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TCANNO SparkPoints: (105,432)
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9/18/13 11:10 P

Only eat half of them, a real test


ANARIE Posts: 12,436
9/18/13 8:40 P

By the way, if you're really worried about being a pain to the server, you can make it up to him/her at tip time. You can ask for just about any substitution you can think of as long as you tuck an extra dollar bill or two under your plate when you leave. Most of them will remember you and be very happy to help you out if you go back.



CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
9/18/13 10:17 A

The bottom line is (as said or implied so eloquently by Anarie)

what are you doing about your health, and getting yourself into a healthy lifestyle full of good habits?

It seems that for every suggestion by others, there's an excuse as to why it's impractical.

Getting over the notion that the server or your fellow diners would be embarrassed because of your eating/ordering habits is probably the first step.

I absolutely love the idea of "bento' eating. It makes so much sense.
Thanks, Dragonchilde for such a great suggestion.

DEB4299 Posts: 759
9/18/13 8:24 A

If I want fries I eat half of the amount on my plate. Otherwise I ask to substitute an order of vegetables.

MISSRUTH Posts: 3,539
9/18/13 8:22 A

Anarie said everything I wanted to say. If you still have trouble letting go of that last spoonful of mac & cheese, let it be part of your lunch for the next day (that's often what I do-- all the bits and dabs that are leftover-- I eat for lunch.) But don't hide behind excuses. That's the kind of thinking that got many of us here in the first place.

IMO, wasting food would be-- buying a bunch of fresh vegetables etc and then letting them go bad in the fridge while you choose instead to open a bag of chips or grab some fast food because you just "don't feel like" cooking.

ALORTA SparkPoints: (7,310)
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9/18/13 8:04 A

emoticon Anarie
There's a ton of truth in your post (though its somewhat bitter for any of us to swallow)...
I'm getting over the "don't waste food" instinct. Thankfully its my family reminding me that its better to waste it than eat it and have it impede my attempts to reach my goals.

Bithoo,
Its your life, its your road to a better you. You have to own up to it and accept the choices that come with it.
Also, like Anarie said, eating healthy doesn't mean you can't have fries... just have them when you want them and work them into your schedule. I'm one of those people that can't get myself to eat a veggie burger or any of those other 'healthy alternatives'... if I'm going to have a burger, it'll be a burger (usually with cheese, too). I'll just adjust accordingly over the next couple (or previous) days to make up for the caloric overload. So long as you don't eat out more often than you eat in, its actually quite doable (within reason).

Don't look for reasons that dieting is hard, and don't look for reasons to fail.
Life happens, you know what your life looks like better than anyone; PLAN AROUND THE PITFALLS. Once you do, you'll find it a lot easier to do what needs to be done in order to look your best ^_^

Also, you might want to look into calorie cycling. Its sorta what I mentioned before, but in a systematic way; you have days where you go super low cal, days that you eat more than you'd thinkt to eat now and days that you eat about half way there. Weekly averages still hit a deficit, so it all works out, and the high days are perfect for eating out without feeling guilty ^_^

ANARIE Posts: 12,436
9/18/13 2:47 A

Okay, there's some tough love coming up. I'll leave space, so if you're not in the mood for it, you can just scroll past it.










If this is going to work for you, you have to catch yourself when you're making excuses, and stop it. There's a huge amount of half-conscious excuse-making in your post.

"it seems like asking for a special dish or substitutions would cause all kinds of negative feelings, not only for the server but also for the other folks I'm with. "

In what universe?? HOW could the server be in ANY way offended if you say, "No fries, please."? (I've found that at least 80% of the time, if I say "No fries," the server says, "Oh, would you like the fruit salad instead?") The worst that can happen is that you don't get the fries you don't want. And if you don't like the bun, don't eat the bun. You're not six years old; no one is going to make you clean your plate. (And if the people you're with get "negative feelings" because of what food you order, you need to be with different people! Normal adult human beings do not get upset over what other adult human beings order in restaurants.)

" I feel as if low cal eating involves an unreasonable amount of food waste "

Here's how Merriam-Webster defines "waste:"

--loss of something valuable that occurs because too much of it is being used or because it is being used in a way that is not necessary or effective

Eating that last tablespoon of mac & cheese is not necessary or effective. Eating a bun you don't like is not necessary or effective. Eating the fries because you were too shy to say, "No fries, please," is not necessary or effective.

