I had planned to direct this month’s challenge to readers of this column, but I decided instead to make it a personal challenge directed at myself. Feel free to adopt it as your own challenge, but I don’t want to add pressure to those who are seeking their own way to march toward healthyville.
Anyway, here’s my challenge: eat out no more than once a week. This idea occurred to me during a recent meeting at which we were discussing obstacles to weight loss. Someone mentioned that spouses or friends pull us in the direction dining out. Members seemed to feel pressure to eat out more than they wanted. Often it was because a husband wanted to eat out and the member was just going along with it. Still, let’s face it, it’s easier to eat out than to prepare meals. And it’s a social experience. But we have to remember it’s also an expensive experience, not only costly in dollars but also in calories and salt.
News this week highlighted three fast foods particularly high in calories. Number three on the list was iHop’s chorizo festival omelet at 1930 calories. Number two was Sonic’s pineapple upside down master blast at 2020 calories. And the highest was Red Lobster’s create-your-own combo at 2510 calories.
Maybe you could cut down those calories by sharing the dish or by taking some home to eat later. We’re getting quite good at those strategies and that’s a good thing.
But the reason I paid close attention to the story about those high calorie dishes is I had just gone online to find a place to enjoy a lunch the next day. I found a Greek chicken salad with 500 calories and 1310 mg of sodium. Add a cup of soup for 200 calories and 1150 mg of sodium. Actually, I could live with those calories, but not with that sodium, which exceeds what we should have in a whole day. But I would probably want some goodies to go with it, which would pump up the calories too. The bottom line is this: I can probably eat out like this once a week and be healthy. That’s why I’m challenging myself to eat at home the other 20 meals I have during the week.
Having said that, I need to add that I do appreciate our restaurants posting their products’ nutritional information in the restaurant and online. By planning ahead we can make smarter choices.
Consider trying this eat at home challenge yourself. No pressure though.
Join us on Saturday mornings for support, motivation, information and friendship. Weigh-in is between 7:00-7:45 a.m. in the Mirror Room of Sun Lakes Country Club. The meeting starts after weigh-in next door in the Friendship Room. Contact Rita at 895-2559 for more information.