Enjoy Eating Out

Plan for stress-free, fun and delicious away from home dining, thanks to zero Points goods and rollovers, plus your digital tools.

Using WW Freestlye is all about being able to “live freely” – giving you the flexibility to enjoy social occasions with family and friends-the trick is a little planning.  We all know you can’t dictate the menus when you go out to eat or visit with family or friends, but there are things you can do before you go!  That way you’re prepared for anything – even family holidays.  Because eating out doesn’t have to mean a restaurant, it can mean eating anywhere other than your house.

So for us weight Watcher’s out there – we can bank our points for that special meal out.  We already have weeklies to spend, then add up to 4 unused SmartPoints values per day to that mix and you have a nice little bankroll to pull from for that meal out.  

Another thing that everyone that has been at this whole weight loss thing for a while know is that you decide ahead of time (if possible) on what you’d like to eat.  Most restaurants offer their menu online for viewing so you can take a look at what they offer so you can make an informed choice when you get to the restaurant.  You can settle on what you plan to eat, long before you sit in the seat!  Will you have a dessert, drink or both?  When you make the decision ahead of time , you can feel more confident than when you are “in the moment”.

Another great tool that many of us have at our disposal is calorie tracking apps.  for Weight Watcher’s subscribers there is the WW App, where you can look up many restaurants and see how many point s that dinner is going to be.  If you can’t find the restaurant or the exact meal you were looking for, many of these major chain restaurants also post their nutritional information on their websites, so you can also track from there.  Those nutritional sheets are frightening for most of my old favorites at the restaurant!

Then there’s another good tool – pregame your meal!  Eat a low SmartPoints snack (or low calorie for non-weight watchers peeps), if you have yourself a filling little snack before heading out to that meal you wont be ravenous on arrival at the restaurant.

Last but not least when it’s all said and done – the most important thing to remember when eating out is to keep in the back of your mind “it’s just one meal”.  If you can remember that, you’ll get through it, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.  The moments made with family and friends when sharing a meal are something that is far more important than how many calories you’ve consumed.  Knowing that you can get right back on your plan at the next meal is key and if you stick to that, then you’ve been successful because as one of my WW leaders once said – that was your plan – to enjoy yourself, then get right back on plan for the next meal.

What are your tips for mastering the task of eating anywhere but your home space?

Enjoy Eating Out

“The key is planning, being flexible, and using your tools!”
I could have used this meeting topic my first week of Weight Watchers!  The very first day of returning to Weight Watchers my family decided to go out to eat at a diner for dinner and I wasn’t prepared.  I freaked out and did the only thing I could think of to handle the situation at that time for me.  Not eat anything.  I literally sat at the table with a glass of water and watched my family eat their dinners.  I went home that night and made an egg sandwich for dinner because I knew how to properly track it and it would fit into my points for that day. 
Next time I think I would handle the situation differently.  Instead of freaking out and getting upset I would try to find something on the menu I could eat or substitute in to fit my eating style.  I most certainly could have ordered an egg sandwich at the diner made similarly to the way I make it at home.  This way I would be eating with my family.

Healthiest Fast Food

Their favorite on-the-go meals (that are still healthy!)

By Lauren Gelman

We all know it’s healthier to skip the drive-thru, but everyone eventually finds themselves at a roadside rest stop or caves into a late-night French-fry craving. The trick is making the healthiest fast food choice you can.

So we turned to the nutrition experts who created the menus for our favorite fast food joints to find out what healthy meals they order when they eat on the job. Get their suggestions for healthy fast food.

Note: Most of the foods that follow are pretty good in terms of calories and fat, but they’re still loaded with sodium. Most adults should have less than 2,300 mg daily, and many of these meals provide half that amount or more!

Burger King: BK Veggie Burger
“I typically order the BK Veggie Burger, but I hold the mayo,” says Stephanie Quirantes, RD, the nutrition and health manager for Burger King Corp., North America. For a side and beverage, she has the Fresh Apple Fries and either fat-free milk or water. “This gives me four of the main food groups—grains, protein, fruit, and dairy.”

Nutrition info (for burger, apple fries, and milk): 465 cal, 32 g pro, 66 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 5 mg chol, 1,180 mg sodium

Blimpie: Turkey and Provolone Sandwich
“This sandwich on wheat bread is a great lower-calorie lunch option any day of the week,” says Nola Krieg, research and development chef for Kahala Corp., which runs Blimpie and other national chains (more on those later). “The turkey meat is sliced in front of you so you know it’s quality, fresh meat—a good source of protein. The sandwich also comes with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and I always think it’s a good idea to pile your favorite veggies on any sandwich.”

Her favorite trick for kicking up flavor: Extra pickles, which add taste without a bunch of fat or calories.

Nutrition info: 380 cal, 27 g pro, 45 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 10 g fat, 4.5 g sat fat, 45 mg chol, 1,950 mg sodium

Panera Bread: Black Bean Soup & Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
“I always do a ‘You Pick Two,’ which is any two of the following: a half sandwich, a half salad, or a soup,” says Scott Davis, chief concept officer and senior vice president at Panera Bread, who lost 60 pounds last year “pretty much by eating Panera.”

He likes to get the Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean soup (a spicy vegetarian broth with onion, red bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, and cumin) with the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich on tomato basil bread (sweet piquante peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and cilantro jalapeño hummus).