Eating food that your body doesn't need is just a different way of wasting it. Throwing it away or eating it when it's going to harm you-- those options are equally unnecessary and ineffective. And frankly, if you're talking about one last tablespoon of mac & cheese, that doesn't meet the "something valuable" part of the definition. Throwing it away doesn't lead to the loss of something valuable, and it's probably the most effective way of "using" it. I've been in financial situations where I had to cut my grocery bill to under $50/month, and even then, even I wouldn't have called a tablespoon of mac & cheese "something valuable."

So when that little voice in your head says, "Ooh, don't waste that stale cookie!", put your hand on your hip, shake the index finger of your other hand, and tell it, "Are you kidding me? You think THAT is something valuable? Eating it would NOT be necessary or effective."

"or have a whole lot of control over where you go and what you cook for others in your family."

You have absolute, 100% control over what you cook. You cook something healthy and tasty, and anyone who doesn't like it can make a sandwich. If they're old enough to complain, they're old enough to spread peanut butter on a slice of bread or pour a bowl of Cheerios while the rest of the family eat what was served. That shouldn't even be up for discussion. Healthy food is healthy food, and you shouldn't be serving your family food that's not healthy enough for you.

And you probably have a lot more control over what restaurants you go to than you want to admit to yourself. For every time that someone says, "Oh, let's go to Fry McFryBasket's!", there are ten times when people say, "Sigh. Where should we go?" "I dunno. Where do you wanna go?" "I dunno. What do you feel like eating?" "Mmm, well..."

As soon as that starts, after the first tentative "Where should we go?", nothing's stopping you from saying, "You know, I've been wanting to try that Vietnamese place, or the seafood place with those great grilled shrimp, or maybe SaladMasters. What do you think?" Not only are people unlikely to notice that you've mentioned healthy options, they're going to be relieved that SOMEBODY took the initiative and made a suggestion.

If you want the fries, eat the fries. But admit that you're eating them because you WANT them. You are absolutely allowed to want them. YOU get to choose when you eat what you want and when you don't. But you have to own your choices. As soon as you accept that it's a choice, not something forced on you by outside forces, it becomes about 100 times easier to make the healthier choice.

KRAFTYKRAFT SparkPoints: (36,909)
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9/17/13 2:19 P

If a dish comes with a side that I don't want, I either request a side salad as a substitute or say I don't want the fries/slaw etc. I have found that most restaurants are willing to accomodate if I ask nicely. As a vegetarian, I am used to creating my own meal combos so I am never afraid to ask for what I want.

SIMONEKP Posts: 2,513
9/17/13 2:08 P

You can always get something other than fries. Quite frankly, it sounds like a lot of "woe is me" because you really want to have the fries or to finish up that last portion of whatever and it's okay to do that occasionally.

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (56,512)
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9/17/13 12:16 P

I don't have absolute control over what's cooked at home, since my husband does all the cooking, but I do have input. And as for eating out, while I don't necessarily eat out super often, I do eat in a wide variety of restaurants. (My photography group gets together for dinner once a month, and the person in charge of making reservations, etc., tries to pick a different place every month.) I've never seen a server or a dining companion bat an eyelash when I request something other than fries as a side dish--and when I eat with my aforementioned photography group, it's quite a few people (anywhere from 6 to 15). I can't imagine any of them would care about the two extra seconds it takes me to make that request anymore than I would care if one (or all!) of them did it.

SOAPSANDROPES Posts: 581
9/17/13 11:21 A

I love leftovers. I portion them out into single serving containers and then either put them in the fridge or freezer. I dislike wasting food. Sure it takes a little bit of planning ahead of time but then I don't have to cook all the time.

As far as restaurants go, you should let go of the idea that you are disrupting the flow of ordering. Think about it this way. If you had an allergy or medical condition would you feel like you had to compromise your health for appearance (or social conformity) sake? I assure you that the people in your party won't make a big deal if you ask questions to order the food that you want to eat.

SOAPSANDROPES Posts: 581
9/17/13 11:13 A

I have gotten over what the server or others in my party think. If I am not going to eat it then I don't order it. I am gluten free so I often order hamburgers without buns and occasionally i get a strange look but it doesn't bother me.

