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Large meal out how many calories, damage to progress, and eating food to avoid waste.

PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 8,852 Member Member Posts: 8,852 Member
Someone posted that they had a nice Chinese meal where they shared plates with others, and then ate a complete portion of fried rice brought out by mistake because it was non vegetarian leaving them as the only person who could consume it.

They were wondering if 1600 Cal would be a reasonable estimate and whether this would cause damage to their goals since they just recently started dieting.

Also, apparently and based on how quickly they deleted their post, they were particularly sensitive to a pretty neutral toned responder who indicated that it was not the OP's responsibility to save the food from getting thrown out.

Below is my response to that post :wink:

Not sure why you would delete a pretty reasonable post which addresses a whole bunch of reasonable concerns that people often need to address in order to better manage their weight.

issues raised (overtly or not)
--damage done to "progress" via over-indulgence
--how to estimate calories during a restaurant meal
--whether to worry about precisely estimating calories during a restaurant meal
--whether to eat items that we do not consider to be worthwhile for the calories we're spending
--whether a fairly rapid rate of loss is sustainable or not

Some things to consider:
--if you over-eat you on a particular occasion you will likely need to wait a little bit longer for your "on-track" days to bring about the results you're looking for.
--usually the "damage" is less than the exact number of calories would imply. However because of water weight variation caused by sodium and food in the gut (and possibly carb refeeds for people who low carb), the APPARENT damage over the next day or two may be much more than the underlying reality. Weight trend apps/websites help a lot in terms of smoothing out some of the spikes and variations and showing the underlying trend better.
--eating out calories are hard to estimate. The meal you described could have been 1500 and could have been 3-4000 Calories (a favourite chinese food restaurant's fried rice platter would be in the 3K range due to size). How full you feel may be a good indication of the amount of calories you consumed once you've had some good logging experience and data to base your estimates on. In the meanwhile you can clock the meal in as the 1600 you mentioned and you will probably be close enough for your purposes!
--tomorrow keep on going with your NORMAL plan and avoid purposeful (over)compensation.
--I personally find that photos of my plate when I eat out are helpful. It helps me fill my plate and eat my food and then repeat (if I want to) as opposed to just "picking" little bites here and there which usually leads me to eat more! And I can use the pictures to better estimate calories without the pressure of doing it on the spot.
--if you're finding yourself angry at not achieving results because the effort you've put in should bring faster rewards, in MY BOOKS, you're crossing into over-trying and non-long-term-sustainable territory. You would be better off to aim for a smaller and more sustainable deficit.

Last but not least we get to the issue of eating stuff we don't really really really want.

First of all the "simple" solution: take it "to go" and share it with your dog, cat, or leave it in the fridge for another day. I don't actually advocate this as a preferred solution if you really don't want the item. But it is an obvious way out if you want to avoid discussion at the time.

Anyway: I wonder what a random MFP poll would come up with. I sure as **kitten** have been (and even today remain) guilty of eating things just so that they don't go to waste.

I sure as **kitten** have had "discussions" with friends and relatives when I announced that "going to waste" was no longer a good enough excuse for me go on and eat the item.

It still causes me distress, yes, but when people insist on loading me with food I don't want (for whatever reason), and after I've made a sincere effort to stop it from happening... the next step is either the garbage can, or the toilet to flush it down the drain. Regardless of the dead relatives and starving children who may look down upon me for doing so. Neither the one nor the other are able and available to eat THIS food and eating it FOR them doesn't work!

The same applies when eating out with friends (who would regularly foist upon me whatever it was they over-ordered, or didn't want to eat)--**I** did not order this, thank you! Feel free to take it home if you don't want it :smile:

IF the item is appropriate, I do tend to share it with the house canine, so packing it "to go" is always an option.
edited June 10

Replies

  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 1,224 Member Member Posts: 1,224 Member
    I have REAL issues with the 'going to waste' thing, but only once it is on my plate (ie: I can toss food from the cabinets/fridge/whatever) and not worry about it. I'm perfectly fine feeding it to the dogs. But something about having food on my plate and in front of me makes it REALLY hard to not eat it.

    I know it's as wasted by me eating food I don't want or need as it in the garbage can, but I always have to stop and remind myself of that -- or I will just automatically eat the freaking food.

    It doesn't happen often enough to actually reverse my progress (nor does eating out) but it is sure one of those things that takes conscious management and reminders to myself.
  • ReenieHJReenieHJ Member Posts: 8,000 Member Member Posts: 8,000 Member
    Wasting food: I have a hard time with it as well, because of my upbringing probably. 'You can't have dessert until everything's gone from your plate' or 'there are starving people in Ethiopia who'd love to have that food'. Having a terrible guilty conscience and horrible sweet tooth my parents obviously knew what buttons to push. :/ Not to mention following in my dad's thrifty footsteps of waste not want not type of thinking. So having a compost pile has helped and simply not buying stuff I know I shouldn't eat cuts down on throwing stuff away.
    As for other stuff, sometimes I'll feel strong and chuck it into the garbage asap or I'll let it sit in the fridge long enough to become undesirable, so the guilt doesn't hit me as badly. :) That leftover fried rice would've fit that last category for me. :)

    Everything else that I missed in the OP: I have days where I clearly go way over my calories for the day(probably week too) but start the next day with a clean slate and no longer live with the fear of gaining a pound or guilt/regret of having had that off day. Life isn't about strict or rigid 'never have fun or color outside the lines' type of thinking. As long as most of your days you're striving for good healthy eating, I consider that successful. IF, however, you're a binge-eater(like I am) you have to be a little more careful about getting right back to it the next day.
  • goal06082021goal06082021 Member Posts: 1,669 Member Member Posts: 1,669 Member
    That was me! The timestamps on our posts suggest the OP deleted her post before I posted my reply, so I don't know if she saw it or if she's still around. I hope she is!
    Our food system is so messed up in terms of getting food to the people who really require it. Many of us are in the fortunate situation of having more food than we could every possibly need, while there are people who would love to have that food.

