perhaps a snack makes sense for you. If you choose to snack, snack wisely with foods that serve your body. Snacks of vegetables or fruits is a terrific way to get even more servings of those beneficial foods. If you're looking for something more substantial, consider an ounce of whole nuts or seeds. Organic whenever possible.

If you need a rule to follow, use this one: select snacks that serve.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall for Dinner

Autumn is upon us and the last of the summer tomato harvests are near complete. One of my favorite things about autumn is the excuse to make soup. There is something about a large pot of simmering soup that perfectly compliments the growing chill in the air.

This weekend is a terrific time to make your first slow-cooked, homemade soup this fall. You have a few days to peruse soup recipes and plan your meal. Both Whole Foods and Epicurious have terrific soup recipes for you to consider. Choose a recipe which will require a bit of effort (make the time; it will be the weekend!) and find one that will simmer for hours on the stove top. Your home will be filled with wonderful aromas which will make your meal that much more tasty.

Round out your souper meal with a loaf of whole grain bread and salad greens topped with sliced apples and cheese (manchego and blue types both work nicely). If you're feeling extra domestic, whip up a nice Apple and Pear crisp as dessert. And, the best part of devoting a bit of your weekend making soup is you can make extra so you have leftovers to enjoy as dinner or lunches during the week.

Who knows... you might enjoy it so much you make a regular weekend practice of a steaming bowl full of luscious, satisfying soup. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


One of the nicest things about a weekend is the extra time you can devote to lunch. Most often, lunch on the weekends is a bit later than the normal 12 PM hour and is a more relaxed meal. Think about what you had for lunch this past weekend... did you eat at home or go out? Did you eat more or less than you typical weekday lunch? Or did you skip lunch due to a late breakfast or enjoying weekend activities?

If you have a prescribed lunch hour during the work week, it is often consumed with the task of getting lunch and too frequently is cut short due to morning meetings running late or the email devices we carry with us wherever we go.

Why not give a new lunch plan a go? For several days in a row, make and take a healthful lunch with you to work. This practice provides several benefits: less costly, easier to make more healthy choices and it saves you time. As a reward, take an actual lunch break for those few days. Go outside and get some fresh air during your lunch break. Devote at least a few minutes for a walk before you eat. Find a nice spot near some nature and sit and savor your lunch. Take a break from your electronics (you could even leave them in your office!). If you have time, take a good old fashioned book with you or spend a few minutes writing in a journal.  End your lunch with a few stretches and walk back to your office.

It may take a few days, but I think you'll find yourself both more relaxed and more energetic after this kind of lunch hour. We are more productive when we are both relaxed and energetic, so take a step away from the races of rats and enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Most Important Meal?

Conventional wisdom, in the US, says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In other parts of the world, this isn't necessarily so. Breakfast, in a great number of places is coffee, some type of bread and maybe some fruit. If you reported this as your breakfast to your physician or a health-conscious friend you would probably be on the receiving end of a lecture. Who is correct?

In some countries it is tradition to eat dinner very late (by US standards), even during the week. There are places on this fabulous and diverse Earth where eating dinner at 8 PM is considered early with the typical dinner hour closer to 10 PM. We (as in those from the US) have been told not to eat so late in the evening. It is best for our body and our sleep to not go to bed on a full tummy. So... how does the rest of the world do so and what is the "right" answer?

Well, the right answer is there is no right answer. How disappointing and exciting at the very same time! If you are one of those people who needs to be told precisely what to do and you've lived your entire life in the US, you are probably best to not eat late at night and start the day with a good breakfast. If you are following that advice and you're not feeling energized and healthy each day, perhaps you could try something new. Consider your family heritage... are your ancestors from a place where late dinner was the custom? If so, you can do a little experiment all in the name of health. For a week or two, adopt new eating habits. Have a late dinner and eat a wee breakfast. Or, have a substantial lunch and a very light dinner. Experiment!

The real secret to sustainable health and lifelong wellness is for you to find your own best plan for eating, exercise and sleep. Sure, it may take a little extra effort for a few weeks, but what a great investment in your life. Start with keeping a 7-day log of your current habits, then change things around for the next 7-days. In your log, record what you change and how you feel. Keep trying new things and then, adopt what makes you feel the best.

