Tuesday, September 7, 2021

How I lost 100 pounds dining out: calorie restricting at restaurants

I wrote a post recently on how the "feel full" myth keeps us overweight after reading comments on a Facebook "My 600-lb Life" weight loss discussion group in which folks say they can't lose weight with calorie restricting on the 1200 calorie diet because it doesn't satisfy hunger. They're sure that foods like salads will never fill them up no matter how keto or protein-rich they are. Part of  how I lost 100 pounds (without gastric bypass) was by calorie restricting, using a gastric bypass 1200 calorie diet (and by eating a LOT of said protein salads 😀).  I also had to rethink satiation, hunger and food choices, especially when dining out. And I'm living proof that you can shed obesity and still eat at restaurants if you are will to make some diet food swaps. 

Case in point: last Saturday, a friend invited us out to Culver's to celebrate Covid 19 recovery. To maintain weight loss, I normally avoid fast food places like Culver's because the menu is not calorie restricting friendly! But I really wanted to visit so I figured I'd find diet food swaps that were 1200 calorie diet approved. I chose a cranberry bleu cheese salad with bacon and grilled chicken. It was only 460 calories with dressing and 44 grams of keto protein. There was also a pecan strawberry chicken salad and plain salad with grilled chicken all with high protein counts. The salad was delicious and super filling. I was actually more satisfied than my husband who had a patty melt and fries (after having Covid 19, he needs to gain not lose weight, LOL). I've found that fatty fried fast foods actually lower metabolism. 

I make these keto salads all the time and have created some delicious and filling diet recipes. I start with a base of spring mix or iceberg with purple cabbage and carrots. I've also used cole slaw mix. I add fresh berries (great fiber filled, metabolism boosting fat burners). I use various nuts and seeds (smoked almonds, pecans, chia, sunflower and my favorite, pumpkin seeds) which are also good fat burners for weight loss. Grilled chicken packs an intense protein punch and really helps lose weight. I've also used grilled salmon. I load up on vegetables high in electrolytes (tomatoes, avocados, red onions and cucumbers) Sometimes I make an Athenian or antipasto salad with olives and parmesan, bleu cheese or feta (more fat burners). 

The most important of the diet food swaps for salads is the dressing. You actually need some fat to properly digest leafy vegetables but I've seen overweight gastric bypass patients on "My 600-lb Life" literally drowning salads in fatty dressing. Dips, spreads and dressings are some of the biggest obesity triggers, even the diet ones. But you can lose weight and have your dips and spreads by using less. I use light ranch and/or light raspberry vinaigrette to get that piquant sweet and sour taste but I only use half the serving size. These salads are high in electrolytes, vitamins and minerals and actually boost my metabolism. 

Eating these super salads was how I lost 100 pounds, beat obesity and now avoid getting overweight again. They're helping me stabilize electrolytes lost in my recent Covid 19 bout. 

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