How to choose foods when dining out:
1. Try to have breakfast within one hour after waking.
2. Try to eat something every 3-4 hours (approximately 5-6 times a day). This helps you to feel less hungry at meals, preventing cravings and over-eating the wrong foods!
3. Stick to recommended portions sizes. As a general rule, keep proteins the size of your palm, starches the size of your fist and make vegetables the bulk of your meal. If you cut your typical portions in half, you will be on the right track.
4. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less starchy foods -- the fruits and vegetables are low in calories, so you can eat more! Starchy foods are high in calories, so keep your portions small.
5. Hey, watch out for fried foods! They are very high in calories and fat. Even small portions rack up the calories quick!
6. Stay away from beverages with calories -- drink 8-10 glasses of water a day! Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go so you don't forget.
7. If you make a mistake at one meal, don't worry about it. Just get on track at the next meal or the next day. Remember, one day doesn't make or break it, it's the big picture that counts!
Eat ahead of time. If you are eating every 3-4 hours, you should not be setting yourself up to be ravenous at meals. If you are hungry as you are walking out the door to have dinner, have a snack! It typically takes at least an hour before you actually get your food when dining out.
Skip the bread. This ties into #1. If you arrive to the restaurant hungry, you will dig into the bread! If you can, request no bread. If you must have bread, have ONE piece and skip the carbohydrates in your meal.
Ask for substitutions. Don't be afraid to ask the waiter for vegetables or salad instead of French fries, potato or other carbohydrates. When having a potato, order the baked potato, cut it in half and eat the skin. Order condiments on the side and add portion-controlled amounts.
Portion control!! If you don't do anything else, at least monitor your portions. If you figure on cutting everything in half, you are close to the appropriate portions you need. You can also ask the waiter for ounces of meat in the dishes. Don't worry about the hungry children in Africa. They can't eat the food anyway! Also, don't be embarrassed to take a doggie bag. You can eat it for lunch the next day -- and you don't have to feel bad about the poor, starving children!
Be smart about dessert. Order one dessert and share with everyone at the table. If no one else wants dessert and you are really craving something sweet, order fresh fruit with some whipped topping. Also, cappuccino with skim milk tends to curb that sweet tooth.
Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect (you are human, remember?). Allow yourself to enjoy foods you like on special occasions. Remember, one meal or even one day won't make a difference -- it's what you do the subsequent days that matter. If you want to splurge, make the conscious decision to do so, eat it SLOWLY, enjoy it and then get back on track the next day!
Don't go hungry! Have a snack before shopping to avoid buying junk!
Always go with a list. This will help prevent buying foods you don't need.
Stay in the periphery of the store. This is where all WHOLE foods are located. The middle of the store is where all processed foods are located. The only aisles you will visit regularly are the cereal/cracker aisle, breads, canned vegetables, fruits and soups, dairy, frozen foods and toiletry/paper goods. Avoid the temptation on the other aisles! Of course, stay away from the bakery!
Take time to discover new items. Get out of the food rut and try something new! Most people have difficulty sticking to a new meal plan because they get tired of eating the same foods. If you need new ideas, ask your dietitian! In the meantime, take some time to browse and be adventurous!
Take advantage of convenience items. They may not be as fresh and free of preservatives as whole foods, but they can come in handy when time is an issue in putting a meal together. Take advantage of pre-cut, pre-washed veggies and fruits. Cooked, cut and seasoned meats, such as Tyson or Perdue chicken strips also help in a pinch.
Please note that the use of a name branded product is NOT an endorsement of that product. Merely, we are calling your attention to types of product that fit a certain description or category.
1) One cup Total cereal (or any cereal-variety, your choice), 1/2 sliced banana, 1% milk, one piece of fruit.
2) Toasted bagel with 1 tablespoon reduced fat cream cheese, one piece of fruit and 8 ounces of low fat milk (can be chocolate), 12 ounces water.
