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Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fast Food Fairy Godmother Says,
"Check Nutritional Info Online."

Okay, say you are home, don't feel motivated to cook or don't have anything yet cause you're still making up that shopping list, so you decide to order in or just go get a drive-thru quickie.

Take advice from the Fast Food Fairy Godmother: Check the nutritional information BEFORE you hit the car or the telephone.

The data may shock you into a saner choice.

For example, say that Princess Dieter has exercise stank on her and can't go shopping until shower-shampoo-blowdry-etc. Prince Charming, hungry, suggests: "Wendy's?" Immediately, Princess Dieter goes online to get nutritional information. Wendy's has a handy meal calculator--you can choose the item, see the nutritional breakdown, personalize it, and then decide if it's a go or a no.

There are a lot of nos. Some of my old standbys are now...nos. Big, fat NOs.

It took 15 minutes of fiddling to come down to, well, what you usually get told by weight loss counselors or Weight Watchers. Avoid the cheesy and fried stuff. Actually seeing the breakdown for the broccoli cheese baked potato and the components of the Southwestern salad were enough to snap me out of a "I think I want" haze.

So, listen to the Fast Food Fairy Godmother. Look it up. See the breakdown. Make wise choices based on facts and goals, not appetite or eating history.

I'll be honest. There have been times when I've told myself at some restaurant, "Oh, it's just a Caesar salad, so how bad can it be?" Well, that restaurant may not have the breakdown, but if there's a lot of dressing, there's a lot of calories. It's easy to fool ourselves if we're not actually aware of what the counts are. It's easy to be wrong if we guesstimate. Studies show folks tend to estimate badly when it comes to calories and portions. We THINK we're eating less than we really are. We THINK we're moving more than we really are. We THINK that cookie has fewer calories and fat that it really does. We THINK that walk burned off the pie slice, when what it burned off was more like a cup of low-fat pudding.

If you don't have a restaurant's data, then look up calorie counters online and dining advice sites, and try to make the best guess you can. Round UPWARDS, not downwards. Don't fool yourself with, "But that count is for a much bigger piece." More than likely, no. You and I just like to think we had a smaller serving.

Here's a test: Next time you make something, say, rice or pasta, guesstimate how much a cup is on your plate. Now, scoop that into a measuring cup. See how close you came to being right. Do the same with a weight measure of cheese or deli ham.

If you've been doing portioning and measuring for years, you may have a great eye. But most folks will guess POORLY. So...round up. Assume you had a bit more than you think. Unless you're an eagle-eyed measuring fiend.

Stay alert. Read. Learn. Stop. Reassess.

And listen to your Fast Food Fairy Godmother.

A happy Sunday to all dieters...

Edited to Add: Teale's Meals has a recent post showing how one can make good choices even at places where one used to make bad choices.


Teale said...

Planning is definately SO important! I just blogged about this yesterday actually!

Chubby Chick said...

I am SO glad that nutritional info. for most chain restaurants is so readily available online! It makes dieting in the real world a whole lot easier than it used to be!

I've begun to measure everything since starting this "journey." It's nice to know EXACTLY how much a portion size is for a particular food because then I know I'm counting the correct amount of calories.