Thursday, June 10, 2010

Weight Loss and The Outside Food

Few days back I went for a lunch at my friend's place. There were group of people. The usual reaction when people come to know that I lost 20 kgs (which I don't tell but my friends do) is that I will be asked about the diet I follow and how can they start with loosing weight. I tell them start by giving up outside food, eat whatever you want to eat at home and limit the outside intake. I never fail to get this reaction "oh no, thats difficult." OR "I seriously cannot give that up".

Now here is the fun part, the same people are ready

1.To follow a specific diet which will ask them to avoid a certain food group.

2. To follow a diet which will ask them to stop eating after a time in a day.

3. To spend money on a dietitian who will tell them the same thing plus would restrict them further.

But these people are simply not ready to give up outside food and start eating home made healthy food.

One super intelligent soul in that group asked me "why are you calling restaurant food bad. Me and my colleague eat thali every day for lunch at this restro and its like homemade thali. You should give it a try. Its like home made and healthy". It took me a minute to give him the answer, how could a person call a meal laden with oil healthy???.

So, lets see why restaurant food is a big No while dieting.

1. 1 tsp of oil has 40 calories, its a general knowledge. Try frying onions in 1 or 2 tsp of oil and then try frying them in 2 table spoon of oil. It takes a longer time to cook with less oil because oil gets hot and cook food, a less oil will cook food slower than more oil. No one in the restaurant has time to cook your veggies slow.

2. Oil is evident in all the gravies that you eat. The proof is in front of your eyes.

3. If you think ordering a whole wheat tandoori roti is of any good then think again. Its a little better than ordering a butter naan but it is laden with calories.

A) The portion size is more than the roties that you cook at home, its thicker.

B) One friend of mine was famous for her chapathies. They were soft and would melt in the mouth. Her way of kneading the dough was to use lots and lots of oil. Once the dough was kneaded she would again spill 1 cup of oil on it and work on the dough till the oil vanished. When I ate those chapathies I could never say that so much oil was involved in kneading the dough. The gluten of the dough is always developed with fat. The more you work on the dough with fat the more softer the outcome will be. The yum naans and the tandoori roti are such soft and delicious outcomes.

4) Its general knowledge again that burgers, french fries, pizza are laden with calories.
Now here are the few questions that might pop up in your mind

Are you in your senses Shiva?? I need a break from home made food. It gets dull and boring and I am human I get tempted.

No one is asking you to sacrifice it for life. The initial period is to break the addiction. If you are in the habit of eating the outside food on weekly basis Or 2 times a week, a complete No will get you out of the habit.

Give it up for few days and you yourself will see the difference in weight. The weighing scale will speak for the weight. Once your habit is broken you can introduce it again in your lifestyle but you yourself will be cautious.

In past it was a must for me to eat 2 -3 times in a week. Sometimes too tired from office to cook, sometimes craving for that kind of food, sometimes bored, sometimes depressed, sometimes sad, sometimes happy and want celebrate. You name it and there will be an excuse. Now, its not a big deal. Its twice in a month. I just tick in my calender when I eat out so I keep a track.

Homemade food is boring

No it is not. It is as interesting as you can make it.

Ok, but I just need to eat out.

Then be smart. You cannot have everything in life. You yourself know you need to give up few things to lose weight. So make a choice do you want to lose weight OR do you want to keep eating out and make no difference to your weight.

If eating out opt for

A) Idlies, uttampam, dhokla, khandavi. These cannot be much adulterated with oil.

B) Subway sandwiches again are a good option, just stay clear from mayo and cheese with the sandwiches.

C) If you are a non- vegetarian asked for grilled stuff.

D) Steamed rice with stir fried vegetables.

I break down at the sight of food.

Then you should not be that weak. My mouth used to literally start watering with the smell in the restaurants and by the time food came I used to be so hungry. Where food was concerned I had no will power. I used to hate myself so much for being so weak.

But you are weak only for the few occasions after that you are absolutely strong. I clearly remember mine.

