Eating Out and Dieting

October 2, 2010 at 9:57 PM (Nutrition)

First off, I don’t like the term ‘dieting’. It sounds like a negative thing, full of restrictions and taboos and no-no’s.  Essentially, it is, but if you’re truly trying to lose weight, lower cholesterol, improve health, your nutritional intake plays a major role in that. Thinking of it as a diet, as a restriction, a chore… makes it an unpleasant thing to do. However, for long-term success in any weight loss program requires a change of lifestyle, not just a short-term diet. You have to be realistic. Am I going to be able to maintain a weight loss if I stop the ‘diet’ once I reach my goal weight? Nope. Because all those things that have been a taboo, or a no-no, are suddenly available! I can now eat all I want!  Wrong. Completely wrong.

This has been part of my lifelong struggle with my weight. I’ll work and work and work and watch what I eat, try walking regularly, being less sedentary, but overall, I give up on it because I’m not achieving the results I want. Nor am I making lifelong changes to the way I live my life. This is what I’m learning on this journey to better myself.

Today my husband and I went to the mall. I wanted to get my hair done, he also needed a haircut, so we went. The plan was to do that, wander the mall a bit, and have lunch/late dinner there. We did a lot of shopping. We went to the book store, Yankee Candle and I always have to stop at Claire’s. We had a late lunch/early supper at Ruby Tuesday. Now, when you are on a ‘diet’ would you think about going to a restaurant such as this? Not many people think it’s ‘allowed’, but truly it is. It’s all about making the right choices while you’re there.

My current nutrition plan is very low carb, balanced protein and fat, and the carbs I get come from small portions of brown rice (No more than 2/3 a cup a day) and vegetables. Lots of vegetables. They are high in fiber, vitamins and nutrients and aid in keeping the body healthy and properly nourished. The trick to staying on such a plan when you go out to eat, is to make the right choices. I know, for instance, that a serving of chicken breast, no skin, grilled or broiled, is 3.5 ounces. I know what that looks like, since I’ve been using a scale to measure my own at home. I order the Chicken Fresco (I think that’s what it was called)  I got two veggies, plus the salad bar. I had steamed broccoli and grilled asparagus. The chicken had two slices of tomato on top of two small breasts (Each breast looked like a serving to me), and a drizzle of their yummy butter-garlic sauce. Yes, I can have butter! (limited, but I can have it). As soon as she put it on the table, I asked for a box. I divided the entire meal evenly. Half of each veggie, half the chicken, and I boxed it up. My salad was leafy greens (Eat as much of those as you want, they have maybe 15 calories in a large bowl), I added cucumbers, a little broccoli, a sprinkle of onion… now this is slightly off from the phase of my nutrition plan I’m on, it calls for three different veggies during dinner.. I had small doses of extra. I added about a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, and they did not have oil and vinegar. I used about a teaspoon of light ranch dressing (again, not on the current plan list of foods) but that tiny bit was enough to give a whole lot of flavour to this salad. The salad was filling, and tasty, it had protein with the nuts on it, lots of fiber.  The chicken was more protein, the veggies more fiber, all things that keep you full longer. Afterwards I drank an entire 12 ounce glass of water, and said no to dessert.

Did I feel deprived that I couldn’t add croutons or more dressing, or cheese to my salad? Not even a little bit. Did I feel hungry after? Gosh no, I was so full I wanted to curl up and have a nap. A person CAN go with smaller portions and still be satisfied.  Remember that it’s all about choices. Make smarter choices and it will be less of a struggle.

I am NOT saying that ‘dieting’ is easy. Not one little bit. At least once a day I want something decadent. Cheesecake, or a bag of potato chips. A bowl of ice cream, or a bowl of buttery popcorn. It’s not always possible for me to avoid them either, but I have to make smart choices even when I’m making dumb choices. A slipup is not the end of the plan. A slipup is just that. A momentary slip, a moment of poor judgment, and recovering from it is not always easy. However, it takes strength and determination to not let such a slip devolve into a downward spiral into binge eating. If a slipup does NOT become a binge, then I call that a win.\

I will close with this final thought. Someone over on the LiveFit Revolution forums posted this, which I hold in my mind every time a craving comes up.

A craving last 7 minutes.  So my thought is this. 7 minutes is enough time to go for a walk. Turn on the radio and sing and dance to the next two or three songs. Call a friend and have a chat. This is especially good if you have someone going through the same thing. Support systems are wonderful things.  7 minutes is enough time to run a hot bubble bath and pour a glass of iced or hot tea. 7 minutes is enough time to change into workout clothes and grab a kettlebell. 7 more minutes you can do a nice warmup and get your mind on something positive. I know there are hundreds of things you can use that 7 minutes for, just choose one, and walk away from the chocolate ice cream. 🙂

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