SIMPLYME80 Posts: 406
9/16/13 3:58 P

Sports bars/resturants are the worst! Drenched oversauced fried wings, greasy burgers, fries greasy or topped with gooy cheese sauce and whatever, onion rings, and creamy or sugary sauces mostly the only options. So go ahead and enjoy being with your friends, its not really about the food. You can eat before joining them then order a glass of ice water with a slice of lemon. Ask if they serve a side salad.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (10,587)
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9/16/13 3:07 P

I also have no problem joining people at a restaurant and not eating anything. Sometimes I've already eaten, I'm just not hungry or nothing on the menu sounds appetizing. Just yesterday I was out with some girlfriends and one of their husbands invited us to meet up with him at a sports bar to catch the end of the football game. The menu was almost entirely "bar food" and there wasn't a single thing that sounded good. So I enjoyed a Diet Coke and the company of friends. I don't think anybody was offended that I didn't eat anything, even though there was a communal basket of fries and plate of nachos that went unfinished. Sorry, not my job!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/16/13 1:52 P

I can't imagine a restaurant without vegetables. They will have sides of a daily vegetable. Even corn is better than fries. If the restaurant only has food that comes with a side of fries, like burgers, and hot dogs, then you probably shouldn't be there anyways. However, if they have shrimp, they have a bunch of vegetables already cooked in the back, in the steam table. They probably serve 200 servings of veggie a day, and have a different kind for every day of the week.

Just ask, " What's the vegetable today? ", and they'll let you know. Then say you want to sub the fries with vegetables. The vegetables are cheaper than fries, so the owner doesn't care. The server don't care. It is just a note on the paper, and they have to carry the same amount of plates to the table, no matter what is on them. Last of all is the cooks. They get to scoop out one spoon of peas, instead of measuring out a serving of fries, and dropping them in the oil. It is less work, and more profit for everyone. No one will complain. If they do, who cares? But they won't..lol.

The restaurant should be falling all over themselves to make you happy, not the other way around.

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,310
9/15/13 6:46 P

" do you really freeze a half portion of leftovers? I'm very impressed that it gets eaten"

I never have a problem getting rid of leftovers! I "repurpose" my dinner leftovers as lunch all the time. A little bit of leftover pasta becomes the base for a pasta salad... or gets tossed in a soup. Leftover roasted beets? Roasted beet and feta salad over arugula. Leftover piece of chicken? Chopped up and made into a chicken wrap. Leftover meatloaf might become a meatloaf sandwich. Leftover lasagne, well you can't really repurpose lasagne but you can take a lunch-sized piece. I *L O V E* my lunch because it is, these days, as tasty as my dinner.

Leftovers also make my next night's cooking easier. Particularly when trying to accomodate various food preferences/habits around the single dinner table. I could make burgers for the family, and use a leftover grilled chicken breast to make a leaner "grilled chicken burger" for myself. Nobody else wants one? Good, there was only one piece of chicken, and it's what I wanted, everybody else, you get the beef! Win win.

Yes I do freeze certain things - leftover rice for example, because I can pull it out another day and it's perfect for a fried rice or a rice pudding or in any sort of rice-based casserole. I have also frozen small chunks of leftover grilled meat (steak chicken pork tenderloin) and later when I ran out of deli meat to make my son's lunch, out comes a 2-ounce piece of leftover-bbq-meat-from-2-weeks-ago, defrost and slice super thin while it's still partially frozen, tah dah, i make a sandwich, wrap or add it into a grilled sandwich a la "grilled ham and cheese" style.... and get rave reviews "Mom you make the best sandwiches!" Yes, artful slicing of Leftover Pork Chop makes a mean lunch.

As far as going to restaurants goes... I wouldn't say I "limit" the number of places I go to, but WOW have i ever gotten picky. When the choice is mine, i only want to go somewhere that makes food in the style I wish to consume, so that special-ordering and substutions aren't an issue. I will go for Thai or Vietnamese and suddenly "what to do with the french fries" is no longer a problem! Now, sometimes you get "stuck" going where everyone-else-wants-to-go. Fine, I don't like to make a scene either, but I have never felt pressured or forced to eat the fries. I DON'T want a burger "with a side of plain green salad, or some steamed veggies" but that's not the only choice available to a person that simply doesn't want fries! I can get just the burger, no side. Or I can get soup. Or soup and sandwich. Or chili and a bun (and maybe i eat the bun, maybe i don't). Or a quesadilla (lots of salsa, hold the sour cream).

