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Eating-out strategies

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

As requested, here are some of the strategies that helped me eat out six times last Fri-Sat-Sun without gaining any weight. (I weighed myself this morning & again I'm the same.)

1. If one meal is a bit hefty, keep the other one small. Examples:

(a) Lunch of Chicago-style barbecue (baby back ribs), with green beans as my side dish instead of potatoes. I ate a couple of pieces of bread & (just a little) butter too. That evening I had just a bowl of soup at a little Thai restaurant--it was exquisite & perfectly satisfying.

(b) Lunch of two slices of spinach/mushroom deep-dish pizza, with some salad & a beer. Supper that night was a Mediterranean hummus-feta cheese appetizer plate & a beer. The hummus was too dry & the other spread wasn't very interesting, so I ended up eating less than half of that dish.

(c) Lunch of grilled chicken sandwich, steamed veggies, & an orange. That day's supper of Ethiopian food was mostly vegetables & lentils, but we scooped them up with soft injera bread--no fork or spoon--which provides a kind of primal satisfaction (& fun).

2. Mustard instead of mayo on one's sandwich! SP mentions this in a couple of articles I have read, but my taste had already made the switch years ago.

3. I also added a little green Tabasco sauce to my grilled chicken--I love spicy food. If your stomach allows you to eat spicy food, it's a blessing, because hot spices stimulate endorphins & you feel satisfied with less.

4. Light dressing or vinaigrette, & always on the side so I can use just a small amount.

5. Water as the beverage of choice, with one glass of beer or wine on occasion. No soft drinks.

6. As noted above, veggies or fruit as the side dish instead of potatoes or rice. If others order potatoes or fries, you can take a few bites of theirs!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHANIEDIAN 12/5/2007 11:12AM

    Thanks for sharing, those are all great tips!!!!!

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PJBOKC 12/4/2007 9:38PM

    Thanks for all the info! We ate out with friends tonight and I was thinking "ok, make good choices like Ruth". I did ok. I didn't overeat, and I feel satisfied. It really helps to hear from others to get motivated to do the right things. You're a good role model!

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JIJJI1313 12/4/2007 12:54PM

    IM here reading blogs.... and giving some motivation out!!! ;)

Good Luck to you,


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Monday, December 03, 2007

Since I was extremely busy & away from home the whole weekend, I waited to weigh myself till this morning. Good news: I didn't gain! Considering that I ate two restaurant meals each day on Fri., Sat. & Sun. (& Sat. lunch included two slices of Chicago deep-dish pizza!), that's extremely wonderful. I did choose my food carefully, & Sun. afternoon we did a lot of walking, mostly to/from/in the Art Institute.

It gives me hope that after I'm done losing weight I can maintain--as long as I continue to take care.


blog 1, comments etc. 3, cardio 1, track 1, NOT within calories (0! I forgot about an afternoon chocolate treat) = TOTAL 6

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHANIEDIAN 12/5/2007 11:11AM

    That's great news!!! I need to make healthier choices when i eat out. I go with good intentions, and then something (like dessert) catches my eye! Good Job! I have all the faith in you for when you are trying to maintain.

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MARYLOUD 12/4/2007 12:01AM

    That's great that you managed to maintain your weight during your eating out all weekend. You obviously think well when ordering. I think, "What sounds good," or "What don't I make at home?" when I order. Not always the healthiest choices. And I really need to learn the "Take home half" rule. Although often, Phil and I will share a plate, and that's just as good as taking home half.

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PJBOKC 12/3/2007 9:14PM

    You do so well with your choices during activities and events. Maybe you could share some of your options and the choices you made. Congrats on the maintaining through a busy weekend with a lot of eating out.

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Back again

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I let myself enjoy good food over the weekend without tracking or thinking about calories. I'm sure I was over 1550 calories every day, & I may weigh a bit more tomorrow when I get on the scale, but I won't worry about it. I'll just get right back to tracking, exercising & eating right.

When I'm in public bathrooms & glance at myself in the mirror, it's nice to be my "real" slim self!

As for the content of my weekend, it was wonderful--much better than I had even hoped. We had great attendance at our public meeting Friday evening, & the people I got to know at the "summit" (a thinking/strategizing meeting with a group of mostly Colombian leaders) were fantastic. Two of them are staying till Monday, so they'll be at our home overnight. We're going out for a farewell meal in a few minutes--Ethiopian food!

