I Need Some Advice

I created a topic yesterday. For the first two months, I've done well. I lost 30lbs and went down 2 pants sizes. Understandably, I was ecstatic, but everything has changed this week. My weight just shot up overnight, and I couldn't figure it out. I created a topic to explain my situation. I weighed and measured my food, although, as I explained, I was out a lot so I did eat at restaurants. The general consensus was the restaurants were the culprit. I was eating more than I realized. Relieved to have a solution, I decided to give up eating out. Yesterday, I ate only at home.

Today, my father called and wants me to take him out to eat. I offered to cook for him, but he declined, and now I'm not sure what to do. I know it's nearly impossible to know exactly how many calories you are getting when you eat out.

I don't want to ruin all my hard work by eating blindly. How do you balance being polite and doing what's best for your own body?

One last note: eating at home first won't really help. Hunger isn't the issue here. I don't feel hunger when it's hot and humid for whatever reason. My issue is inadvertently going over my 1200 calorie goal. (It's not that low. I'm 5'4" and weigh...somewhere between 237 and 240 depending on what my scale wants to give me each morning. I'm sedentary because I have difficulty exercising.)


  • RelCanonical
    RelCanonical Posts: 3,882 Member
    Eating out less frequently, even if you are still eating out, will benefit you. I have takeout pizza with work colleagues every week and it doesn't derail me, but if I did that every day, I'd have trouble too. If you are still feeling nervous, perhaps call the restaurant ahead of time, and explain to them that you're on a strict diet due to medical issues but would like to treat your father to a meal, and you would like to bring your own food if that's okay.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,720 Member
    you don't have to stop eating out... just guesstimate as best you can, add in some extra exercise for some extra cals, and drink some extra water to combat the sodium.

    1200 cals is low for your stats TBH, and gives you nowhere to go as you lose weight. reducing your deficit will probably make life a bit easier for you in the long run
  • StaciMarie1974
    StaciMarie1974 Posts: 4,138 Member
    First, one week of a blip on the scale is not reason to panic. Water weight is not a threat, just something that has an impact from time to time on the # you see on the scale. It will happen.

    Eating out is fine - just be aware that you do give up some control over what goes on your plate. If you're eating out a lot and not losing weight OVER TIME then its something you could cut back on, to increase your accuracy. If you eat out and lose 30 pounds in 2 months, then there is no need to change your routine. What you are doing, is working for you. Keep the same course. But be aware some weeks, the scale will show the same or even up.
  • MzManiak
    MzManiak Posts: 1,361 Member
    If you know which restaurant, look at their menu before and pick something light. (Fish and steamed veggies, maybe) If they don't have anything light that you like, order a regular meal, but ask for a to-go box up front so you can put away half the food. If it isn't on your plate, you will be less likely to eat it. Ask for any sauces and dressings to be on the side (I use lime juice on my salads instead of dressing, makes it lighter and taste fresher).

    Eating out is a normal part of living for most of us. It really isn't sensible to say you'll never eat out again... so the best thing to do is learn how to manage it within your goals. Even if you eat at maintenance today and get back to your deficit tomorrow, that's okay.
  • annacole94
    annacole94 Posts: 997 Member
    You lost 30 lb in 2 months? That's 3.3 lb/week. That is a lot. Slowing down is a good thing.

    As for restaurants, learn to make good choices and you'll be fine. Social situations require new skills to cope. Broth based soups, salads with dressing on the side, veggies, fruit, grilled meats. You can figure something out that will work. You'll also lose even if you go over 1200 calories some days.
  • moonstroller
    moonstroller Posts: 210 Member
    I'm in a similar situation with my Dad. He likes to go out for dinner when I visit him. My solution is to go out to dinner with him and accept the excess calories on those days. Also while I'm staying at his house, he lives a few hundred miles away from me, I push myself more during my runs to help make up for the extra calories. His body is on a slow decline, he's 88 years old, and I'm going to enjoy the memories of hanging out with him far more than I'm going to regret the relatively minor hiccup in my weight loss goal. I still gain a few pounds during my visits, although most of that is probably just water retention due to a higher sodium intake. Personally I view it as a small price to pay for spending time with my Dad.
  • Penthesilea514
    Penthesilea514 Posts: 1,189 Member
    edited May 2017
    I am 5'4 and 227lbs. I eat 1720 calories and lose at about ~1lbs a week. I could not sustain 1200 personally and keep losing weight. I have a desk job and am pretty sedentary most of the time. Exercise is not necessary for weight loss. I have lost 33lbs so far.

    Eating out less may be the first step rather than stopping eating out all together. Trying to chose foods with healthier key words, ask for sauces/dressings on the side, avoid munching on rolls/chips/etc that might be involved with your dinners. You could also try eating somewhere new that might have a wider range of healthier options. Also, try to look up your food ahead of time and know what you are going to order so you know what you have calories for (if it is available online).

    Sometimes, taking small steps is better than trying to make huge changes and getting frustrated when you trip up. Good luck- and don't get too frustrated, it is all a learning process.
  • lucypstacy
    lucypstacy Posts: 178 Member
    He just called. He wants Ponderosa. I'm looking at their menu now honestly.

    Thanks everyone. I just get worried. I'm so close to being able to have surgery, but doctors don't worry about water weight. They want to see a specific number on the scale. The issues with the hernias impact my bowels which makes it harder to lose weight. It's like a never ending cycle.

    And I do try hard. 1200 isn't all that hard for me. I usually eat around 1220, although last 2 days were a bust. I just forget to eat when it's hot. I have to be super careful because I do have hypothyroidism, and I'm on steroids. It's like I have to try extra hard to lose anything.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 7,234 Member
    Did the people in the other thread mention it might be water retention from the sodium in the restaurant food that caused your weight to shoot up? Because real weight gain overnight? Rarely happens.

