Fitness Minutes: (12,922)
5/29/13 9:46 A
I have had your experiences too many times in the past. Now I feel like I am doing an inquisition on the poor, unsuspecting servers whenever I dine out. I ask every detail of the dish and order all sauces, etc on the side.
And sometimes I double quiz when what I order is served - if it is something you can't tell by looking. For example, I love Starbucks Frappachino (sp). So I always order a light and still specify skim milk and no whip cream (even though that is what a light is!) and then have them use the sugar-free caramel flavoring. So the only calories are the half cup of skim milk. When it arrives I say, "Now this is skim milk and sugar free caramel, right? I can't have sugar and so it is very important". I did have one server who was starting to say it was as requested until I added the can't have sugar part. He thought I was diabetic or something and might die on him. Suddenly he started back peddling and said he better check for sure. Another drink was made for me. Sigh....... lol.
Thanks in particular for that image about 1 lb=3500 calories. It's easier to get back up when my mistake doesn't feel fatal.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." --Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has this kind of restaurant experiences. I looked at the Red Lobster photos online, but I can't tell from them how the dish is cooked. And I think most of the calories come form the potatoes that are served with it, which I planned to not eat, anyway.
Last night, I went to a Thai restaurant. Another challenge, because the group didn't want to choose a restaurant until we arrived, so I had only a couple of minutes to look up info (thank God for my smartphone!). Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn't a chain, so it wasn't listed in my "Restaurant Nutrition" app. --Any suggestions on a more comprehensive app?
However, I knew we were going out, so I went light on my breakfast and lunch calories and filled up on my water throughout the day, so I had some "spare" calories for dinner. I seem to be able to find an enjoyable restaurant meal just about anywhere for under 650 calories, if I'm careful.
Last night, the group wanted appetizers, and they chose spring rolls--I chose lettuce wraps. I had a lot more control over what I was eating since I could pick the ingredients myself. I always rely on another technique for restaurants: I drink lots of water with lemon. (It's easy when the waitstaff keeps refilling my glass!) And I always order hot tea at Asian restaurants, so I had lots of tasks (squeezing lemon, pouring tea) to keep my hands busy while everyone else was eating spring rolls.
I avoided dishes containing any of the trigger words Becky mentioned (stir-fried, sautéed, etc.) and asked my waitress how my chosen dish (ginger beef) was prepared. She wasn't very helpful, so I probed further, which I previously wouldn't have done. She didn't mind answering my questions, but she wasn't very knowledgeable, so I used my best judgement.
When I came home and tracked, I was happy to find my estimates were pretty accurate, and I'd consumed just about the correct number of calories! Plus, I can enjoy the leftovers again for lunch today.
Thanks to all of you for listening to me think through this process in writing--and for your helpful suggestions--and for your friendly camaraderie. It all helps! Cheers--
Fitness Minutes: (15,905)
9,717 5/28/13 4:07 P
Really the only way to avoid that is to plan ahead of time; you know now, ask BEFORE you order what kind of sauces and such it's cooked in. Research the dish before you leave, and you'll save even more time. :) Knowing what questions to ask and how to parse the answers are the biggest tricks you can learn!
You can also remember that you don't have to eat the WHOLE dish, and better is not the same as best; it's okay to have that much butter just this once. :)
Ah, yes, another lesson learned. I made that mistake in ordering cheesecake at TGIFridays. I had *thought* that it was in the 400 calorie range. Well, that turned out to be another restaurant's cheesecake. TGIF's was over 900 calories! Thankfully, I only ate half. Then it took a few days before I could work the rest into my calories.
What helps me: 1 pound=3500 calories. Making a small mistake won't set you back even a full pound.
Now I also looked at Red Lobster's nutrition facts. They say that this dish has 570 calories, but that would be excluding "condiments, dipping sauces or optional accompaniments, shown separately." So...does the 570 calories include the starch or veg side? Does it include the butter, or is that considered a "condiment or dipping sauce?"
WOW that's annoying! I'd be inclined to contact the company and ask for some clarification, there!
That said, *I* probably would have eaten the dinner anyways. I would have removed the seafood from the butter, and let as much butter drip off as possible (could use a paper napkin to set them on, to help absorb the fat). I would have calculated calories in my head... the prawns and scallops are VERY low-cal/low-fat protein sources, so really the only problem child on the plate is the butter - how much could actually stick to my meal? A tablespoon, maybe two? So a couple hundred unanticipated calories... yeahhhh I'd eat it and chalk it up to a "life lesson." I had this experience a while back doing the same thing you did - thinking I was "virtuously" ordering low-fat fish instead of fatty beef or pork, at Taco Del Mar. Turns out their fish taco contains a FROZEN BATTERED FISH STICK. -facepalm- (and yes, I ate it, then came home and blogged about it in disgust lol).
Good for you for sticking to your guns, though, and ensuring that the restaurant prepared it the way YOU wanted it. That's a good decision, though a difficult one to make (as it does come with some spin-off consequences, like "eating hurriedly after everyone else is done).
I enjoyed Becky's Coahing Tip on restaurant dining today. In particular, I want to try the SP app for restaurants. Generally, I try to use all of her suggestions whenever I eat out, and I'm ususally happy with the outcome, but sometimes it doesn't work out as intended: servers forget to put dressings on the side, dishes are prepared in unanticipated ways, etc.
For example: Last time I went to Red Lobster with friends, I virtuously ordered the broiled seafood dinner and ignored the fabulous cheese biscuits for 20 minutes until the food came. I was shocked to find all my broiled seafood swimming in individual dishes of melted butter! The menu didn't mention how the food would be plated. I called the waiter and sent it back, requesting that it be served broiled and plated without the butter. Of course, I encouraged everyone else to eat while their food was still hot...while I sat there hungry and ignored the cheese biscuits for another 20 minutes. When my food finally arrived, everyone else had finished and waited for me to eat, which I did as speedily as possible, because by then the children had used up all their good behavior. All in all, the entire experience was an exercise in frustration. I don't see any way I could have changed my choices for the better, save not going out at all.
Opinions? Suggestions? Experiences you'd like to share?