Secret Sauce

Service: (707) 255-0221   Sales: (877) 273-3049
2800 Corby Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

weight loss

Diets, Restaurants and Friends

When on a diet, it is wise to go out to restaurants less frequently, because you wonít always know the number of calories in everything you will be served, especially the secret sauces. But whom do you usually meet at the restaurants? Your friends, is the most likely answer. So if you cut back on restaurants, you might end up with too much free space on your social calendar. I find this unacceptable. I always want to have time to see my friends.

Realizing that I could not justifiably boycott dinner plans with friends, I decided to always have a backup plan. The reasoning behind this is that I wouldnít always know what restaurant we would eventually choose. My backup plan was to order the least complicated salad, with the dressing on the side. This allowed me to keep control over my calorie intake and see my friends as well.

I did not always believe that I could control my hunger when I frequented many different restaurants. Seven or eight years ago, I was very frustrated with myself over my failing diets. I felt like I needed to keep myself under control 24/7. When a friend would suggest that we meet up somewhere to grab a bite, I felt my control starting to slip. I would make up excuses like, ìOh, I just ate dinner,î or I would pretend that I had committed myself to a different dinner that night.

I even started to worry that friends might unexpectedly call me up for dinner on any given night. When my phone rang, I tended to let the answering machine pick it up as I listened to the caller leave a message. Suddenly, I didnít want to talk to my friends. What if they wanted to buy me dinner…Oh my, what a crime! I always had my standard excuses ready to tell my friends. It is interesting to note that these excuses are made because we donít want to eat. These are different than the excuses we make to explain why we ate something. Here are some of the excuses I use when I donít want to take in extra calories:

∑ Iím having a medical procedure tomorrow and I canít eat anything after 3:00 p.m.

∑ I just learned that Iím very close to becoming diabetic, and Iím on a very strict diet.

∑ Iím just so full right now, but I can take some home with me (then give it to a homeless person).

∑ Pretending to throw up in the bathroom (make sure someone hears you), and pretending to clean it up.

∑ Hiding some of the food where they might not find it (the oven, on top of the fridge). This way they donít realize how much food they actually have left.

I think most of my friends knew what was going on inside my head. They didnít call me on it. Iím sure they recognized that I was going through some pretty hard times, and luckily, I outgrew that phase.

When I ate with my friends at various restaurants, I noticed some recurring themes in the advice they offered. Almost all of my friends were very surprised to find that I was eating so little. They would say things like, ìJohnny, youíre a big guy. You have to eat more than that,î or ìYouíre not really fat, youíre just a big, husky guy.î To that I would say, ìOh yeah, youíve never seen me naked.î Sometimes that would draw laughter, other times silence.

These were times I had to reconcile what my friends were saying with the sanctity of my diet. I felt I had to take a side. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that most of my friends were just trying to make me feel better and save me from the misery of my diet. They really did like me just the way I was. The problem was that I didnít. I knew I had to hold my ground and order that Caesarís salad instead of that juicy steak nine out of ten times. Somewhere in this phase of my life, I learned how little I would have to eat, or how much I would have to exercise each day to lose weight. From that point on, it was up to me to perform.

Losing weight is an arduous battle that takes some time to accomplish. We can have our friends and our restaurants at the same time if we are willing to modify our thinking just a little. We all have habits we will need to change, patterns we will need to break, and emotions we will need to quell.

7 Tips to Get Calories Out of Restaurant Food

When I eat out I want it to be special, consequently I don’t eat out often. You may have seen the advice on how to shave calories at restaurants but really, are you wanting to pay high restaurant prices for undressed salads and plain steamed vegetables? If not, how then can you solve the dilemma of too many calories when you eat out?

Here are seven tips for getting the calories out of restaurant meals while still ordering your favorites.

1. Say NO to super sizing. The size you ordered is already too big. Stop super sizing and you’ll save money. Better still, order one dinner and ask for an extra plate. Many restaurants will do this for a dollar or two, and it’s well worth it. Then share the meal with your friend and you split the cost straight down the middle. Another option is to order from the so called “appetizer” menu. Two people could order three entrees, one dessert and split the whole thing and it’s still a ton of food!

2. Skip the bread and rolls. Many family restaurants still serve a bread basket with your meal. Unless it’s a fresh baked loaf or some really 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 ask for it to be taken away if you can’t resist, but frankly, you’re an adult, you can resist, if you want to. You can 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. Whole grain bread is delicious all by itself.

3. Stop Ordering Drinks. Soft drinks are a huge cash cow for restaurants. For pennies they sell you a squirt of syrup and carbonated water and act like they’re doing you a big favor by only charging you $1.29 for a giant 64 ounce soda. Start saving those dollars. Especially if you’re ordering “to go” skip the drink. If you’re eating it there, ask for water, or at least switch to diet drinks. Never drink “fat pop.”

4. Slow Down You Eat Too Fast! What’s the rush? Take your time, savor the moment, enjoy the flavors. A big part of getting in touch with your hunger signals and learning to eat what really will satisfy is learning to recognize the subtle signs of hunger. You won’t know when you’re approaching satisfaction if you’ve gobbled everything down in five minutes. Take a bite then notice how many times do you chew before you start wanting to swallow? Once, twice? Make an effort to chew your food and your body will be much happier. A very large part of digestion begins in your mouth, not to mention you’ll get much more pleasure if you let the food linger.

5. Trim Visible Fat and Skin. I know, you really love the skin–of course you do, 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? I know this is counter to the low carb crowd’s belief that fat is good, carbs are evil, but I’ve maintained an 80 pound weight loss for 18 years without dieting and I don’t eat visible fat or skin. Enough said.

6. Ask for a Doggie Bag at the Beginning of Meal. When the food is served, immediately portion off some to take home for tomorrow. Most restaurants in the US serve way too much. There is no law you have to eat it all. Do this frequently and soon you’ll find you’re getting an extra lunch out of that meal.

7. Get a copy of Restaurant Confidential by Michael F. Jacobson and Jayne Hurley, and start checking out how many calories you’re really eating. If you eat out frequently and you carry extra weight, then that’s probably the problem right there. This little book can help you realize why it seems you don’t eat that much yet you can’t lose any weight. Hardees recently introduced a new burger that clocks in at just under 1200 calories all by itself! Now that’s frightening.

If you really want to get a handle on your weight problem, look first to where you eat, second at what you eat, and third how much you eat. Where, What and How Much? Try these steps choosing one tip at a time, and see how easily you can take some of the calories out of restaurant food.