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Dining on a Diet: 4 Easy Mistakes

Learn-from-mistakesOne of the things I like to do is share my stupid mistakes so YOU don’t REPEAT THEM! Yep, I am not afraid to tell you just how bad I blew it. I may be a fitness professional, and although I know a lot about nutrition, calories and weight management, I still make poor choices from time to time. The only reason I am not as big as a cow is because 1.) I look for mistakes (meaning, I hold myself accountable, I look up calories and I look for the truth (facts). 2.) I work my mistakes off. 3.) I learn from my mistakes. 4.) I apply what I learn (a lot of people learn a lot about improving their eating, but they don’t apply it).

The difference between my mistakes and other people making mistakes is I make them less often. Where I may totally blow it occasionally, some people are blowing it every week, or every other day. Those mistakes add up if going unnoticed, and that is when weight gain happens – or why people can’t lose weight despite all their work in the gym.

Dining on a DietSo, here’s the story. I had family in town last night so we all decided to go to Outback for dinner. I’m not dieting right now so I was already going in knowing I was going to treat myself – which means I plan on having that yummy salad they have and a baked potato instead of broccoli. Let me stop right here and tell you this: If I had looked up the calories ahead of time (like I tell EEEEEVERYONE else), I would have not chosen what I ordered. The damage way exceeded what I would have allowed myself if I had known in advance.

Mistake #1: I didn’t look up the calories BEFORE I ordered.

mistakesAs I’m looking at the menu, I had pretty much settled on getting just a small steak, baked potato and side salad. BUT, Steve (yes, I’m throwing him right under that big blame bus) said, “why don’t you get the Outback 4 Special, the 4-course meal for $15?“. Well, I almost felt stupid if I DIDN’T get that. What a deal right? WRONG! It was a baaaaad deal – and I have news for you! It cost WAY more than $15. It cost me $15 to eat it and it’s going to cost me plenty more in valuable time to burn it off!

Mistake #2: I let someone or something (tempting menu item or deals) to change my mind!

mistakeSo here’s what I ended up eating. NOTE: I never, NEVER, NEEEVER get dessert, BUT it came with the “package”. Thank you Outback for trying to fatten me up. You not only Biggie Sized my meal, you Biggie Sized ME! Yes, I have a choice and could have chosen better, but your “good deal” sucked me in and I took the ugly bate. Yep, you caught me, hook line, and sinker!

What I ordered:

  • Sparkling water with lime: 1 calories
  • White Bean & Sausage Soup: 162 calories
  • Blue Cheese & Pecan Chopped Salad: 559 calories (WHAT?! U HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?!!)
  • 6oz Steak: 254 calories
  • Baked Potato with Sour Cream & Butter: 313 calories
  • Carrot Cake: 320 calories


Mistake #3: By eating less, I talked myself into thinking I was doing OK. 

What I actually ate:

  • Sparkling Water with Lime: 0 Calories
  • I Ate ALL of My White Bean & Sausage Soup: 162 calories
  • I Ate ALL of My Blue Cheese & Pecan Chopped Salad: 559 calories (BIG mistake!)
  • 1/2 My 6oz Steak: 127 calories
  • 1/2 My Baked Potato with Sour Cream & Butter: 156 calories
  • 1/4 of My Carrot Cake: 80 calories

(I saved 800 calories, but STILL have to run 10 miles to erase the damage!!)

Mistake #4: I ordered something I really loved – and took it home.

Really? That doesn’t belong in my house. That’s what I call “planning to fail”. Why didn’t I just let everyone at the table taste it. Why? Because I freakin’ LOVE carrot cake.

Moral of the Story…

outback-special-sirloinListen, if I had been amazing with my diet lately, this whole catastrophe wouldn’t have mattered – but I haven’t been good with my diet. I’ve been “off” my diet for several weeks and this week was supposed to mark my start of getting my act together after my vacations and being sick.

So, this mistake set me back a few MORE days. In the big scheme of things, it really is not that big of a deal IF it only happens occasionally, but this is a perfect example of how many people are “try” to make good choices – and they wonder why they can’t lose weight.

Why Good Intentions Don’t Cut It:

The above is proof that good intentions aren’t enough even when someone:

  • Orders water instead of wine
  • Avoids the bread and butter
  • Chooses a vegetable based soup instead of a cream based soup
  • Chooses salad over blooming onions or other greasy appetizers
  • Orders grilled meat, instead of a saucy dish
  • Picks whole foods for sides, instead of casseroles or fried sides
  • Eats half the meal
  • Has only a few bites of dessert instead of eating the whole thing

Even after ALL THAT, they STILL are eating WAY too many calories. 

