Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weekly Meeting Topic Dining Out

This week's topic for us Canadians was "Dining Out" I know many American meetings covered dealing with Thanksgiving this week, we've of course already been there done that!

When you're early on in the Weight Watchers program, dining out can be absolutely terrifying!  We all know that no matter how healthy a choice you make, the calories are much higher than what we can make ourselves at home.  Of course almost anything made by someone else always tastes much better!

Dining out isn't easy even for us veterans of the Weight Watchers program.  Its easy to go into a dining out situation with the mindset of an angel.  We leave the house/work/stores/etc thinking we're going to be good, make the best possible choice from the menu and not eat all of the food in that massive serving.  That resolution often weakens when we're suddenly faced with the menu, with a nice juicy bacon cheeseburger, all dressed pizza, deep fried goodies, whatever your poison is.  Suddenly that resolve weakens!  We come out of that meal out beating ourselves up!

What are the hazards when we eat out?
  • Alcohol, not only do the points add up but it relaxes us and we start to make poor choices
  • Breads and bread basket (oh my evil nemesis!)
  • Creamy soups and sauces (oh and cheese too!)
  • Desserts
  • Fried foods
  • "Loaded" foods like baked potatoes with cheese, bacon, fried mushrooms, etc.
  • Portion size can you say HUGE???
Calculating the points on the foods we eat in a restaurant can be tricky too.  In the ideal situation the restaurant provides the nutritional information on their dishes (website, menu or pamphlet), then you just do your Weight Watchers math.  If there's no nutritional information you have two options available to you, to do your best look up the point values on individual foods or ingredients.  Its better to guess then to not track at all.  Or you can use the "Set Points" value that Weight Watchers assigns to basic food groups (protein 5, starchy vegetables 6, fruit 2).  This takes a lot of the guesswork out of figuring it out, these are often on the high side but its better to err on the side of caution.

So what are some strategies we can use when we're faced with a meal out?
  • Sabotage!  That's right, if you pick at your plate once you're full sabotage the food that's left.  Pour pepper, salt, vinegar or ketchup all over it.  Make it impossible to eat.  Remember often serving sizes are 2-3 times what we really should be eating.
  • Ask the server not to bring a part of the dish, such as please skip the bun on my hamburger or no fries please, skip the bacon, skip the cheese, etc.
  • Use your voice!  If the item isn't cooked the way you want it... ask!  Ask if something can be grilled, can the vegetables be steamed, etc.  Please no cream sauce.  If we ask for healthy options eventually the restaurants will be forced to put it on the menu (and its been on the rise lately!)
  • Ask for a container and doggie bag 1/2 of your meal before you start
  • Replace the fries, pasta, rice, etc with salad
  • Eat your salad/vegetables FIRST if you're full of veggies you may not eat as much of the higher point valued foods
  • Check the menu and nutritional information ahead of time, go in with your mind made up of what you're going to order.  If you're likely to change your mind tell the server not to bring you a menu.  If you're tempted by other people's orders, ask to put in your order first.
  • Don't leave eating too late
  • If you know the meal is going to be late, have a healthy, low point snack before you go out
  • Drink a glass of water before your meal, continue to drink water during your meal.  Actually drink lots of water after too, prepared foods are often so full of sodium it can affect your weight the following day.
  • Eat slowly, take this opportunity to socialize instead of shovelling food into your mouth so you can't say a word!
One thing that's very important I want all of you to remember, when you do overeat (and we all do it) or enjoy something that isn't "healthy food" don't feel bad about it, and beat yourself up.  We have to realize we're all human and we're not perfect.  Be accountable for the points you ate, track it and get yourself back on plan RIGHT NOW!  Never allow yourself to have the mindset "I've blown it... so why stop now, can I have the dessert menu please?'

So, don't face that meal out with fear, plan, be prepared and enjoy it as a social event not a licence to stuff your face with that bacon cheeseburger with poutine on the side.

It was time for a change today, and I got my hair cut, I don't think I'm too fond of it.  Hopefully in a day or two that will change, maybe I just need to "get used" to it.  I also look like crap and pale due to another migraine.


Lady P said...

I think the new do looks very chic. And once you're feeling better with a little colour in your cheeks, you'll be all set.

fatgirlwearingthin said...

I scrolled down to read any other missed posts, and WOW!! I think you look great in that style - very sexy!! Are you liking it better now that you've had a chance to get used to it?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate those tips for eating...esp for eating out! I am struggling to lose weight on my own right now. These tips help because we do tend to eat pit frequently. I saw the picture of you above, and WOW, you look so different after losing the weight. I wouldn't have known that was you/the same person. Hope that happens to me! LOL