Let's face it, an investment in yourself is the very best investment you will ever make.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Better Name for Bad?

Readers beware! The rebranding of high fructose corn syrup is underway. The name supported by the corn industry is "corn sugar." Firstly, when the people who have the most to gain support something it could be hint of something less than objective. I can't find where a new name is necessary, in the first place. I think the renaming campaign is all about a new way to confuse consumers. Cynical? Perhaps.

Let's presume king corn won't get their desired name, so now what? The NY Times blog yesterday asked for help with a new name. They asked some food experts who suggested:

  • Corn Glucose an Fructose Syrup (Marion Nestle)
  • Enzymatically Altered Corn Glucose (Michael Pollan)
  • Glucose-Fructose Corn Sweetener (Michael Jacobson)
  • Corn Sugar (Barry Popkin)
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (Dr. Andrew Weil)
If you'd like to, you can suggest your own name and vote on the five choices using the blog link above. From this list, I like Michael Pollan's suggestion of EACG mostly because "enzymatically altered" simply sounds like something bad for you. And, I think we should simply require the label to say BAD. Anything processed or altered should be identified on the label by the three letters B-A-D. Realistically, it doesn't much matter what the substance comes from because few processed ingredients resemble their natural beginnings. And, BAD is very easy for consumers to understand. How powerful would it be if our food labels said (from our initial Manwich blog):

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), BAD, Distilled Vinegar, BAD, Less than 2% of: BAD, BAD, Dehydrated Onions, Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Peppers, Chile Pepper, Tomato Fiber, BAD, BAD, BAD, Dehydrated Garlic, BAD, BAD.

Now that would be a pretty clear label. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pick up the Knife

There was a widely read article in the NY Times this week about Dr. Maring who started a farmer's market at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California. Dr. Maring is working to help doctor's recognize the power of food in healing. Read the article and we send our thanks to Dr. Maring for being so passionate about food.

Does it work? We happen to think so and there are a growing number of studies to support the idea of food as medicine. If you happen to belong to the set of people that believe it doesn't matter what you eat,  my condolences. Here is the bottom line: approximately $1.5 trillion dollars of our healthcare dollars are spent on potentially preventable diseases. Those diseases are predominantly heart disease and diabetes and the complications associated with them.

Both heart disease and diabetes are drastically impacted by the foods you eat. If you eat well (mostly whole, real food; many fruits and vegetables; little processed food) your chances of getting heart disease and diabetes is much lower than those who eat poorly. The solution seems clear... find a farmer's market near you, pick up the knife and start chopping.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Good Label

The headline in the Wall Street Journal reads "Lab-Spawned Salmon: To Label or Not Label" and the article reports the events at the FDA's hearing yesterday. The FDA is considering if it should allow "AquAdvantage" salmon into the US food market. It held a public hearing yesterday as it is also considering if the label will be required to say the salmon has been genetically modified.

Why we even need a hearing for this is completely beyond reason. The only rational answer is a resounding YES! American consumers have a right to know what they are eating. And, by the way, we don't. If you are unaware, you are currently eating genetically modified fruits and vegetables. They were approved some time ago. And, milk manufacturers are not required to label milk that comes from cows that have been given growth hormone.

How far are we (that is we, you and me, consumers) going to let this go? There are reports of young girls going into puberty earlier and earlier and some suspect the culprit is growth hormone in milk. Manufacturers are allowed to use "natural spices" as code for MSG in foods. How did this happen?

It is time we require the labels of all foods and all consumer products to clearly and honestly say what is in the package. Better still, we should require the packages to outline the process required to get the food in the package. Perhaps if we required Truth in Labeling we would have a more educated consumer base that could make better choices with their precious dollar. Education and better choices only harms those hanging onto the status quo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And hold for 1, 2, 3, 4....

You've heard the advice over and over... to get a "good stretch" you need to hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Do you? Does anybody? You can do a little test now, if you're willing. Read the instructions for doing this Chest Stretch and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Go ahead! I'll stretch too and meet you back here....