“It’s the right combination of carbs, protein, and fiber to keep me going all day,” says Davis, who washes down his meal with an unsweetened iced tea.

Nutrition info (for soup, sandwich, and iced tea): 462 cal, 19 g pro, 79 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 5 mg chol, 1,651 mg sodium

Nutrition info: 400 cal, 30 g pro, 56 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 70 mg chol, 980 mg sodium

McDonald’s: Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken
“Each of our salads provides about 3 cups of greens, so I’m getting a great veggie serving,” says Cindy Goody, PhD, RD, director of nutrition for McDonald’s USA. “I like that it gives me protein from the grilled chicken and beans, plus a variety of vegetables like corn, tomatoes, and chiles.” She uses half of the Southwest dressing packet, which shaves 50 calories off her meal, and her beverage of choice is a small Diet Coke.

Nutrition info (for salad, full dressing packet, and soda): 420 cal, 31 g protein, 41 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 15 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 90 mg chol, 1,320 mg sodium

Nutrition info: 360 cal, 28 g pro, 40 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4.5 g sat fat, 50 mg chol, 860 mg sodium

Subway: Roasted Chicken Sandwich
Subway’s dietitian Lanette Kovachi, RD, has advised the company on nutrition info for the last 8 years—so we were very curious for her take on how to build a healthy, tasty sammie. Her secret: Mound it with all the fresh veggies—doing so provides 2 full servings. Kovachi orders the 6-inch oven-roasted chicken on 9-grain bread (one of the more fiber-filled options) with water and baked potato chips. “I love the way this tastes, plus it fills me up,” she says.

Nutrition info (for sandwich and chips): 382 cal, 25 g protein, 79 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 25 mg chol, 1,180 mg sodium

Cold Stone Creamery: Sinless Cake Batter with Fudge
“Cold Stone Creamery is famous for its Cake Batter ice cream flavor because it’s just like licking batter from the bowl,” says Krieg, who oversees new flavor development for the ice cream chain. But the “Sinless” option saves you about half the calories and 95% less fat per serving. “In terms of dessert, I always feel less guilty about treating myself to ice cream compared to other sweets because I know it also provides an extra serving of calcium,” Krieg says.

Nutrition info: 230 cal, 8 g pro, 52 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 0 mg chol, 230 mg sodium

Healthy Fast Food

When life dishes you insane work deadlines, long road trips or back to back appointments with the kids, fast food becomes a fact of life.  You can do major nutritional damage in the drive thru, so Family Circle Magazine scoured the menu at some popular fast food restaurants to make a list of the top picks.

Healthiest picks from the menu:

  • McDonalds:
    • Honey Mustard Grilled Snack Wrap and Snack Size Fruit and Walnut Salad (470 cal, 17g Fat) 
  • Burger King:
    •  Hamburger and Value Sized Unsalted French Fries (480 cal, 21g fat)  Hold BK to the motto “Have it your way”, order a basic burger without mayo and extra lettuce and tomato to boost your veggies, ask for those fries without salt and you save 100 mg of sodium
  • Wendys:
    •  Large Chili with a side of Mandarin Oranges (420 cal, 10g fat, 9g fiber) 
  • KFC:
    • Honey BBQ sandwich and Large Corn on the Cob (460 cal, 4.5g fat, )
  • Panera:
    • Cup of Vegetable Soup with Pesto and Half a Smoked Turkey Sandwich (380 cal, 5g fat)
  • Pizza Hut:
    •  2 slices of medium Thin ‘n Crispy Veggie Lovers Pizza (360 cal, 12g fat)
  • Chipotle:
    • Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime rice, black beans, corn salsa and guacamole (480 cal, 19g fat)
  • Taco Bell:
    • Fresco Bean Burrito (350 cal, 8g fat, 12g fiber)
  • Subway:
    • 6 inch Veggie Delight Sub on Italian Bread, Subway Apple Slices and a small bag of Baked Lay’s (385 cal, 4.5g fat)
  • Dunkin Donuts:
    • Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread (280 cal, 8g fat)
  • Starbucks:
    • Roasted Vegetable Panini (350 cal, 12g fat)

Family Circle Magazine April 2011; Sally Kuzemchak

Better Your Breakfast

Here are some tips on how to slim down your meal without missing a bite!

  • When you go out for breakfast ask for your eggs to be cooked dry, this will cut back on the oil or butter used to cook your eggs. (Save 250 calories)
  • Having a bagel for breakfast? Slice your bagel lengthwise in thirds, keep the ends and toss the middle, it gives you the illusion that you’re eating the whole bagel. (Save 120 calories)
  • Order Canadian bacon instead of sausage on your breakfast sandwich. (Save 100-200 calories)
  • At your next trip to Dunkin Donuts instead of getting a medium Coffee Coolatta with cream, order a medium iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda. (Saves 560 calories)
  • Eat half a grapefruit with breakfast.  The high water content helps to make you feel full and keep you from overeating at your main meal. (Save about 100 calories)
  • Make your own parfait instead of buying one.  How to make one? Use a cup of fat-free Greek yogurt, a half cup of sliced strawberries or blueberries (or even half and half), then complete the parfait with a quarter cup of Kashi GoLean Cereal (Save 151 calories)
  • Use three ounces of sliced chicken breast in your omelet instead of having three ounces of sausage.  Use some salsa or veggies to add a special kick! (Save about 120 calories)

Check out the next post for “Lighting Your Lunch”

Fitness Magazine June 2011