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Archive for April, 2011

Restaurant eating can be healthy.

Restaurant eating can be healthy.

Do you love eating out but are afraid of gaining weight?! Read this.

We all love to eat out. Since I do counseling in New York City, so many of my clients  eat out for socializing and entertainment. While I often recommend that clients eat home and cook more often, I know that many will eat out, at least a night or two.

Portions are tremendous when eating out and it is, therefore, easy to eat too many calories. In fact, research shows that foods consumed out of the home provide more fat, sodium and calories than home cooked meals.

Here are some tips to help you dine out without gaining any weight. You may even lose some weight!

Dining Dos:

ü      Do eat as many veggies as you want.

ü      Choose olive oil based dressings over creamy varieties.

ü      Order dishes steamed, grilled, broiled, or baked.

ü      Order brown rice instead of white.

ü      Opt for grilled fish or chicken.

ü      At Italian restaurants, choose red sauce or marinara for pasta.

ü      Order appetizer portions or share a main dish entrée.

ü      Order primavera.

ü      Choose turkey and chicken as a sandwich filling over deli meats.

ü      Hold the mayo! Opt for mustard or ketchup.

ü      Choose whole wheat or rye bread instead of white.

ü      Drink 6-8 glasses of water or seltzer daily.

ü      Order a baked potato or rice instead of fries.

ü      Order fresh fruit such as mixed berries for dessert.

ü      Order coffee beverages with nonfat milk.

ü      Remember that fiber is filling.

ü      Enjoy your company and eat slowly.


Dining Don’ts:

ü      Don’t go the restaurant hungry. Eat a snack before you go.

ü      Avoid cream sauces for pasta.

ü      Stay away from extra cheese.

ü      Limit the red meat.

ü      Beware the fried dishes: fried chicken, egg rolls, tortilla chips, and so on.

ü      Don’t count French fries as a vegetable.

ü      Limit white bread.

ü      Go easy on the sauces.

ü      Limit salad dressings, croutons, butter, and mayonnaise.

ü      Skip the soda and sweetened beverages.


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Unhappy Meals

The Happy Meal–and other fatty and salty meals marketed to kids—may soon be an Unhappy Meal if a member of the City Council of New York gets his way, or these meals don’t shape up!  Mr. Leroy Comrie, Jr wants toys to be banned from Happy Meals and other fast-food meals marketed to kids that do not meet healthful criteria. Here is the article from the New York Times about it.

Mr. Comrie’s bill would restrict toys to meals that contain the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 500 calories
  • Less than 600 mg sodium
  • Less than 35% of calories (exceptions for nuts and nut butters)
  • Must contain ½ cup fruit or vegetable or one serving of whole grain.

This plan resembles a measure that was adopted in San Francisco last year, despite serious lobbying efforts by the fast-food industry. New York’s proposal is stricter than San Francisco’s plan which called for meals to have fewer than 600 calories and 640 mg sodium.

Great idea. It is time to sell more healthful meals to kids!  And, I know first hand that kids love meals that come with toys. When my niece was barely 5 years old, she wanted to go to McDonald’s just to get the Betty Spaghetti toy. Of course, if you eat fast-food on a regular basis, you will never look like Betty Spaghetti…Let’s hope the City Council approves this bill.

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