Yes, sometimes it can be hard to eat "the usual" with some lame "diet looking substitution" (i.e. bacon burger, hold the top bun, no mayo, sub out fries for steamed green beans - really? i'm going to do that? I don't want to order that!) So instead of trying to make those "old standbys" fit my "new food regime" - i try to think outside the box and experiment with different foods that I never would have thought to order before. Like my favorite mexican spot, sure I *could* get a giant burrito and try to eat half of it (gahhh), or I could step outside the burrito box, order a giant steaming bowl of pozole soup and discover it is delicious and BETTER than the burrito (and half the calories as a side bonus).

Adapting to a new way of eating/thinking about food takes some time and there are challenges and frustrations along the way, I can't deny. But all these challenges you can choose to view, not as obstacles to success, but as opportunities. I enjoy a much more varied menu (both on the home cooking front and when eating out) than ever before; I *enjoy my food* much more, now that I feel released from the "obligatory burger and fries" to experiment with new, different, and usually *better* foods. My food universe has expanded even as my waistline has shrunk.

SONICB Posts: 4,239
9/15/13 6:27 P

I love fries and will eat them... at least some of them. Usually when I'm out to eat, I can share them with friends and not feel so bad.

But subbing fries for something else is usually always an option, even if it costs extra. It's probably worth the extra cost, if you think about it. $2 to feel better about the choices you're making and added nutrition?

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
9/15/13 5:28 P

I do, I freeze left overs to be used later.

I cook for my parents and my dad really likes it when he gets a hodge podge of food for lunch. He will say, I don't know what it was but it was delicious.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,014)
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9/15/13 5:09 P

If you want to change the way you feel about leftovers, research Bento.

Bento is the Japanese art of lunchmaking; The point of it is to make attractive, fun lunches with a variety of colors and flavors, and to never be bored with it.

The beautiful thing is that you often combine small portions of regular food in ways that they would normally be useless as a meal by themselves.

You can use half a cup of pasta as a part of a bento, and you're getting a ton of variety in a single meal.

Here's a site that shows some attractive options for small bits of pasta (that most people would probably throw away!)

www.ohayobento.com/files/tag-pasta.html>

People get stuck in a rut; bento helps you think outside (or rather, INSIDE!) the box!

It helped me rethink leftovers; you don't have to keep massive portions for a meal, reuse small portions as a part of other meals!

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 9/15/2013 (17:11)
KPA1B2 SparkPoints: (47,307)
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9/15/13 9:29 A

"how do you cook only the precise amount of food you and your family intend to eat? unless you cook precisely one portion per meal, and toss any leftovers?"

"For us any leftovers go into lunches the next day. I actually never plan out lunch food when I am doing the shopping for the week because I know that we won't need it. I've found that for us it helps keep the grocery bill down."

This is what I do or try to do. When I plan our dinners I know which meals will have left overs and which won't. Then I know how much I need to buy for our lunches. I'll even plan the meals with left overs early in the week and single portion dinners later in the week.

SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (1,658)
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9/15/13 7:37 A

"It sounds like you guys either go to a limited number of restaurants or have a whole lot of control over where you go and what you cook for others in your family. "

While I would say I have complete control over what I am cooking in my own home since it is just me and my husband and he is very open to new foods, I definitely wouldn't say I go to a limited number of restaurants. In the past 5 years I have lived in two different places, and I have taken a few trips every years (because I am at a point in my life where EVERYONE I know is getting married). Whether in my hometown or away I try to choose local restaurants rather than chains, so I would say that I have experienced a variety of dining situations. I honestly have not encountered many restaurants where a better option than fries was not available or cost extra.

"Last night, it was a group who said "let's go to the place across the street!" I could have argued about it, but the other local restaurants were much more expensive. I'm not sure if they have a variety of veggies; I felt so weird stopping the flow of ordering to say "I'll have the veggie burger with no bun, and does that come with fries? If so, I'll take steamed veggies instead. Oh, no veggies? Well, what DO you have that's low in calories?""

This what I was saying about not asking the right questions to get what you really want. Why would you feel weird asking about menu options? The servers get trained to know the menu. Honestly, why on earth would the people you are with care if you take 30 extra seconds to order? I feel like truly the only way to get what you want, healthy food and minimal waste, is to ask good questions.