Next time you eat out, think of me, sitting at the computer the next morning, looking up calories from the night before and tallying the damage. Even though the food was good, I can honestly say it wasn’t worth what it will take to work it off. I see a lot of exercise in my future.



Stop the Fatcation: 6 Tips to Prevent Vaca Weight Gain

Fatcation/fatˈkāSHən/ (n) While on vacation, you do more getting fat than sightseeing.

I just got back from a fatcation, I mean vacation. 😉 Vacations can be scary for dieters, but just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a fitness vacation too. You can still have a ton of fun, try new foods and “cheat” while not completely losing your mind – and your progress.

Here are 6 tips to help control your vacation eating – and help you bounce back quickly once you get back home.

tasting1. Taste, don’t gorge. More is not always better, but when you are on vacation, it’s fun to taste foods you normally don’t eat. Key word: Taste! Grazing all day is actually better than pigging out a couple of times a day. When you are on vacation, share plates and appetizers so you can taste more, but eat less.  

2. Be picky. Just because something is sitting on a plate in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I actually ordered 3 meals that were a disappointment to me. After I tasted it and discovered it wasn’t what I hoped, I just opted to skip it altogether because it wasn’t worth the calories to me. If you are trying to lose weight, it pays to be picky. If it’s not worth 1-2 hours in the gym to burn off, then it’s not worth eating.

 hotel gym3. Make room for more calories. When I say “make room”, I’m talking about making room for more calories. We typically consume a lot more calories on vacation than we do when we are back in our normal routine at home. However, many times people workout less. If you are watching your weight, account for the extra calories you are eating and try to stay active so you can “afford” the extra calories. Whether you hit the hotel gym, go for a jog, or you just try to walk everywhere instead of taking a cab, increasing your activity while on vacation will help you decrease your chances for vacation weight gain.  

4. What happens on vacation stays on vacation. What I mean is, the overeating, drinking, laziness, etc ends when your vacation ends. It’s very easy to let your vacation habits come home with you. Instead, make a mark in the sand and decide to jump right back to your normal routine as soon as you get back. So, as soon as you get home, hit the grocery store and start planning and cooking for the week so you are ready to eat clean again.

oops5. Forgive yourself. I’ll be honest, I feel fat as a cow right now. That’s how I FEEL. Is that reality? No. I know good and well there is no way I can erase months of training and hard work in just a few days. Can it set me back? Sure, but if I hit it hard (with both diet and training), I’ll be right back where I want to be in no time. That’s the reality. No matter how bad you feel, forgive yourself. Realize, it’s just a vacation. You deserved the break and, often times, you will even hit it HARDER when you get back. Ironically, it’s those kind of cheat days that can make you double your intensity and the drive you need to take your routine to a new level.  

fitness goals6. Set new goals and guidelines. In order to reach a goal, you need to have a goal to strive for. Once you’ve set a goal, you need to plan to get there and that requires setting some rules. Often times people set some pretty stiff rules but they have just as many exceptions as they do rules. For instance, they diet and train hard all the time except for special occasions or weekends. The problem is, many people have a lot of special occasions. Between dinner dates, birthdays, Holidays, events, etc – someone can easily have something that interrupts their routine every week if they are ont careful. My suggestion is to not allow for any cheating for 3-4 weeks so you get a really good powerful start. Then schedule one cheat day. Then go right back at it. Once you get closer to your goal, your cheat meals can be closer together. Setting rules like this keeps you accountable and on schedule to reach your goal.

How Good is Your High-Cal Radar?

My favorite (not-so-favorite) thing to hear, when people are talking about needing to lose weight, is when they tell me how healthy they eat or how they know they aren’t eating any more than 1200 calories a day (which is practically impossible to do and NOT lose weight). The honest truth is, if you eat out AT ALL and aren’t looking up the nutritional information for the menu items, you have NO idea how many calories you are eating.

I’m in the fitness business myself and I know I make mistakes – and I’m “supposed to know better”. It’s very difficult to guess low calories foods, even for the pros. To test your High-Cal Radar, I did a little research today using popular foods (not just the stereotypical healthy foods) to offer a little (what my history teacher used to call a) ‘multiple guess’ test.

Choosing between different menu items, which food choice is LOWEST in calories:

A. 6″ Turkey & Ham Sub
B. Turkey & Ham Wrap

A. Fried Okra
B. French Fries

A. 20 BBQ Chicken Wings
B.  6 slices of pepperoni and cheese pizza

A. Cheeseburger Mini Sliders
B. Bacon Cheeseburger Burger Read the rest of this entry

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