3) 1 serving of the Cottage cheese with fruit (made as on, available in the supermarket), 12 ounces water.
4) 2 scrambled eggs with 1/2 cup mushrooms and 1 ounce (1 slice) 1% cheese, 2 slices of 40-calorie wheat toast, 12 ounces water.
5) 2 toasted Go-Lean waffles, 6 ounces juice, 12 ounces water, 2 slices 1% cheese.
6) One reduced fat yogurt (i.e., Dannon blended), 1 piece of fruit (i.e., apple or banana), 1 slice of whole wheat toast, 12 ounces water. If having Danimals drinkable yogurt, skip the juice.
7) One Publix or bakery low fat muffin, one 8 to 12 ounce low fat chocolate milk
1) Two slices of whole wheat bread (40 calorie variety), 3 slices of roast beef (buy the Healthy Choice type), 1 slice of Alpine Lace Swiss cheese (or any reduced fat cheese), 2 teaspoon Dijonnaise 1/2 1 tsp. each slice of bread. Put slice tomato and lettuce on the sandwich. One piece of fruit (i.e., apple) and 12 ounces water.
2) One cup of cooked whole wheat pasta (the one cup measurement is after cooking), 1/2 cup pasta sauce, 3 ounces grilled ground turkey (mix into the sauce when cooking and mix all into the pasta for the meal). Also mix vegetables (1/2 cup) into the pasta sauce, i.e., diced mushrooms or broccoli), One tablespoon parmesan cheese, 12 ounces water.
3) One grilled chicken breast (cooked and spiced to your taste, preferred without the skin), one piece of fruit (i.e., orange, apple, pear), 1/2 cup cooked wild rice (or brown), 12 ounces water or diet, caffeine-free soda.
4) 1 cup of cooked shrimp (boiled), 1/2 cup cocktail sauce, 1 cup sliced pineapple, 1/2 cup pistachios, 12 ounces water or caffeine-free diet soda.
5) One whole wheat bagel, 2 teaspoons of mustard (1 tsp per 1/2 of bagel), 2 slices Swiss cheese (can be Jarlsberg), 3 slices turkey (can be smoked or honey), sliced tomato to taste, 1 bag (small) of Baked Lay's potato chips, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
6) One slice of pizza, one small side salad, one piece of fruit, 12 ounces of water or diet caffeine-free soda.
7) Four ounces cooked ham, sliced and spiced to taste, 1/2 cup mashed potato (cooked with low fat milk NOT whole milk), one teaspoon of butter (or olive oil) for the potatoes, 1 cup mixed Japanese vegetables (sold in the frozen section of the supermarket), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
1) One cup miso soup, one salmon crunch roll, one fruit cup, green tea, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
2) Six ounces grilled steak, one cup sweet potato (can be a medium potato or mashed/whipped), three spears of asparagus (steamed), one teaspoon of butter for the asparagus (or olive oil), 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (dessert) 12 ounces water, diet caffeine-free soda.
3) One sliced tomato with 3 ounces buffalo mozzarella cheese and one teaspoon olive oil (spiced to taste), six ounces grilled fish (your preference), 1/2 cantaloupe or honeydew, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
4) One small Caesar salad (one cup), one tablespoon salad dressing, one chicken breast (grilled BBQ style), one cup of baby carrots with one tablespoon of Light Ranch dressing (or one tablespoon of hummus (for dipping), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
5) One whole grain bun, one 1/2 pound lean hamburger (try 90/10 cut or higher), one boiled or grilled corn on the cob, one teaspoon of butter (for the corn on the cob), 1/2 cup steamed broccoli or Italian style vegetables (found in the frozen section of the supermarket), 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
6) One cup of mixed fruit (can be diced variety or from a can - in it's own juice), four ounces turkey (cooked and spiced to your taste preference), 1/2 cup string beans, 1/2 cup couscous or brown rice, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
7) One cup salad greens with 1/2 cup nuts and 1/2 cup diced pineapple mixed in (you can use one tablespoon of whatever dressing you prefer), six ounces grilled pork tenderloin, 1/2 cup natural applesauce, 12 ounces water or diet caffeine-free soda.
