Action Plan to Take
the Weight Off
Are you addicted to restaurants?
So are lots of Americans. What used to be
a "treat," going out for dinner,
has become more common that cooking at home,
and we think we're better off? Think again.
Restaurant eating, fast foods and highly
processed foods are turning us into a nation
of tubby's. It's time to take back control
of our waistlines.
You choose where you eat, and you choose
what you eat. Here are some suggestions
to begin to make better choices.
Restaurants Exist to Make
The bottom line is restaurants exist to
make a profit. They pile on the extra butter
and rich cream sauces, caramelized sugar
toppings, cheese sauce, double-deluxe, new
improved, and whatever they can do to make
the food so enticing, so delicious, we just
cannot resist. Fine for an occasional splurge,
but not everyday fare, and herein lies the
Extra Value Meals
McDonalds started the trend by offering
slightly larger portions for a bit more
money, and every other food establishment
quickly followed suit. Extra value they
called it. Who wouldn't order a bit more
for only pennies? Today nearly every restaurant,
fast food or sit down dining, serves gigantic
quantities that boggle the mind. There is
usually enough food served for two, sometimes
Reading in Restaurant
Confidential (get a copy of this
book and read it until it sinks in), the
calorie count in the typical restaurant
meal is so staggering it ends the surprise
of why obesity is rampant and on the rise.
Cheese fries with Ranch dressing are listed
at having over 3,000 calories and 217 grams
of fat (91 of them saturated). That's a
day's worth of food, and it's considered
an appetizer. Most people don't just eat
the cheese fries either, so add in the rest
of your day's calories and you end up with
far more than you may realize.
Anyone who eats out regularly (at least
once a day) is likely consuming closer to
5,000 calories a day, which easily explains
their being overweight.
Getting the Calories Out
of Restaurant Food
Unless you mentally make it okay to pay
good money for very plain foods, you're
not likely to solve this puzzle. Here are
a couple of painless ideas you can put into
action at restaurants:
1. Just say NO to super sizing.
The size you ordered is already too big.
Stop super sizing and you'll save money
to Save Money and Lose Weight).
2. Skip the bread and rolls served with
most meals. Most family restaurants
still serve a bread basket with your meal.
Unless it's a fresh baked loaf, or some
special bread, just skip it. You don't need
to fill up on ordinary bread when you're
paying good money for a meal - just push
it away - it's not that good. You can do
it, if you want to - it's not that hard
to simply choose not to put a roll on
your plate. Try it, just once and see
if you don't walk out of that restaurant
feeling strangely powerful.
If you can't skip the rolls, at least skip
the butter. That's right. Eat it plain.
Bread all by itself is good enough.
3. Stop ordering drinks with your meals.
I stopped buying the soft drinks many years
ago when I realized they are a huge cash
cow for the fast food restaurants. For pennies,
they sell you a squirt of syrup and soda
water and act like they're doing you a big
favor by only charging you $1.29 for a giant
64 oz. soda. Start saving those dollars.
If you take the meal home, just don't get
a drink, and if you're eating it there,
ask for water, or at least switch to diet
drinks. Never drink "fat pop."
5. Trim visible fat and skin. You
really love the skin - of course it tastes
good, it should, it's pure fat. Do you want
to get leaner, or do you want to eat fat?
You choose. I never eat chicken skin, and
never eat the visible fat hanging off a
steak, good taste or no. You have to decide
what you want more, the second's worth of
pleasure of a yummy taste, or a lifetime
of carrying around an extra 40 lbs?
6. Ask for a doggie bag at the beginning
of the meal. When the food is served,
immediately portion off some to take home
for tomorrow. Some restaurants always serve
too much. Do this at those establishments
to get used to the idea.
7. Get a copy of Restaurant Confidential
and start checking out how much you're eating.
Once you realize, you may find it easier
to choose other dishes, split the meal into
two, or skip some extras.
8. Order one dinner and ask for an extra
plate. Many restaurants will do this
for $1.00 or $1.50 extra and it's well worth
it. Then share the meal with your friend
and you split the cost straight down the
Turn Eating Out Back into
If you really want to get a handle on your
weight problem, then first look at where
you eat, second what you eat, and third
how much you eat. If you absolutely cannot
give up going to restaurants or fast food
places every day, then you must start ordering
plain, unadorned foods. I you can't do that
(which I can't) then just go out less often.
Turn it back into a treat, a special occasion
type thing, and then eat whatever you want.
Find what works for you, and then do it.
Train your Eye to Accept
Start training your eye to accept less
food on the plate. We've taught ourselves
to expect heaps of food, but your body doesn't
need such huge quantities. Frankly, it takes
a very tiny amount of food to supply our
If they developed a pill which contained
all the calories and nutrients our bodies
required, no one would want to take it.
We like to eat. Eating is pleasurable, it's
part of the makeup and experience of being
human. Take back control of that most basic
of human needs. Cook at home for friends
and bring joy back into your life through
If I Ate Out More Often
I'd Gain Weight - it's That Simple
I know I maintain my weight with an average
of about 2,200 calories a day. That's more
than most dieters strive for, so how do
I get away with eating that much -- I make
If I started eating out at restaurants
more often, I'd suddenly be eating nearly
double what I eat now (calorie wise), without
even trying. Double the calories and guess
what? Weight gain won't be far behind.
Trying to radically change your approach
to food or exercise is rarely successful.
More people that are successful at losing
weight and keeping it off do so by making
changes and incorporating them into their
lifestyle. Start now. Choose one habit (such
as eating out every day) or regular food
you eat, and decide to cut back on how often,
or the quantity. Set a plan, and do it.
Make a deal with yourself and keep it.
If you find you cannot - that you set yourself
too strict a cutback, then modify it and
do it again. Keep at it and you'll be successful.
If you eat out every day during the week
for lunch, here's a plan to make a small
change. Carry your lunch one day a week,
or save the extra from dinner out on Sunday
night for lunch on Monday. Get together
with your coworkers for a walking lunch
every Wednesday. If there's a gym of fitness
club in the vicinity of your work, join
along with your coworkers and make an agreement
to work out together three days a week,
at lunch time. Take brown bag foods you
can eat at your desk those days.
If these ideas don't work for you, send
me ideas you have and I'll post them here.
Here's to good eating.
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