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Old 11-18-2007, 08:40 PM   #1
Weight Loss; Control Gain
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Question How often do you eat out?

If so, what do you eat?
If not, how long do you spend preparing food in a day, a week?
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Old 11-18-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
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practically dh and i never eat out (or only once a month) due to dh being back in school and we're on a strict food budget. as for how long do i spend preparing food..not that long. DH and i cook 3 times a week and eat leftovers the onther days. I don't work normal work days so, some days i have weekdays off and sometimes weekends. I find that i make my meals on my day off and then one day a week dh or i make a simple meal on a work day. i do find it helps to prepare ahead. I use to plan a week food menu (ie breakfast lunch snack dinner etc) at first it took me about 30-45 min to prep and figure out what i'd need for shopping. Since we've been doing this for a few months now, i don't really need to make a weekly schedule. We usually shope 1-2 times a week (usually one run is just small for fresh fruit/veggies). One thing i will tell you is that i have lost more weight since we haven't been eating out. Everyone tends to overeat when eating out. Tonight for example, dh and i, had a treat at Bahama breeze. We split an appetizer and a sandwhich. We now hardly eat much, in fact we took half our meal home. I don't find i have the best will power when eating out...so therefore, for me, its better to stay at home.

i really think at first it takes a little time to get use to figuring out menu/food/shopping list etc...but honestly if you stick to it, it will get easier and takes less and less time. When its a night for cooking, on average, the meal takes about 30 min to prep and cook. I'm not a big fan of meals that take forever to cook.

so this was a long rambling message...but take it from a once chronic "eater outer"...i have lost more weight since i've stopped eating out. I'm in much better control. Give it some time, prep time and menu planning will eventually get simple and require little time.

hope that helped...sorry for the long ramble

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Old 11-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #3
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Occasionally - I went out to dinner this saturday just gone. It was an Italian restaurant and I looked the menu up online so I knew what I would be ordering (which ended up being an entree sized gnocchi with plain tomato sauce and I ate maybe a third of it)

As for preparing food - well! I LOVE to cook so most mornings I have an omlette for breakfast, lunch is ALWAYS home made - usually a sandwich or leftover salads from the night before and dinner is always home made, never ever take away.
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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We used to go out a lot, but now that we're both going to be students again in January and we're both paying for it ourselves, not so much

I'm really picky at restaurants - I always get everything made my own way. Lots of salads and lean proteins. If I order something with rice, I never eat more then half of my entree, and the other half makes the next day's lunch. I hate not knowing how many calories I'm consuming, so I like to stick to restaurants where you can check calorie content of items in their menu before you go.

I never eat dessert, or have a drink (unless alcoholic). I drink lots of water, and if I want something sweet, I'll have a piece of fruit when I get home.

I'm not that great at cooking, and I'm usually too busy, so I spend very little time preparing food. I get really convenient foods - little cans of flavored tuna, Bistro Express. I know that made from scratch would be lower sodium, but I can't really do anything about that right now. The most time I spend preparing food is usually for the lunches that I take to work.
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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I almost always eat at home. I cook daily. I work 12-14 hour days, so I like to make quick meals. I usually don't spend more than half an hour preparing dinner. I bring my lunch to work every day, and I have breakfast before I leave the house in the morning.

Usually for dinner I have:
1)Chicken in curry simmer sauce (canned sauce from trader joe's)w/ lots of veggies over rice
2)Shrimp and lots of veggies in a spicy tomato sauce over pasta
3)Ground turkey in a chili sauce w/ onions/green pepper/tomato over rice
4) I used to also have a home made chicken fajita in a low carb wrap (haven't had it in a while)
5) Chicken in a Moroccan sauce w veggies over rice
6) Chicken/shrimp dish w veggies and a sweet potato (or oven baked sweet potato fries)

I find that by buying the healthiest bottled prepared sauces I can find and adding a protein and a couple cups of frozen veggies to the sauce and eating this with the starch of my choice, I can have a freshly cooked meal in 30 minutes or less each night.


Last edited by Tara D; 11-18-2007 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:18 PM   #6
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That's a good question.

I very rarely eat out. I find the stuff that I make at home much healthier, tastier and more full of volume for less calories then I get out. I also know exactly what I'm putting into my food. I hate not knowing how many calories are in a particular dish.

The good question was how much time do I spend preparing food. Hmmmm... Well, I never thought about it, but it's a lot. A real lot in fact. I'm always planning, shopping, chopping, dicing, cooking, cleaning up, and bagging up my food. Gosh, I don't even know. It's definitely over an hour a day. Although it's a lot of time, I consider it time VERY WELL SPENT and it's not an option to give it up, as much as I'd like to have some more spare time. Having healthy, delicious foods to eat to is what's kept me on plan for so long. It's become such a habit to me, it's totally ingrained in me. It's just simply "what I do".
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #7
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We eat out rarely, maybe once a week at most, and usually on a weekend. When we go out, we typically go to a salad bar or get soup. Not very exciting. Big meals out are very rare indeed.

In terms of my food prep time:

Weekly - 30 minutes menu planning and grocery list making based on my menus for dinner for the week, plus an hour at the store.