If you stretch a muscle too far or too quickly, the body has a built in protective response in your muscle spindle. The GTO, or Gogli tendon organ, is located at the ends of your tendons, where the muscle fiber attaches to bone. By monitoring tendon length, the GTO protects your muscles by causing it to relax when the muscle develops too much tension, or when the muscle tension changes too quickly. The muscle spindle and GTO are the reason you need to hold a stretch for 20-30 seconds. The GTO needs enough time to override the muscle spindle and allow your muscle to stretch.

Stretching is very good for our bodies. It increases our flexibility, improves our range of motion, improves circulation and reduces stress. In our fast paced world, it can be very relaxing to take a mini-break and devote a few minutes of each day to stretching.

If you did the chest stretch with me, and, if you actually held the stretch for 30 seconds, you now realize how very long 30 seconds can seem. A full body stretch while holding each stretch for 30 seconds may require 10 to 15 minutes of your time. And, it is time invested well. If you don't have time in one sitting, break it up into two or three segments in your day.

If you can only find 30 minutes in your day to get some exercise, walk for 15 minutes and stretch for 15 minutes. Your body will be happier for it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

When the going gets good...

What went well for you today? Quick! Think of one thing that went well. It could be something as simple as a few more green lights during the moving drive. Or, no line at the cafe when you stopped to get lunch. You could have heard some good news today or maybe you got an unexpected call from a friend which brought you a smile.

Even in the worst of bad days, you can find something that went well. Concentrating on the good can make you feel better and then when someone asks, "How was your day?" you can say, "I had a terrific day! I had a few minutes to catch up with a dear friend."

If we make a practice of seeing the good in each and every day, perhaps there will be more good to see. Happy Monday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Same old? Same old.

I am a creature of habit. I enjoy "food loyalty" you could say. I eat the same thing for breakfast most every day and when going out to a restaurant I frequent, I typically order the same thing. Ask some of the people around me... I existed on a "Garden Salad with Tuna on top, No Dressing" for several years. I have made up a story that life is so dynamic with many new things going that the same types of food provide me some consistency. Maybe. Maybe not.

How does this apply to you? Are you eating the same foods you ate 5 years ago, 10 years ago? Are you continuing to exercise the same way you did while in your 20s? Or, do you berate yourself because you think you should be doing the same exercise you did while in your 20s?

If you keep doing the same old thing, you could end up with the same old thing. Huh? The idea is that we change. The amount and types of food and exercise we need as children are much different than what we need as adults. The amount of sleep teenagers best function on is often vastly different than the amount of sleep we may need when we're in our 60s.

If you are continuing to do the same things you did five years ago, consider something new. Some routine is good and change is part of who we are and will always be. This weekend, do something different. Sleep more or sleep less or take an afternoon nap. Eat fish instead of meat; eat meat instead of fish. Eat breakfast for dinner and dinner for breakfast. Try something new and then see how you feel. Why not? Life is but a dream... so change your dream!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cold Feet?

What do you when you notice your feet are cold? Some people put on socks. Some people go to the Internet to search for a disease which lists cold feet as a symptom.

The sock people will, in many cases, get warm feet. The Internet people will cause themselves a great deal of worry and upset.

If your body is telling you something is wrong, perhaps you could look inside to find a solution. If you don't find anything there, perhaps you could look at your environment. And then maybe take a look at the choices you make.

Perhaps, many of the things we look to "experts" to cure could be fixed (with much less hassle) by paying more attention to what we do and what we don't do. We could do ourselves, and each other, a huge favor by simply being aware of the choices we make and making different ones when the first choices don't work for us any longer. Could health be so simple? Perhaps so.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Three Frogs

There are three frogs sitting on a log hanging out in the pond. It is a nice sunny day, a gentle breeze blows. Enough flies wander by so the frogs have an occasional snack. One of the frogs says, "I made a decision. I am going to jump off of the log."

How many frogs are left on the log?

The answer is three. The frog said he made a decision to jump.

