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. 

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