O.k. - you talked to the lunch room. That is a good start. Now go more senior - ask to speak with the Manager and/or their Dietitian.
Older people often have varying nutritional needs that should be met, whether it be food allergies or a medical problem that leaves them unable to consume fat, etc. It's not like you are asking just for likes/dislikes.
It's ok, you're not asking for a specialized diet, you just want to know serving sizes, and nutritional amounts of the food. Try going back and explaining to them what it is that you need.
Just go back, and be really nice, and "I'm sorry I must not have made myself clear...., and then explain what it is you do need. Just remember, you get more flies with sugar than with vinegar, so try and do it with a smile :)
Does the facility have dietician? If so, try to recruit that person. Again, a fellow staff member making the request might make a huge difference.
Otherwise, your stuck with either getting a print out or going in blind.
At least with a print out of the menu, you can do research before you eat. Say dinner that night is meat lasagna, salad, bread and butter as main course. Well, ok, look online for Stouffers meat lasagna. That's gonna be pretty basic -your probably not being served any super complicated lasagna. Run the numbers so you know how much fat, cals, and carbs are in a serving for lasagna, salad, dressing, bread, butter. Then you decide how much you can eat of it. This is where you need to know portion sizes by sight. Are you being served 8 ounces of lasagna? 10 ounces? 15? How much bread? Are you using a teaspoon of butter, 3 tablespoons? How much low cal dressing is on your salad.
Going in blind? Ok, well...that's still do-able :) Just harder. This is where daily tracking of all foods and knowing correct portion sizes by heart come into play. After a few weeks, you should know the approximate nutrients of a piece of grilled chicken breast, a side of peas, how much a pat of butter is, how many calories 2 tablespoons of low cal dressing is, etc.
Mentally track during dinner, or jot down what your eating while you eat (just on a scrap of paper). And go home and enter these foods into your tracker. You might eventually find you are eating the same foods, or types with regularity.
If anything, you can get in the habit of over estimating while eating, come home and track, and find out hey...you can have a bowl of frozen yogurt for dessert and still fit into your daily range!!
Edit to add: You might be just looking for a number from them. All dinners they serve might always be in the same range. They might tell you all dinners are about 700 calories, 45 grams of carbs and 20 grams of fat.
Edited by: EELPIE at: 1/3/2014 (11:53)
The best exercise in the world is to bend down and help someone up.
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While a safe weekly weight loss would be 1-2 pounds per week, there will be weeks you don't lose. There will even be weeks you gain ! And that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. The weight doesn't magically drop off the minute we decide we need to lose. Weight loss is a slow steady process that takes time.
My aunt lives in an assisted living community where her meals are prepared for her. So, I have eaten at the cafeteria when I have gone for visits. Their meals are very nutritionally balanced and supervised by a dietician. If your facility also has a dietician preparing the menu, then you should check with them.
I suspect that you just need to be more patient with your body. As we age, our bodies are programmed to hold on to and conserve fat. Why ? If you were to get sick and we unable to eat, you find you'd lose weight extremely quickly. Which is why doctors would prefer that they older patients have a "bit" of a fat reserve. So, do check with your doctor to make sure you're not trying to lose too much weight.
I'll say this, when my aunt adds a little too much weight, it's because she's been eating a few too many treats. When she sticks to the facilities menu, her weight is stable.
I ditto talking with the Dining Room Services. Most places will provide specialized/personalized meals if they are aware.
If you have a problem with them, then perhaps talking with your Dr and getting a letter of support would be very beneficial. If they are anything like here, then they need to have access to a Registered Dietitian to ensure that needs are being met.
Probably your best bet is to speak to the head of Dining Room Services. This person will be in charge of all dining - which includes the kitchen. Tell them you need to know serving sizes and nutritional information for your meals. If the facility has a dietician, he or she may be able to help you with this (a member of the staff talking to a fellow member of the staff).
Otherwise, do they have a listing of the meals? That would help a lot. If they list say...grilled chicken breast with Béarnaise sauce, green beans and rice pilaf for dinner - you can look up the nutritional values online - Google the word calories, followed by the name of the food.
If it comes down to where your entering the values your self, it might be that you need to become aware of serving sizes. Can you eyeball a cup of peas? Do you know what 2 tablespoons of salad dressing looks like? A 4 oz burger looks like? If not, start measuring your own food so you can easily spot correct portion sizes when someone else makes it.
These are some standard guides you can use, and here is a link
1 oz. meat = size of a matchbox
3 oz. meat = size of a deck of cards or bar of soap (the recommended portion for a meal)
I haven't lost in the last two weeks but generally I am having problems. My evening meal is cooked for me. I have been trying to evaluate the carbs and calories the best I can but I think I'm missing it. I cut out the ice cream and sugar free desserts to see if that would help. I am confused as to what to do. I live in a retirement community and these meals are paid for in my rent so I can't afford to fix my own.
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