A) The very first one when I had started my weight loss. My husband is a big samosa fan and so am I. So he ordered samosa and insisted that I take a bite. The smell was killing me from inside. I told him I'll just go and look at few things in the mall. He was upset that I am leaving him all alone while he eats but I requested him. I just walked and did window shopping till he joined me. That incident is etched in my mind. Do you know why??? because I was almost about to break, it took me all my power to say no to one bite and walk away. once I walked away I was fine.

B) The second one was that of my cousin and DH having burgers one after the other while I sat drinking coffee (I had told about this earlier). Why is this etched in my mind?? because that day I sat there without taking a bite and I did not walk away. I realized that I do have a will power. It might sound stupid to you but to me that day was a revelation. Burgers used to be my biggest weakness and I sat through 4 of them being eaten by two family members.

C) When I was n Delhi my sister, my BIL and my DH used to have a blast with Nizam's kathi kebabs at least twice in a week. Those kebabs smelled heavenly and looked deliciously gorgeous. We would all go in a car and they would enjoy the kebabs sitting in the car. I sat through them, with all that tempting smell. Why is this etched in my mind??? because this is my biggest thrill. I was the strongest here. All three of them would go for 2 kathi kebabs each. And I kept saying NO. They tempted me no end but I stood my ground.

My sister said "how can you say No to these, I can never satisfy myself with 1, I need 2 of these". Though she is not over weight I pointed out to the double chin that was coming up, she was shocked and kept looking in the mirror. By the time I was about to leave her place she told me "How could I ever eat 2 of those, even half is so filling".

To me this is my tried and tested secret. My cousin is down by 5 kgs only by giving up outside food, my BIL has lost lot of weight by doing the same, my DH does nothing in terms of exercise but he has lost so much weight why?? because in our house outside food is banned. We also do not keep the phone numbers for home delivery.

So you see it works. It worked on me and it worked on people I know.

If you want to lose weight at any cost then why not save some money and eat at home.

We all get tempted and we all fail but the real winner is who stands her ground in spite of failing and in spite of being tempted. We all want to run and we all fall but the real winner is who stands up in spite of falling.

We all stand in a crowd that says YES and wants us to say YES but a real winner is who says NO in a group of people who say Yes.

One fantastic response that I got from a reader

Hi Shiva,

Until now, I have read all the blogs of Weight Loss posted here. Since then, I have become your fan. I too want to loose 10 kgs. and you inspired me here so much.

About outside food, let me tell you my experience about restaurants. One evening me and my friend went to one restaurant and as usual it was full, so we were asked to go upstairs in a/c room. As we have to pass the small kitchen area, I saw one guy putting 500 gms of butter in one paneer dish. That dish was meant for 2 people. It was a horrible scene for my eyes and I left the restaurant at that moment with my friend.


  1. I am glad to read your post because I just had subway today:)

    I generally replace it with my meals and yes I DO NOT eat MC donalds at all...

    because I find subway much tasty...this is all in mind...

    yes leaving outside food id difficult but thing is if we have bloggers like you then it keep us in toes..

    Loads of luck and best wishes!!!

  2. Dear Anamika,

    Thanks honey for a lovely comment.

    Have a great day ahead.



  3. "No outside food from today" its a promise to You and to Myself.. though i've just started walking and celebrations for it are in full swing but i'm not having outside food no matter what..!!

    Anyways i have a lot of weight to lose after 1.5 yrs of being bed ridden.. tomorrow morning im back on my diet was avoiding it for sometime bcause of the lunches and dinners going on in family.. and me being the VIP is obviously bugged alot for having some more of everything.. good thing everyone in my family knows i have a small appetite so they know if they force me much and put extra food in my plate all of it will go in the bin.. so no one dares to pile food in my!! But the next time im asking for home cooked food, my excuse bad!!!

    Thank you so much for getting me back on track..!!

  4. Dear Priyanks,

    Lots of hugs honey. You are already on the right track with your small appetite.

    All the best my friend for your weight loss journey. Keep me posted about your progress.

    Have a great day ahead.

    God bless.



  5. even i was on this weight losign mission once..and boy! it was an experience and so much of work..i was 62 then and came to 57..i followed most of the things u have posted here but i learned one lesson - dont let those pounds pile up because once they do it is so so so very difficult to get rid of them..i think most of these tips should be followed as regular lifestyle rather than only for losing weight :)

  6. Dear Sovina,

    Absolutely right. The whole purpose of weight loss is not only to lose weight but lose weight for good.

