Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eating and Tweaking

Now I will be completely honest here. When I was loosing weight, outside food was completely banned and it also meant sitting with people and staring and eating nothing.

One of my friends told me she lost 5 kgs only by banning outside food. I thought I will also give it a try, this was the first step in my weight loss. Guess what, the weight dropped and once the weight shifted I was motivated enough to say NO to outside food. Once I lost weight and started looking OK, I became lenient and I do allow myself to eat out once in a while. But because I have controlled myself for a very long period I have actually lost taste of the outside food.

Home made dhal rice is much more appealing than outside naan and butter paneer masala.
But then thats me and it will be really wrong to say that everyone will have a similar taste or experience like me.

Sometimes its either family, friends, kids or probably our own mood that makes eating out an avoidable condition. I am listing out most of the general outside dishes and how we can tweak them to reduce calories.

Lets be honest, outside food is really high in calories and is unhealthy. So, if you are eating out the following tips would just help to reduce few calories thats all.

The Big Burger

A burger meal is a loaded burger accompanied with a cold drink and french fries. Here is my analysis of the burger, this is how I calculate the approximate calories in the meal.

1. Bun - Bun is similar to our normal breakfast bread bun. At the most it has 200 -250 cal.

2.Patty - This is the main culprit. Fried big patty. I will give this any where around 300-350 cal.

3. Mayonnaise - Its always there and that to a nice serving of a table spoon. 100-150 cal here. It can be more too.

4. Cheese - Melted cheese again 200 and more calories but lets stick with 200.

5. Veggies - Seriously with so much junk around little veggies make no difference.

I always take the higher approx value while evaluating. Believe me for a burger meal even that is the lower side. So a loaded burger alone stands at 250+350+150+200 = 950 cals.

6. French Fries - Even a small packet is anywhere around 400 calories or more.

7. Cold Drink - A small glass is also 300 - 400 calories.

Total one time meal 950 +400 +400 = 1750 ouch.

That used to be my eating out dinner/ long drive eat out. For people with sedentary life style 1200 is the minimum requirement. Even if you are extremely active 1750 for a meal is way too much.

Tweak - Its been a year since I had this burger but still my cheat here will be. I will keep the bun, take the patty out cut in 4 parts. 3 parts I would either throw or donate to my friends and family. The fourth part I will further divide into small pieces and spread on my bun equally. Usually if you are taking the patty out, the liquid mayo and the cheese will come out too.

Order a kid meal and share it. Kid meals have a normal size burger, small packet french fries and a small cold drink which you will share. If you don't want to share then make amendments to the burger. If you want to have a cold drink along with the burger go for diet coke.

Combination of high sugar and white flour and fat raise your sugar levels and also is responsible for increasing the inches.

P P Pizza

In my old fat days me and my husband would order a medium sometimes large pizza plus garlic bread accompanied with 2 large glasses of cold drinks. How romantic and how fattening. Its been a year since I had a pizza meal. Usually I take a bite and thats it. It has somehow stopped tempting me. Anyways its not me I am talking about here I am talking about tweaking.

1. Ask - Even if they don't listen there is no harm in asking for less cheese and less butter. Sometimes they do listen.

2. Portion Control - Eat your meals before eating out and you will only manage a piece of a pizza and slowly not even that. Go for smaller size pizza. A pan pizza for two is much more romantic and healthy.

3. Fork and Knife - If you don't know how to use it then learn. I learnt it at home. Fork and knife force you to eat slowly, one bite at a time. You will take longer time to finish 1 slice of pizza and will be more satisfied.

Once I went shopping with my friends. We all were very tired and they ordered a pizza while I as usual was just observing. They started with eating with the fork but they were very hungry and tired so just folded the slices and started eating. The pizza was gone in no time. It just made me realize the importance of fork and knife while eating a pizza.

4. Garlic bread - Order along with the pizza not before. Put one garlic bread and one slice pizza on the plate and eat slowly with fork and knife.

5. Cold Drink - Combination of white flour,butter, cheese and high amount of sugar is extremely dangerous. If possible avoid else go for diet coke.

North Indian Food

Chole Bhature - Holy cow, I love them. Usually a plate has 2 big bhaturas and chole, yummm. The bhaturas are nothing but fat and are as dangerous as a loaded burger or french fries or pizza. Past has seen me eating the whole plate.