Teammates: I do think we need more regular contact--most of the time Paula & I are just talking to each other here. If the rest of the Chispa Chicks can't or don't want to check in more than once a week, I think we should look to recruit a few more people who are active at SP. Setting up a regular Spark Team, as Paula has suggested, might be really helpful for that.


blog 1, comments/e-mail 2 = TOTAL 3

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYLOUD 12/3/2007 11:54PM

    Sorry I've become such a flake. I'll try to get back into things. I don't like the once a week reporting of points though. It needs to be daily, or I'll lose track.

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STEPHANIEDIAN 12/3/2007 9:42AM

    I agree to seeking out more members! I feel badly that I couldn't really check in for 2 weeks, I love the contact, it helps me tremendously! We should not deprive ourselves of the contact we need to get through this.

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PJBOKC 12/2/2007 9:12PM

    Ruth - glad you had a good weekend and soooo glad you're back. I'm trying to have the same outlook as you - knowing if I go over it's not a lot over, and I'm not getting down about it, just getting back to tracking, etc. However, I certainly don't look like my slim self in ANY mirror. I'll get there someday.

I agree with needing more contact. I'm so glad you blog almost every day, and comment on my blogs. I did feel a little more challenge when we were all participating more.

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Quick bloglet

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We have a guest arriving from Colombia tomorrow early evening, & we're going to be in a whirl of activity over the next few days. I'll be interpreting for a Chicago Public Radio interview Friday morning & for a workshop Friday afternoon. Fortunately, our meetings over the weekend will be held in Spanish. :-) Tonight I still have a number of things to do around the house to be ready for company & for the meetings on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

I won't be able to track those three days--it's going to be crazy & we'll be eating out for most meals. I'll try to be good, of course! I would hate to set myself back when I'm getting so close to reaching my goal.

I'll miss you, Chispa Chicks!


blog 1, comment 1, track 1, within calories 1, strength training 1 = TOTAL 5

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 11/28/2007 9:56PM

    And we'll miss you too! You are one busy lady!! I look forward to your blog and your comments everyday. You have a wonderful weekend with your friends and come back to sparkpeople soon. I know you'll be responsible with your food - you always are. See you soon!!

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Low on fat & protein--again

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I would have been so uncomfortable on the Atkins diet. I'm not much of a carnivore at all. Tonight I had my chocolate soy ice cream with berries on top after dinner & still have some calories to spare--but as often happens, today's carbs are near the top of my suggested range while fats & protein are below the bottom of theirs. I think I'll go have a small hunk of swiss cheese. Then I'm going to check on how many carbs it has. Hopefully not many.

EDIT: One ounce of swiss cheese has 1 carb gram, 8 each of fat & protein. Now I'm just inside the recommended fats & just under the recommended protein level.

The woes of a semivegetarian . . .


blog 1, comment/e-mail 2, track 1, within calories 1, read article about eating during the holidays 1 = TOTAL 6

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEPHANIEDIAN 12/3/2007 9:45AM

    sometimes it's just hard to come in the range on all the stuff we are supposed to eat. Cheese is a great filler I've found, it ads fat & protein when we need a little extra something! I know how you feel about the Atkins diet, I feel that way about most restrictive diets, you shouldn't have to cut out anything....otherwise, the minute you start eating it again is when you balloon up!!

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PJBOKC 11/27/2007 11:53PM

    Good choice on the cheese - not many carbs in cheese. When I went to a trainer a couple of years ago, she recommended Laughing Cow cheese (I think that's it). It comes in a little round box and is cut in very small pie shaped pieces. I find it in the deli area, rather than in the cheese area of the stores. Each piece is wrapped separate and the cheese is soft so you can spread it on a piece of toast, bagel or whatever, and I think it's low fat. I tend to be over on carbs if I don't watch it. I was getting a ton of protein with the protein bars - but too many calories. I think the protein shakes are a good source of protein - usually have 12-14 grams or protein per shake. I think I told you once I like a vanilla whey (could use soy) mixed with a diet orange soda (could also use orange juice). Tastes like a dreamsicle. I'd put it in the blender with ice and it was real slushy like a smoothy - the more ice the thicker it was. Sometimes I'd add a banana too. I was reading some spark articles the other day looking for good snacks (since I had to give up the bars). I saw one for banana milk (bananas and milk in a blender). I don't like milk, but love the flavor of bananas. That would give some good protein. How about peanut butter? I bought some at the health food store today. It was pricy, but I figured I'll only be eating a little at a time - unless it becomes like my bars. Let us know what you come up with.

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