    Once we come out of the addiction for outside food its very hard to train the tummy to eat it again.I see people struggle to maintain their weight where as for me its not a struggle, the reason is that this is what my lifestyle is.

    After loosing weight I did eat outside food but the frequency
    is very less and also the quantity.

    Have a great day ahead Sovina.



  7. hey Shiva,

    I am glad you picked on this topic. I am really struggling hard to say no to outside food. The friends, colleagues and family--- even if I meet each group once a week the tendency to eat out is at least 5 times a week. I still haven't learnt how to say no to people who say "oh, 'diet another day', 'not with us please even we will also not eat' etc and eventually I end up eating for this. let me also accept it that i have zilch will power when it comes to food. i never stop myself when i am eating but feel guilty afterwards.

  8. Oh My Dear Sccribbles,

    5 times a week, babes that is too much. Why not start saying No just for a trial. What worse can happen you will give in. But just say No one or twice OR stick to something healthy.

    When people force me I tell them see my weight is affecting my health please support me and they do sccribbles.

    When you look at yum food tell yourself you already know the taste, you have eaten it so many times. Won't it be great that you can have this food without any guilt. Its possible, once you shrink your diet and lose weight everything becomes possible.

    Have faith.I am here to give you all the support. Give me your 100% and I will give you mine. But my dear sccribbles its you who has to make the final call. Its you who has to decide whether to give up OR to fight.

    Lots of love.



  9. I fit in the once a week category. Is the only time I go out since I work from home, we just share a thaali between the two of us. Its a break from my dishwashing and cooking.

    But I know that its better to just eat at home. In fact, for tomorrow, I have already planned my breakfast and lunch, so I won't think its extra work when tomorrow comes around. Am hoping to cross this weekend without eating out..wish me luck :-)

  10. Dear Rads,

    All the best my friend. One smart trick is to prepare something yum and keep it in fridge so that you don't have to cook something when you get back home.

    Have a nice weekend.



  11. OOps, i meant 5 times a month not week. Average 1.5 every week. am sure I would have entered the guiness book by now if I ate out 5 times a week. Shiva, sorry for scaring you :)

  12. Great post Shiva...
    I know how difficult it is for anybody to stick to homemade food , i find myself lecturing all the time to the people around me.....creating healthier n tastier options at home is not that difficult n i have always tried to convey this kind of thinking through my posts.

    As for the one single bite of samosa or the kathi roll goes , i'd have taken just one small bite...just one.
    Actually everybody can work out how it works with them , once you are on macrobiotic eating , ie , lots of raw salads throughout the day , you can do away with a few bites of this n that.
    Kudos to you for loosing 20 kgs.....i have myself lost 15 kgs and it was not at all difficult for me , i indulged myself to yummy food , but cooked at home always ........monitored ingredients.

  13. Dear Sccribbles,

    You seriously gave me a heart attack, hahahahha, thank god, thank the mighty god that its just 5 times a month.

    Lots of love



  14. Dear Sangeeta,

    Wow, you cam here. I like your recipes so much, you are awesome. Tried those multi grain buns of yours and they were amazing. Infact your blog encouraged me to make multigrain roti and buns, thanks so much dear.

    Macrobiotic eating, seriously its a nice term and it is so damn satisfying too.

    Thanks again sangeeta for coming here.

    Have a great day ahead hon.



  15. Hey Shiva...have to tell you. Managed today without outside food. Well almost...not pure home food but you know not restaurant ka khaana. Muesli for breakfast. Made rice and sabji before leaving home so tho was starving and smells were too much..i knew I dont have any work at home except serve the khaana and eat..made a big difference and i was so happy. Night hubby cooking hakka noodles for me...:-)

  16. Hey Rads,

    Good show. In my fridge, I always keep home made frozen daal makhni, low cal malai kofta, rajma. So, I know that when I come all I have to do is take them out of the freezer and re heat. The food is low cal and home made. Moreover, its not every day food so its kind of tempting to have it.

    Enjoy your hakka noddles, I love them and specially if someone else makes them they become tastier.





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