"how do you cook only the precise amount of food you and your family intend to eat? unless you cook precisely one portion per meal, and toss any leftovers?"

For us any leftovers go into lunches the next day. I actually never plan out lunch food when I am doing the shopping for the week because I know that we won't need it. I've found that for us it helps keep the grocery bill down.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (8,880)
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9/14/13 9:51 P

Mandie -- do you really freeze a half portion of leftovers? I'm very impressed that it gets eaten. Maybe I'm just not conscious enough of that kind of thing... I'm sure that if I did that I'd wind up tossing a frozen lump of elderly mac and cheese in six months or so! I'd just forget it was there, as would my family members... maybe it's just a matter of better household management?



MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
9/14/13 9:29 P

I always have some leftovers. So I put them in the freezer if they won't be eaten in three days. My parents were born during the depression and we grew up kind of poor so I cannot waste food

I guess I only go to restaraunts where they have options

Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 9/14/2013 (21:30)
BITHOO SparkPoints: (8,880)
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9/14/13 9:05 P

It sounds like you guys either go to a limited number of restaurants or have a whole lot of control over where you go and what you cook for others in your family.

Last night, it was a group who said "let's go to the place across the street!" I could have argued about it, but the other local restaurants were much more expensive. I'm not sure if they have a variety of veggies; I felt so weird stopping the flow of ordering to say "I'll have the veggie burger with no bun, and does that come with fries? If so, I'll take steamed veggies instead. Oh, no veggies? Well, what DO you have that's low in calories?" Of course, I could have ordered a plain salad, which I actively dislike... but what a bummer to buy and try to eat something you don't like!

Maybe I should have just said "nothing for me, thanks," and waited till I went home to eat? But wouldn't that create really weird feelings -- this strange woman who won't even break bread with us?

I did fine tonight, for my daughter's birthday, because we were able to choose the place! I had rare tuna and a side salad -- and loved it!

Similarly, I don't cook mac and cheese for myself: I cook it for my daughter and husband. Sometimes they leave small amounts in the fridge, and I pitch 'em. I can't control how much they eat or when they choose to eat it. Same for other foods I now cook or buy NOT for me but for other family members. I've thrown out leftover burgers, leftover mac and cheese, leftover pizza... rolls that people forgot were in the fridge when they bought fresh ones...

how do you cook only the precise amount of food you and your family intend to eat? unless you cook precisely one portion per meal, and toss any leftovers?

Lisa

SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 1,827
9/14/13 10:49 A

I'll eat 10 fries which equals approximately 100 calories, and not with ketchup because of the sugar but with Zero Calorie Mustard or a splash of vinegar......and sometimes I do ask for a veggie instead......or a scoop of cottage cheese....that's what the restaurant is there for...to serve you and there has never been a problem when asking for a substitute...



NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (56,512)
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9/14/13 10:30 A

If the menu says that the item I want comes with fries, I'll almost always request an alternate side (typically veggies or fruit). There's almost never an additional charge, and if there is, it's only $1. I've never encountered a server (or a dining companion) who has been bothered at all by the request. Sometimes, though, I'll work the fries (at least some of them) into my calories for the day.

As for the food waste aspect, once you're served too much food, the extra is already wasted, whether you throw it away or eat it. It just does less harm to your body to throw it away. There's not much you can do about the waste when you eat out (unless you just request that they not bring you the fries at all, but even then, you might have too much of another part of your meal, since restaurants tend to have enormous portions), but at home, you can reduce the amount of food you prepare so that tempting "last tablespoon of mac and cheese" isn't there in the first place.

CHEETARA79 SparkPoints: (75,723)
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9/14/13 8:17 A

Ask them to substitute veggies or fruit for the fries. If they won't do that, tell them not to bring the fries at all. Nothing goes to waste!