Daily - 10 min to make breakfast, 10 min to gather or prepare my snacks, 10 min to reheat leftovers for lunch, etc, and 10 min dinner prep early in the day. No more than 30 min dinner prep after work, and another 10 minutes or so making whatever I'm having for dessert. So that is 80 minutes per day food prep time, but it is mostly split into 10 minute increments. I only spend one large block cooking, when I get home from the gym, for the 30 minutes it takes me to get dinner on the table. This only counts hands-on time...often things need to be cooked for a while in the oven/stove, but I don't have to be hands on with them, so that isn't really cooking time.
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Old 11-18-2007, 10:06 PM   #8
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I don't eat out as much as I used to, but definitely still way too much!

At least I have a sense of what I can "get away with" now, where as before, I was definitely in denial about how unbelievably unhealthy restauarant food can be (and almost always is).

I do like the Whole Foods hot food bar, though, I must say. Expensive as **** but soooo, soooo good.

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Old 11-18-2007, 11:46 PM   #9
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We eat out at least once a week.

When I do eat out, I try to eat salads, or fish. I eat a lot of chicken at home and fish is a nice change. I substitute veggies for fries or potatoes at lots of places, and try to remember to ask to just have them steamed. So I create a lot of my own meals when I do go out.

But I do spend a lot of time over the course of the week buying, chopping, and cooking. I also consider it time very well spent. I often make meals one day that last throughout the week, like soup or chili, or red beans and rice...

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:46 PM   #10
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I eat out twice a week, practicing portion control and eating things that are on my plan. This weekend, we ate out once but the meal lasted us many meals and the leftovers were stretched with other food/veggies.

As for meal prep, I don't really think I spend all that much time. I may spend an hour making a couple dishes that last a few days.

Today, I spent 30 minutes making salads for lunches tomorrow, dinner tomorrow and lunches the next day. I also made some cut up veggies for snacks for 2 days.

On friday, I spent an hour making 2 main dishes that should last DH and I for lunches and dinners until Wednesday. (We eat out on Weekends so we ate out on Saturday and it lasted both of us 4 meals, Saturday Lunch, Saturday Dinner, Sunday Lunch and Sunday Dinner) On Wednesday, I'll probably make another couple dishes to last another few days. It depends though because this is an off week and we aren't sure what we are doing on Thanksgiving day or the day after.

So in a week, I'd say I spend about 2-3 hours shopping and 2-4 hours meal prep. That comes out to about an hour a day worst case but again it really depends on what I decide to make.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
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Old 11-18-2007, 11:54 PM   #11
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I never... ever.. ever.. eat out and I work in a restaurant. I dont eat there. lol If I eat out.. Im going to eat sushi, because I cant roll it. Since I have become a vegetarian I suppose I wont be going out to eat sushi. Ok Ok.. maybe once is a while I would crack down and eat some sushi.. I love fish, and I wouldnt trying the vegetarian lifestyle if fish wasnt so dang high in mercury

The reason i dont eat out even when I was eatting flesh, is because even grilled chicken and broccoli finds a way to be 600-700 calories. You would have to say NO BUTTER. To get it down, and I really can think of ALOT more tasty things than bland chicken and broccoli.
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Old 11-19-2007, 06:57 AM   #12
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I eat out one or two times a week. I wish I could say I'm as disciplined as some of the others on this post, but I'm not! This week I went out on Friday to a barbecue place. Everyone split a chili nachos appetizer, and then I got a caesar salad. Lately my restaurant strategy has been to cut down on my drinking, so I usually get a glass of wine or a lite beer (instead of margaritas and martinis!).

I don't love cooking, so I rarely spent that much time preparing meals at home. I usually eat frozen meals. If I do cook something, it's something simple like spaghetti.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:47 AM   #13
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We eat out a fair amount--often 3 times or more in a week. But I know how to order at the places we go. Sometimes I'll check calorie counts ahead of time on line. Or, at Applebee's, for example, I'll order from the WW menu. Or, there's a place called Sweet Tomatoes which is a buffet with lots of salads and vegetables. Here I can make my own choices.

Some of the rules I try to follow:
- Salad dressing always on the side.
- No potatoes unless it's WW menu (and thus limited).
- No pasta salads or other pasta.
- No bread.
- Only clear-broth soups--no cheesy soups, chili, etc.
- No cream sauces or cheese, unless it's WW menu.
- Lean grilled chicken, fish, or beef.
- If there is too much on the plate, I decide what gets saved for later right from the beginning. For example, if it's a 7-ounce steak, I usually eat only half. I divide other foods accordingly as well.
- No dessert.

For meal preparation at home, I am not into cooking, so I eat a lot of frozen meals (Lean Cuisines) and frozen vegetables, with bag salads. Breakfast is usually granola or some eggs or a homemade shake. I know the calorie counts of everything I eat.

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Last edited by JayEll; 11-19-2007 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:58 AM   #14
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Jay -- I love sweet tomatoes too, and just went there last night! They used to have menu booklets right there, but a lot of the info is online. I always start with a big salad, which I make with vinegar only. There are always some low-cal soups, and they have these little bran muffins which are 80 calories each.

We used to go there before we changed how we eat and I know we could easily eat 2000 calories without thinking about it!

My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences
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Old 11-19-2007, 08:04 AM   #15
Just Yr Everyday Chick
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Oh yes... perhaps where you live, Heather, you've noticed how many overweight people there are eating at Sweet Tomatoes, probably thinking they are eating "healthy" and "low cal." Ha!

Last time I went there, I got out for under 500 calories, and that was with one of the small blueberry muffins.

"My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama

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