Tweak - If you just have to have then go for one bhatura. Either ask the waiter to get you only one bhatura else donate it to the person sitting next to you.

Best is to only order a plate and order something a bit healthy like a plate of idly. If you have ordered food and paid for it you will eat it. So you can take few bites of bhatura and eat idly to satisfy the hunger. Few days back my husband ordered bhatura. I knew I will break on the sight of it, so I ordered middle eastern salad. I had paid for the salad which my husband won't eat, made me eat it so I just had 2 bites of bhatura and was able to enjoy my meal.

Until and unless you suffer from eating disorder you cannot actually eat anything on a full stomach.

Paneer - Go for dry panner tikka. Its way better than the gravy one. Have it with Roti or Naan. If I was stuck with a bunch of friends and had to order something for me, then it would be just paneer tikka plate as I would avoid naan.

The Thali Tweak-

Now thali has the power of free food. You pay once and eat unlimited. If you observe carefully you will actually end up eating more. The best way to tackle a thali is to ask the server to give you everything including rice in one go. So it will be desert, snacks, roti, rice all in one and only one serving. It should not be that they will keep serving you rotis till you are full and then will get the rice. NO WAY. This will make you eat more.

Almost all the thalis have kadi that too a thin one. I love it. They have dhal too. I keep sipping these liquids till the time others are eating. For me its just one and only one time serving of rotis and rice. Kadi and dhals are always welcome.

The Chinese Tweak -

I love Chinese but frankly if you eat Chinese outside it is very high in calories. Usually the meal would be starters like soup and spring rolls then the rice, noodles and chopsey/manchurian.

Best way is to start with a soup which will fill you up and then go for combo meals. Most restaurants have it. In a plate they will give you 1 spring roll, little rice little noodles and little chopsey. Its way way better than to make a big order and have large servings of the stuff.

These are the most common type of food that I eat and so I came up with the tweaks.

You can try tweaking your own favorite outside meal, no one is stopping you.

Asking never hurts - In a busy restaurant or a small one I used to think they won't bother about my request for less oil. Now a days I ask anyways. Sometimes I am surprised that my request was heard. I always call the waiter to thank him personally so that he remembers me and such restaurants then become by favorite places to eat out. You can speak, you have a tongue and no one is stopping you, go ahead and ask for less or no oil. If you say no oil be assured there will be little oil for sure.

Tweaking is cool, tweaking is fun. So tweak your way to weight loss. Start Tweaking.


  1. You know of all the things you listed, I don't have to worry about anything except the burger. My hubby and I order one portion of most things and share it, and that is sooo filling for us. I don't know how we used to eat more before!! Burgers...I used to eat the whole burger all by myself happily..never was crazy about fries...and always share a small coke with my hubby. But you know what, the last 2 times I had the burger I had to force myself to finish it..half size would have been enough. Yipppeee...I am just going to leave the rest there on my plate and not feel guilty about it the next time :-)

  2. Dear Rads,

    I guess when people learn to eat smart their appetite for such thing decreases.

    Oh my god you are married. I don't know how but I had this crazy idea that you were a college student. Time for me to wake up I guess.

    Have a great day ahead.



  3. Its an upgrade for me..last time I was mistaken for being part of a giggly gang of schoolkids, and I used to think its cos I am short..wake up call for me..I also sound school kiddish online!!!

  4. DearShiva,

    Your post made me think of all those dishes which i try to run away from:P

    but yes tips are fabulous..Its been ages since I had an burger I order paneer salase wrap which is much more filling and therefore I don crave for it.

    For pizza i have started ordering thin crust wheat pizza with less chesse too.

  5. Dear Anamika,

    I guess my fellow blogger friends already have their smart tweaks. i am so glad to here that.

    Thin crust wheat base pizza is a good idea.

    Have a great day ahead.



  6. great tips Shiva :) Ive been eating out alot...but now for 21 days im on a challenge not to :D lets hope it works.

  7. Dear Ruby,

    Its been a long time since I heard from you. You were kind enough to leave comments on almost all my posts.

    Anything done for 21 days becomes a habit. So all the best.

    Have a great great day ahead.




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