Americans are eating out more and more these days! And while the average household kitchen is getting smaller, the average restaurant serving size (and the average American waistline) continues to get larger! How do we stop this? There are lots of strategies out there. And it’s okay to eat occasionally, if you can afford it. But if you want to watch your waistline, there are some simple steps to plan ahead.
Personally, we try to pick the restaurant before we get in the car. Then I can look up calorie information online and decide what I want ahead of time. If I go in knowing what I want, I’m less likely to go for the “all you can eat” or fat-ridden daily special. Below are some great articles of key words to avoid on menus and othe great tips.
85 Tips & Strategies for Dining Out: Take the Challenge Out of Dining – by SparkPeople
Full Article here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=544.
Dining Strategies for Specific Cuisines: The Healthy Dining Menu
Includes healthful ideas for Caribbean, Chinese, French, Greek & Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Steakhouse, Thai, and Vietnamese. Article here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=548.
Know Your Menu Watch Words: Throw the Flag at Unhealthy Cooking — By Zach Van Hart, Staff Writer, SparkPeople.
“Green Flag (Potentially Good for You)” Menu Descriptions include Baked, Boiled, Broiled, Fat Free, Fresh, Grilled, High Fiber, Light, Marinated, Multi-grain, Poached, Red Sauce, Reduced, Roasted, Seasoned, Steamed, Stir-Fried, Vegetarian, Vinaigrette, and Whole Wheat.
“Red Flag (Probably Bad for You)” Menu Descriptions include Au gratin, Basted, Battered, Bearnaise (or hollandaise), “Bet you can’t finish it”, Bottomless, Breaded, Buttery/Buttered, Casserole, Cheesy, Country-style, Covered, Creamed/Creamy, Crispy, Crunchy, Escalloped, Fried/Deep fried, Giant, Loaded, Platter, Smothered, Stewed, Stroganoff, Stuffed, Value, Volcano, or White Sauce.
Full Article here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=115.
A video you may be curious about is Super Size Me. You can watch this and other health related videos for free at www.hulu.com.
The basic story is a perfectly healthy guy decides to eat nothing but McDonald’s for one month. He has to eat everything on the menu at least once and if they ask if he wants to supersize it, he has to do it. By the third week, his doctors advise him to quit the experiment for medical reasons.
I did notice that he wasn’t eating normal size meals. He often got two meals or two large sandwiches. I understand that SOME people do this, but I worked at McDonalds and 9 times out of 10, people only ordered one sandwich per person, unless it was a regular hamburger, cheeseburger, or double cheeseburger (which is only 1/10 lb. for the first two or 1/5 lb. for the last option).
He also severely limited his physical activity (based on national norms). The one thing I do agree with is the survey they took from 100 registered dietitians or nutrition experts. Hands down, they agreed that you should only eat fast food a couple times a month, if at all, instead of the all-too-common couple times a day.
Warning: not a movie for children. He gets pretty descriptive about the physical problems he encounters as a result of his experiment.