Making a decision to do something and actually doing something are very different. Of course, you are saying. That is obvious. Yes, it is obvious. And, consider this... how many times have you said something like, "I am going to get more exercise" or "I am going to start walking each day"? Better yet, have you ever said, "I am going to try and make better food choices"? If you want to put even more pressure on yourself you can say something like, "I really need to get more sleep."

The frogs can teach us a lesson which is vaguely reminiscent of something your Mother used to say, "Say what you do and do what you say." If we take this to heart, we should not utter the words, "I've made a decision..." or "I am going to try..." We could instead say, "I am walking every day!" and "I am eating more vegetables."

The vast majority of people in this country are overweight, don't get the recommended amount of exercise and don't eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. If you are one of those people: Option 1: Give yourself a break and stop pretending you are going to do something about it, or,
Option 2: Give yourself a gift and actually get up from where you are right now, take a walk and then eat a vegetable.

As Yoda said, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Is Your Engine Light On?

What do you do when the engine light in your car goes on unexpectedly? Do you immediately pull over to the side of the road and call a tow truck? Or, do you put a piece of tape over the light so it doesn't bother you while you're driving?

Both are "solutions" to the engine light problem and both are rather extreme. Presuming there aren't billows of smoke pouring from your car and you can still drive normally, the most rationale response to the engine light is to continue to drive safely to your destination and then call your mechanic to schedule an appointment for sometime in the next several days. 

What do you do when you start to feel some tightness or tension across your forehead? Do you ignore it? Or do you immediately run to the medicine cabinet and take some pills? Believe it or not, both of those reactions to head tension may be as extreme as a tow truck or tape for an engine light. 

There is often a reasonable response to most of the messages our bodies are sending us. Unfortunately, many of us have been told to hide the signals we get from our bodies. We can even go so far as hiding a signal for the best of reasons. For instance, if I run too many miles for too many days in a row my right hip begins to ache. I have many choices to "fix" the pain in my hip. I could rub some stuff on it, take a pill or simply ignore it because I "know" running is good for me even if my hip doesn't agree.

I could hear the message from my hip which is saying, "Hey, you! Too much running lately. Give me a rest." I could take a day or two off from running and rest or swim or stretch or do some resistance training. I could add other forms of cardiovascular exercise and develop a new weekly routine which doesn't cause me hip pain.  I could do more stretching before and after a run and pay attention to what my hip says when I add that strategy to my regime. 

The idea is that we recognize the engine light our body is turning on and we learn to respect the message it is sending. You don't respect the engine light in your car by putting tape over it so you don't have to see it anymore. If you ignore it long enough, sooner or later, your car will stop running. I promise. Likewise, taking a pain reliever every day so you don't feel your hip pain may not be the best thing for your overall health and wellness. Sooner or later, your hip pain will turn into knee pain and back pain and ankle pain and, one day, you won't be able to get out of bed because you're entire body is forced to stop "running" in order to get your attention. 

Do a quick scan of your body and see if you have an engine light on. If you do, consider how you could respect the message and learn how to give your body what it needs. You body doesn't send false alarms. 


Monday, September 13, 2010

What Simon Doesn't Say

Most will remember playing Simon Says during our growing up years. Seemingly a simple game to entertain and occupy children, it is actually a wonderful practice in living in the present and listening. I suspect there is a market for corporate training programs to re-teach the concept, but that is not why we're here today. 

There are plenty of studies that say we emulate the behavior of those around us. Such concepts have even gone so far as to say we can lose weight by hanging out with thin people because we're more likely to make more healthful food choices in their presence. Therein lies another business idea.... Companies can hire fit, happy looking people to hang out in the corporate cafeteria and eat vegetables. And, also not why we're here.

We're here to discuss the abysmal record Americans have when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables. A study published a few days ago shows us the news. Only 32.5% of people get the recommended daily servings of fruits (2 servings) and a mere 26% had the recommended servings of vegetables (3 servings). We know they are good for us. We know they taste good. We know our bodies feel better after eating well instead of eating poorly. And yet... Yet we don't make it happen. Why? Complex answer which is some combination of access, cost, education and convenience. Last I checked there were no corner quick-service restaurants focused on fruit and vegetables (another business idea though challenging to be successful).