    But if it's still bothering you, just special order whatever you want to eat to save calories. Get salad dressing on the side and dip your fork in the dressing before spearing the salad part, leave the more caloric sauces off hamburgers, eat only half a bun or no bun at all, order grilled or steamed foods...Or just order whatever you want, find something comparable in the database, and make sure whatever else you eat during the day can be logged accurately...ish. :)
  • annacole94
    annacole94 Posts: 997 Member
    Get the half-pound sirloin (423 cal), sirloin tips (450 cal), or sirloin and shrimp (374 cal). Veggies from the salad bar (100 cal). You'll be fine.
  • lucypstacy
    lucypstacy Posts: 178 Member
    I think a few mentioned water retention, but I'm sort of used to that. I have chronic kidney disease (IgA nephropathy) and I had a transplant over 2 years ago. Plus, with the predisone, I'm used to water retention. This was just so sudden and so much. I expect 2 or 3 lbs, but this was 7 and it wouldn't go away.

    One thing I try to do is to replace potatoes with broccoli. I love broccoli anyway. I'm not sure if Ponderosa does that. There is a grilled salmon on the menu though.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    It sounds to me like maybe you got some bad responses to your last post. If you your weight suddenly shot up in one week after eating in restaurants it's far more likely to be because of water retention than because you were overeating, though admittedly it is very easy to overeat at a restaurant.

    Just look for lower calorie options on the menu - grilled meat over breaded and fried, lean meats over fatty cuts, light dressing on the side for salads rather than too much creamy dressing added in the kitchen, steamed or grilled vegetables as sides instead of fries or vegetables covered in cheese or cream. Just order wisely and you can enjoy eating in restaurants and still lose weight. But you will likely consume more sodium than usual and that may cause water retention and temporary gain in weight.
  • mitchell_maya1705
    mitchell_maya1705 Posts: 25 Member
    That is hard, but you can still go out. Just do some research and suggest some healthy options to your dad. You will never know ever calorie you are eating, but most places now of days display the general calorie count.
  • Tried30UserNames
    Tried30UserNames Posts: 561 Member
    I've never been to Ponderosa...if that's Ponderosa Steakhouse, they have their nutrition information online which is very helpful. Is it a buffet?

    It looks like they have plenty of lower calorie options, but I would guess they serve larger portions than their nutrition info gives calories for. For example, you could order the herb baked chicken or fish, but just estimate 3 oz of that chicken or eat 1 smaller piece of the fish even if they give you more. Or the grilled chicken breast that is 180 calories probably means you can eat about 3-4 oz of it, not the whole breast.

    Keep in mind the size of a deck of cards is about the size 4 ounces of raw meat will look like once you cook it. So you'd want your portion to be about 3/4 to 1 deck of cards full at this restaurant. Go crazy on lettuce or other fresh vegetables. Get any dressings on the side and eat only a tiny bit. At 1200 calories a day, I'd probably skip the starches, but a couple tablespoons of baked potato or 1/4 cup of rice are probably pretty easy to eyeball if you want it.
  • rsclause
    rsclause Posts: 3,103 Member
    If you go out skip the bread, potatoes, pasta and sweet drinks. Get the grilled veggies and a small portion of lean meat. You also need to watch the salt content of foods out too, cooks tend to be heavy on the salt and that is the fastest weight you will ever gain. On the plus side it comes off quick too.
  • glassyo
    glassyo Posts: 7,234 Member
    Oooooo also only eat half and take the rest home to weigh and log.

    7 lbs *is* a lot but do the math. No way you ate 24,500 calories OVER maintenance. And if you did, kudos! :)
  • lucypstacy
    lucypstacy Posts: 178 Member
    I've looked over the menu. I'm going with the grilled chicken and make a small salad from the buffet. Apparently, I can't replace my potato, but a plain baked potato would be the better option.
  • julesEMS2016
    julesEMS2016 Posts: 44 Member
    There is definitely a lot of good advise here OP. The issue with setting a strict rule, like not eating out at all, is that at some point that will not be an option for you. If you adhere to such a strict rule, then end up breaking it, you are more likely to become upset and possibly give up on weight loss.

    So, what you have to figure out is what to go for on the menu. Pick something with a good protein source (chicken breast, sirloin cut steak, or fish) with veggies. I would also choose to drink water or unsweetened iced tea.

    Another issue with eating out is the sodium, especially since your kidneys do not function well already. Just a guess, but that seems like a double whammy to you when you intake too much sodium and can cause the water weight.. I know you mention being used to water retention and gaining 2-3 pounds. I personally gain 5+ when I eat out. It's very strange (and annoying!).

    Lastly, weight loss is not linear. You've been losing at a pretty steady rate, so it's very possible that your body is ready to slow down.. It may even need a break. Just focus on each day as it comes and goes. If you have a rough day, its OK! Heck, I've had rough weeks. You just have to remind yourself that this isn't just about losing the weight. It's about your health overall.

    Keep up with the good changes! You'll see the results. Be patient with yourself.
  • mitchell_maya1705
    mitchell_maya1705 Posts: 25 Member
    That is amazing and sounds yummy. Remember you don't have to eat everything, take some home for later.
  • NoLimitFemme
    NoLimitFemme Posts: 118 Member
    Most restaurants offer a lighter menu showing the calories. Opt out of creamy dressings and dips. Drink water with lemon juice rather than soda or cocktails. If they don't list calories go for a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes only (no mayo) and don't get the bread toasted ... they usually toast with butter. Opt for seasonal veggies or a plain baked potatoe, you can add steak sauce to the Potatoe for some yummy low calorie flavor.