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Making More Less

 By Sheila Himmel
San Jose Mercury News

Everyone has trouble deciding how much to eat in restaurants. Here
are some strategies to help you stay within the realm of reason:

Sit down. Just the act of sitting will slow your intake.

Use utensils. Order food that requires cutting and chewing.

Order appetizers. You don't have to have an entree. Have a couple of
appetizers. But be careful. Steakhouse appetizers commonly run 1,000
to 3,000 calories apiece. Outback's ``Bloomin' Onion'' packs 2,130
calories with dipping sauce, and 1,690 without.

Split the entree. You and a companion each get half, and each have a

Ask for the lunch-size entree. If the restaurant won't allow it, ask
for a takeout container and tuck away some of the food before you

Avoid buffets. But if you must, go for the top-end items rather than
filler. Get your money's worth on quality.

Pause. Eat half the sandwich or entree, rest a few minutes, and see
if you're really still hungry.

Bring a reference. Take along the paperback book, ``Restaurant
Confidential'' (Workman Publishing, $12.95). It gives calories, total
fat grams, and saturated fat grams for most foods you'll find in

Measure. Get a mental picture of a reasonable portion. Compare it to
something, like a tennis ball's worth of mashed potatoes, but be
realistic. Few people will stick with a deck of cards' worth of meat,
a sunglasses case of fish or a casserole serving the size of a
kitchen sponge, as diet books often recommend.

Know your downfalls. If they are chips, have a couple and send them away.

End the meal. Have a definite end to your meal. Maybe it has to be a
small sweet, but then you're done.




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