Our challenge is clear. Each and every one of us can increase our own consumption of fruits and vegetables. We can plan our Eat. menu each day with more servings than we are getting now. Add one serving of a vegetable and a fruit each day until you get to the daily recommended servings. And then keeping adding. The USDA recommendations are too low for optimal health. How far should you go? Depends on what works best for you. Personally, I consume 5 servings of fruits and 8-10 servings of vegetables on a daily basis. Add servings, give yourself some time to adapt to less junk and more fresh and then see how you feel. 

Getting more is most important. Getting plenty is the best thing you can do for your long term health and wellness. If the people around you aren't doing so, start the trend. Do what Simon doesn't say. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Move. It Outside

The temperature outside is cooling and the humidity is receding. Very good news for those who live in the 'heat belt' and have been enduring temps in the 90s. What can you do with all of this cool air and earthy aroma? Get outside!

Fall is a terrific time to add outside exercise to your regime. You have many options the easiest of which is walking. Believe or not, walking is an excellent cardiovascular and toning exercise. If you're not doing any exercise, walking is the way to begin. Start with 10 minutes a day and add a minute each day until you're up to 30 minutes. As you advance, you can strap on ankle or wrist weights for more resistance.

A great progression from walking is stairs. Many of us remember Rocky and his climb up the famous stairs in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look around... there are likely a few good sets of stairs somewhere around you.

After you have a good baseline of cardio walking and stairs, you can go for a jog and then work your way up to a run. But, only if it works for you. The secret to successful exercise is choosing something you enjoy and something that challenges you a little bit. If you don't like to run or don't have clearance from your physician, don't run!

There are plenty of other things you can do to get a good cardio workout. Jumping rope is an old stand-by. Or do jumping jacks and remember your primary school gym teacher. Biking is great exercise and if you don't have a bicycle borrow one from a friend or rent one (a quick Google search will give you lots of options in your area). Inline skating and even old-fashioned four-wheel skating is a possibility.

The whole idea here is to take advantage of the lovely weather, get outside in nature and get some more exercise in your life. Grab a loved one, grab a friend, grab a pet, grab a set of weights and get out there and Move.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Log on and drop off

A study released in July shows the more often you log on to a weight loss website, the more weight you can keep off. This is great news for the 72 million Americans who need to lose weight. The participants in this study logged into a website at least once per week and recorded their weight, food and activity logs. They also participated in a support group for the first part of the two year study. After two years, the weight was still off. Excellent work for those people and a great example for others to follow. Let's get logging and losing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good for Oshine, Good for You

A steady diet of processed foods and sweets, to include jelly and marshmallows, has caused Oshine to put on a few pounds. In fact, Oshine weighs in at twice the proper weight for someone her size. What is a girl to do? Give up the junk and dine on fresh fruits, vegetables and a few weekly servings of lean protein (chicken breasts and eggs). Plus, lots of exercise!

Oshine is in her breeding years and it is wise for her to get a bit more healthy before she conceives. None of this is at all surprising. Each of us, if on a regime of processed food and no exercise, will quickly put on the pounds. And, it is (unfortunately) not all that unusual for someone to be two times their natural weight.

What makes Oshine so special? She's an orangutan. A beautiful, orange, furry girl with a bit of a belly. We'll keep track of Oshine and her progress now that she's living the healthful life. If she can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Autumn's Calling

We are 15 days from the first day of Autumn. The light began to change a few weeks ago and the air smelled just a tad sweeter. A few leaves have already started to drop from the trees, just in time to make back-to-school time feel autumn-like (at least here in Maryland).

If you think about the seasons, each one brings us gifts. Summer's bright sun and warmth and the abundance of the harvest during late summer. If you have planted any tomato plants this year, you are now to the point where you're getting creative with all of the ripe, red fruit laying in wait for your stroll through the garden. Soon enough it will be time to let go of this year's garden and plow the plants under to nourish the soil for next year.