Low fat or reduced fat microwave popcorn -- 1-2 cups (yes, measure it out after it is popped)
Fruit (no dried fruit)
Light or fat-free yogurt (fruited is acceptable)
7 reduced-fat Triscuits with 1-2 oz. reduced fat cheese
1 small bag of Baked Lay's
1 small protein bar (i.e.,
Supreme Protein bar
Light shakes (i.e.,
1 medium apple (sliced) with 1-tablespoon natural peanut butter
2 Polly-O string cheeses
1 piece of fruit with 1-2 oz. reduced fat cheese
1 oz. mixed nuts (almonds, unsalted peanuts, pecans, etc.)
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese with 1/2 cup mixed fruit
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese with 1 slice of whole wheat or rye toast
1 hard boiled egg with 7 triscuits
1/2 cup cereal with skim milk
1 cup steamed or microwaved vegetables dipped into low-fat dressing (i.e., ranch or French -- limit amount)
1-cup baby carrots dipped into Hummus
1 cup of sugar free Jell-O (pre-made or mix)
1 cup of sugar-free Jell-O pudding (instant powder or pre-made)
1 slice of wheat toast with 1 oz. melted cheese
1/2 cup cereal (any cereal) with 1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup 1% cottage cheese (can be fruited)
15 grapes with or without 1 oz. cheese
15 frozen grapes
1 sliced and frozen banana
2 pieces of Baby Bell (it is a type of cheese)
3 slices of turkey, roast beef or lean ham (deli thin slices) with a piece of fruit
1 glass of reduced fat milk
Sliced celery with peanut butter
Baby carrots with hummus or light ranch dressing
1/2 PBJ using natural peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread
1 small box of raisins
1 serving of Nature Valley Granola bars
Two tablespoons of nuts
a) Realize that for you, typically one small byte of any food at night (after 4p.m.) leads to the slippery slope of the whole bag and thus 100 to 1000 extra calories ingested.
b) Practice the art of stopping to think out what you are doing before you do it. This can be, if at night, you start heading down to the kitchen from another room- stop before entering the kitchen and ask yourself, am I actually hungry? If the answer is no, then turn around! Do not enter the house of temptation.
c) Start utilizing the art of drinking non-caloric fluid (seltzer, club soda, sugar-free iced tea, and diet soda, water) everytime that you think you are hungry. Drink one tall glass (16 ounces) and wait 10 minutes, reassess if you are truly hungry. Many people mistaken thirst for hunger, thus drink first, and then decide if you are hungry.
d) Make a deal with yourself-- whenever you want to snack and you don't reward yourself with a non-food item to keep you on track with your goals.
e) Simple tricks such as brushing and flossing your teeth the minute after you finish dinner may help avoid wanting to have to do it all over again because you ate more food.
f) Do not be embarrassed to use daily affirmations to help you stay on track. These can be repeated whenever you are afraid that you may deviate from your goal. Also keep a daily food and emotions diary. The key here is to recognize through the art of writing your triggers, what sets you off to eat more than you would like. Daily affirmations include: "One day at a time", "Think before you eat", "Is it worth it?", "I will feel better tomorrow if I don't eat this today", etc.
g) If you eat at home or bring home leftovers from a restaurant, pack them away and leave them off limits for the rest of the night.
h) Remember, make the kitchen off-limits after dinner, even if you eat out. The only reason to enter the kitchen is to turn around and leave once you set one foot in it!
i) Every night open your diary (yes, you should keep a journal) and re-write ten reasons why you started this program. Goal set daily and weekly. Re-read these goals again before you go to sleep.
j) Tell all of your close friends and family of what you are trying to achieve. Having supportive people close to you aware of your goals and who when are with you can remind you or ask you how you are doing may help you feel more committed to "stick with the program".