NIRERIN Posts: 11,904
9/14/13 8:01 A

option one is to only go to places where that sort of subbing is available.

as far as ordering food the way you want it goes, why on earth would that bother your server or the other people you are dining with? your server is there to get what you want [within the menu limitations] to you. i don't think your server particularly cares if you order the burger, the chicken or the shrimp with the possible exception of the price point. but they would rather have a happy customer leaving a generous tip on a smaller total value order than a dissatisfied customer leaving a tip on a slightly larger bill.
if your dining companions are really that concerned with what you are eating, then i would say you need new dining companions more than anything else. it's weird to be that focused on what someone else is eating, the exception maybe being if someone else ordered an item that they really wanted to try. there shouldn't be anything negative for them at all. heck, it should have the same effect on them as me choosing between the mussels and the ravioli for my dinner out last night. in other words, none.

i dislike waste, so i find a way to make it work. when i go out to eat i tend to order things that i think will reheat well and that i can tweak so that i don't have to waste. so if i had fries i was taking home i might reheat them with steamed veggies and old bay shrimp the next day so that i wasn't wasting them, but i wasn't eating them with another high cal food. or i might get mussels and cook them in a broth base to have with the leftover fries. if i make mac and cheese and there is one Tablespoon left, i'll save it and probably reheat it by adding it to some cooked pasta, adding a little more cheese and some veggies until it is an appropriate portion size. or i will just reheat it as a tiny side in a clean out the fridge and not waste stuff initiative. i know this isn't really a starter stance because sometimes you do need to salt or hot sauce good food so that you won't eat it or throw away food simply because you can't fit it in your calorie budget. but i do think that you can work towards reducing the waste that you create.

Edited by: NIRERIN at: 9/14/2013 (08:03)
SARAHANN01 SparkPoints: (1,658)
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9/14/13 7:42 A

Definitely start asking for things without the bun if you don't even like it anyway. I either get things on wraps of "naked" (no bun). I have never had it be an issue at any restaurant.

Have you encountered a lot of restaurants where veggies cost more than fries? I find this odd. I know side salads are usually an additional cost, but typically restaurants have standard sides (such as steamed veggies or a baked potato) that can be interchanged for the fries at no additional fee.

When I was a server in college substituting a side was not a big deal. It was simply a matter of pushing an extra button in the system. People ask for MUCH more complicated orders as that. As long as you're polite I don't think this is an issue. And why would the people you were with care what you order?

I am not trying to sound critical here, but is it possible that you are not asking questions to make yourself aware of all of your options?

Another option if you are concerned with waste would be to go to restaurants with better options. There are a couple Mediterranean restaurants in my area that I like to go to on a night out. There are a ton of vegetarian options which can be much healthier than other restaurant choices.

FLUFFYBUNNY81 SparkPoints: (3,652)
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9/14/13 1:56 A

I usually have a few - but I usually find they taste like crap. I try to respect my cravings to control my binging problems.

ERINTFG SparkPoints: (37,903)
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9/13/13 11:22 P

Everywhere I've been has alternatives, so I generally don't get fries. I'd ask if they have something healthier. Because if those fries were on my plate I'd be eating them all up. LOL

LGANDAB SparkPoints: (5,443)
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9/13/13 11:09 P

I only find myself in this situation a handful of times each year. I eat the fries. I love fries.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 13,700
9/13/13 9:35 P

If I am not feeling the fries. I will order the seasonal vegetables. (sometimes I do get the fries but not that much anymore)

I think as long as you are very nice about asking for a substitution it shouldn't cause any hard feelings

RUMBLESEAT SparkPoints: (1,446)
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9/13/13 9:20 P

Take a look at other options on the menu.
Usually you have other choices other than fries....mashed or baked potato..

ASK your server what your other options might be when you order grilled shrimp...it's their job!

check out other places to eat out...others with healthier choices...

You have to speak up and take care of yourself...Make healthy choices for you...noone is going to do it for you.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (8,880)
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9/13/13 9:00 P

So often, when I go out for a meal, I'll order the low calorie, high protein grilled shrimp or veggie burger -- and it comes with a heaping portion of fries and cole slaw or a basket of bread with butter. Even if it doesn't come with sides, it'll come with a great big honking bun that I don't even like!

I could say "just the shrimp, no sides" and pay full price anyway... or pay extra for veggies versus the usual fare...

But sometimes those options aren't really available. And often it seems like asking for a special dish or substitutions would cause all kinds of negative feelings, not only for the server but also for the other folks I'm with.

And, of course, when the fries are there... sometimes I eat them, even if I never would have ordered them.

How do you handle this? Just eat the portion you want and let them dump the rest? I feel as if low cal eating involves an unreasonable amount of food waste (NOT eating the end of the leftovers but dumping them, NOT eating that last tablespoon left of mac and cheese...).

What are your thoughts?

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