Friday, January 25, 2008

Eat Out; Loose Weight? A Week of Meal Plans for the Time-Pressed and Frequent Diner

Ideally, food is made in the kitchen from an assortment of freshly chopped vegetables, trimmed lean meats, and grains that take an hour to soften. Unfortunately, few people have the time or desire to compulsively pack six daily meals into little labeled containers--hello reality!
So, in response to emails from individuals who spend a lot of time traveling on the job, taking care of kids, or simply don't enjoy cooking, I've developed a week of meal plans that emphasize portion control and allow you to make the best choices when dining out!
The meal plan are set up at about 1800 Calories; this energy level may be appropriate for a sedentary man or a moderately active woman. If you are a sedentary woman, I would, in addition to starting a walking program, cut the portions of the two snacks in half or omit the afternoon snack. Also, you ask for an extra portion of veggies instead of the rice side dish that accompanies some of the dinner meals. The meal plans are designed to include all portable foods or foods that you may purchase outside of the home and eat immediately.
Although fast food has a terrible reputation, which is well-deserved in many cases, certain chains have made an effort to provide healthy options. Notably, McDonald's with their varieties of salad and Applebees and their Weight Watchers menu. The menu options emphasize reasonable portions and are high in fruits and vegetables!

Jean offers nutrition coaching for weight loss, muscle gain, or any of your personal goals at her office in the Alico building in downtown Waco, TX right in the heart of central Texas. She also offers personal training services at Ironhorse gym on the corner of Franklin and 17th, which is also very convenient to downtown Waco. Contact information can be found on her personal website.


Jean Jitomir MS, RD said...


For the purposes of meal planning, it is conceptually simpler to 1) Group all carbohydrate-containing groups into one type of exchange, carbohydrate (CARB); and 2) Group all protein containing groups (flesh and dairy) in one type of exchange, protein (PRO).

Furthermore, all carbohydrate-containing groups, namely the starches and fruits, are combined into one group (CARB). Combining these two groups together allows an individual to choose carbohydrate-containing foods based on personal preference. For instance, a person with a sweet tooth can exchange a morning starchy food, like 1 light English muffin (1 starch) for 1 ½ cups of strawberries. Both of these carbohydrate-containing foods are equal to 1 CARB; however, the high-volume strawberries may be more satisfying to someone on a low-calorie plan.

Milk Exchanges:

1 cup skim milk = 1 CARB and 1 PRO
1 cup light yogurt = 1 CARB and 1 PRO
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt = 1 CARB and 2 PRO
1 cup low-fat yogurt = 3 CARB, 1 PRO, and ½ FAT
1 cup 2% milk= 1 CARB, 1 PRO, 1 FAT

Meat Exchanges:

1 Pro (P) = 1 oz extra lean meat; e.g. turkey or chicken breast, 95% lean ground beef, top round roast, center cut pork loin, trimmed of fat, most fish/shellfish

Carbohydrate Exchanges:

1 CARB (1C) ~ 80 Calories worth of carbohydrate: 1 medium piece fruit, 1 cup berries, ½ small potato or sweet potato, 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 5-6 inch whole wheat tortilla, 1/3 cup coked rice or pasta

Fat: 5g worth of fat is one exchange

Furthermore, it is relatively simple to incorporate a bar or shake into your meal plan, as long as you have access to a nutrition label.

Jimmy Moore said...

GREAT JOB proving you CAN eat out and stay healthy. Is there a Super Energize Me documentary far behind? :D

Jean Jitomir MS, RD said...

Just wait and see!!

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