Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Calorie Awareness, Serving Size and Eating Out

I went out today with a group of work friends for lunch. It's been a while since I do that, and I'm reminded as to why that is. The most difficult part of my new-found habit of being aware of what I'm eating has to be the measuring the calorie of the food I'm eating. I've somehow developed this preference for food that comes with Nutrition Information. They all should!!! Seriously!

How else am I, as one of the "people without natural eat watch" *, supposed to be aware of how much calories we are consuming??? (For more information about this notion of "people without natural eat watch", please read The Hacker's Diet book. It's a FREE book full of weight loss tips written in a very honest and fun to read manner!!! I was lucky enough to find out about it while browsing through the series of diet-posts mentioned in Good Food, Eating, and Diet Advice Talk by Michael Pollan (by Jeremy Zawodny).)

First of all, I am supposed to somehow know what's contained in that Butter Chicken that I love so much or Massamun Chicken Curry. Then, even when I can find information of the average calorie content for those dishes (perhaps from the Allan Borushek Pocket Calorie Counter book), I am supposed to know how much of it I am eating!!! I mean, the average calorie content information comes in either cup size, or grams.

I, who has never been anywhere near good in estimating measurements, am supposed to eye ball that dish and know how much I am eating!!! Grrrrr...!!! Surely I can't be expected to be carrying a 250ml cup or a small diet scale in my bag (which I am highly considering to do - except that I can't stand the attention I'll attract when I start measuring my curry by cup size or weighing them).

Of course, on top of that, there are some dishes which I like that is not even mentioned in the Pocket Calorie Counter book. To make matter worse, most Asian meals aren't made of one type of dish. It's normally some rice with at least three different type of dishes!!!

Anyhow - enough whinging (yes - I know won't get me anywhere). I'm looking at ways to sort this out, because otherwise it is going to hurt my calorie counting effort and I don't want that!

For people who's on the same boat, here's some good links I found on Serving Size...
- Visual Examples of Food Portion Sizes - Healthy Eating for Busy People - Dietriffic.com
- What Do 300 Calorie Meals Look Like?
- Visual Ways to Show Serving Sizes (PDF)* - from Alberta Milk
- What does a serving look like? — Healthy Food Guide (Psst... Check out the Serving size poster PDF (857kb) that on this page. I find them really handy!)
- Serving Sizes and a healthy diet, from iVillage Total Health
- Portion Size: Controlling What You Eat - WebMD

Here's some tips on Eating Out...
- Your Guide to Eating Out - Nutrition & Recipes - American Diabetes Association
- Eating Out on a Diet

And, maybe (only maybe) we should buy (or make) the Diet Plate to help me at home...

Anyway - please do let me know if you have any good tips on the topic. Cause after all, I really enjoy (love actually) dining out (especially with the right company).

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1 comment:

Mel T said...

Hi there!

Thanks for adding my link to your list!

Eating out is definitely a challenge for those of us trying to eat healthy. But, it's good to enjoy a treat now and again too.

I've written about this in the past although it's for diabetics it'll fit anyone.

Hope this helps.