The trees will also begin to let go of more and more leaves.  Before we know it, we'll be looking out on a landscape of bare trees getting ready to brace for winter. The shedding of leaves is a great thing for the trees. With bare branches and no leaves to support, the energy of the tree goes into the ground where it gathers to lie in wait for the spring. And, by letting go of the leaves in the fall, the tree has plenty of room for new leaves in the spring. We can take a hint from the trees...

What could you let go of in your life? Perhaps as simple as an old story that you are not smart enough or rich enough. Perhaps you could let go of the idea that you'll never be healthy; that you simply can't exercise every day and eat better. Maybe you can let go of a friendship that doesn't serve you anymore or some stuff sitting about in piles around your house. In keeping with what happens in nature, fall is the perfect time of year to survey your life and get rid of stuff.

So while you're still enjoying the fruits of late summer and watching the landscape turn golden as the sun sets, begin to think about what you can let go of. Autumn will be here in 15 days and that is the time to prepare for next spring. We all have things in our life that we don't really need anymore. Go fetch a mental rake and begin to make piles of stuff. Make some room now so when spring is upon us there will be plenty of space in your life for new, more fantastic stuff.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Body Mass Index (BMI)

There are some fitness gurus who don't think BMI is a good measure of fitness. It does have some disadvantages (particularly for big, muscular men) but generally speaking it is a piece of information to know in your pursuit of wellness. Here is a handy calculator from Healthy Widgets to find out your personal BMI:

BMI Calculator
Height: feet   inch(es)
Weight: pounds

And here is a handy table to know what your results mean:

BMIWeight Status
Below 18.5Underweight
18.5 - 24.9Normal
25.0 - 29.9Overweight
30.0 and aboveObese

As you journey toward better health and wellness for life keep track of your BMI and body fat data. A check in once or twice per month is a good interval and keep a diary so you'll know how much healthier you're getting over time. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Body Fat Tool

The best way to know where you are going is to know where you are coming from. If you are considering a new wellness program, knowing your body fat percentage is a great piece of data. Calculating body fat can be done by a personal trainer, on a fancy scale (though they are unreliable) or through other high-tech tools available at some gyms and medical facilities.

And then there is this little tool published by Mike Moorehead of Healthy Widgets. It seems to be pretty accurate and is a quick and easy way to get an idea of where you are. A big thanks to Mike for making this great little tool!

Body Fat Calculator
Once you have your number, use the table below to see if you have room for improvement. 
10-12%2-4%Essential Fat

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Only Half

Eating at home and preparing whole, natural, real and organic food is best for your body. And, it is not always possible. Besides, a nice dinner out is a great way to relax and celebrate. Eating out is one of life's great pleasures and not something we should give up, even in the pursuit of wellness. The key to eating out successfully is to do so wisely. Yes, there are places to eat that serve more healthful food choices. And, sometimes we really want that burger and fries or steak and frites, depending on your desires.

The risk of eating too much when eating out is huge (ahem, pardon the pun). The beginning of the "super-size" revolution is hard to pinpoint to one particular item (perhaps the 7-11 Big Gulp?) but it is now nearly universal. A terrific article in yesterday's USA Today provided some great perspective:

  • Sandwich from Panera = 14 ounces vs. FDA sandwich serving size = 5 ounces
  • Cookie from Starbucks = 3 ounces vs. FDA cookie serving size = 1 ounce
  • Bagel from Einstein Bros = 4 ounces vs. FDA bagel serving size = 2 ounces
If you do nothing else to change your eating habits, do this: eat 1/3 to 1/2 of whatever you order while you're out. If you combine the calorie difference in the serving sizes of the three items above you would avoid 830 calories by eating the recommended serving size vs. what you are served. 

You can lose 10 pounds a year by reducing your calorie count by 100 calories per day. If you reduce your calories count by 800 a day the math would predict a 80 pound weight loss in a year (depending on your starting weight, of course).

I'll say it again: When you eat out, share your meal with one or two other people, take most of it home for another meal, give it to another hungry person or throw it away! Weight loss isn't difficult once you have the information you need.