    But the injustice of this isn't going to be fixed by me eating an entire plate of fried rice that I don't really want.

    QFT.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,698 Member Member Posts: 6,698 Member
    I try to avoid food waste. A doggy bag is always an option when eating out, and then eating it with something I cook the next day. Donating it is also a possibility.
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Member Posts: 5,837 Member Member Posts: 5,837 Member
    I agree strongly with “ I’m not a personal garbage disposal.” If it’s garbage to me, it stays on the plate, goes to the garbage, etc.
    If, on the other hand, it’s on my plate and I like it——. And that’s one more reason I’m here.

    This is my idea of a “cheat meal”. That is. You don’t know how many calories, you’re pretty sure it’s too many. My policy is, don’t worry, it’s done, and no amount of worry or rehashing will change it. Log the best you can quickly and get right back up on the horse. Onward and upward. Figure out how to handle it better next time.

    I have a sister-in-law who’s a good cook, and is one of those “You look hungry, let me fill you a plate” and then has a second plate filled for you before you finish the first. My brother’s solution? Wait until dinners over and she’s in the other room before sneaking in the back door and quietly fixing and eating a peanut butter sandwich. Sad solution, imo. He’s still skinny and she’s still obese.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,930 Member Member Posts: 24,930 Member
    I missed the original thread. Do I have this part of the situation correct?
    • The OP goes out to eat with vegetarians
    • The restaurant mistakenly serves non-vegetarian rice
    • The OP is not a vegetarian, assumes responsibility for the rice, and eats the whole thing

    I am so against food waste that I compost, so am making use of tea bags, egg shells, banana peels, etc., but I would feel no responsibility for the rice in this situation. If I order a medium rare steak (the way God intended it to be cooked) and am served a well done steak, I'm taking no responsibility for this - I'm sending it back.

    In the OP's situation, I might have had a few bites of the rice and taken the rest home to eat over time. If I was not going directly back home and the food would be unrefrigerated too long, I would send it back.

    When my OH and I used to have dinner followed by a movie, we'd split an entrée and a salad so we could eat everything we ordered and not be uncomfortably full.

    Most restaurants in the US serve excessively large portions so normally I plan to take half of my entrée home.
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 8,852 Member Member Posts: 8,852 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I missed the original thread. Do I have this part of the situation correct?
    • The OP goes out to eat with vegetarians
    • The restaurant mistakenly serves non-vegetarian rice
    • The OP is not a vegetarian, assumes responsibility for the rice, and eats the whole thing

    Yup, yup!
    That was me! The timestamps on our posts suggest the OP deleted her post before I posted my reply, so I don't know if she saw it or if she's still around. I hope she is!

    I'm at a loss on that because I saw her message and your reply. Then I replied, but she had changed her text to deleted. And then, by the looks of it, she asked the moderators to delete her post.

    Which, as I mentioned, was too bad because these are conversations around shared issues many of us have to consider given a common need to lose weight.
    edited June 10
  • PAV8888PAV8888 Member Posts: 8,852 Member Member Posts: 8,852 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    As an aside, I found it amusing and a little ironic that when I first read the OP last night, I was midway through eating an entire small (but not individual) Detroit-style takeout pizza by myself, alongside some tasty cabernet, totaling well into 4-digit numbers of calories for the meal, and putting me well over maintenance calories for the day. But no delicious bite of it was wasted, I assure you. 😋

    But what would you have done if the pizza place also delivered a non vegetarian portion of chinese fried rice??!?!?!
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 21,655 Member Member, Premium Posts: 21,655 Member
    PAV8888 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    As an aside, I found it amusing and a little ironic that when I first read the OP last night, I was midway through eating an entire small (but not individual) Detroit-style takeout pizza by myself, alongside some tasty cabernet, totaling well into 4-digit numbers of calories for the meal, and putting me well over maintenance calories for the day. But no delicious bite of it was wasted, I assure you. 😋

    But what would you have done if the pizza place also delivered a non vegetarian portion of chinese fried rice??!?!?!

    I know you're joking, but:

    (1) It was a pickup, not delivery, so 2 rounds of order confirmation, phone and when the meal (which also included a nice salad, mostly green/red veggie stuff) was handed over. No rice!

    (2) But, if there was non-veg rice, and delivery, I'd go with putting it in my refrigerator, ask my Facebook friends if anyone wants it delivered next day, then if not, give it to the neighborhood raccoons/coyotes/fox/possums/skunks/whatever by dumping it out by the brush pile I keep at the back of my place for wildlife shelter. I do that with other foods - like expired date things - that I think are safe for the wild critters. Always disappears by next morning. My semi-rural neighborhood doesn't routinely have homeless people I could give it to.

    😉
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 915 Member Member, Premium Posts: 915 Member
    Yeah, I generally really dislike food waste, but I think in this situation (I like fried rice) I probably would have eaten a portion of it, taken it home, and ta-da! had lunch for a few days. If it was something I didn't like, I may have tried to give it away but would not have been upset if I had no takers and ended up pitching it.

    I've had to figure this out a bit at home because I cook for seven people and sometimes nobody else is willing to eat the leftovers, at least not in a timely enough fashion (my kids are in a different category than my husband, here.) I do think there is something to disciplining oneself to be willing to eat appropriate portions of things even if they're not your favorite, rather than make something new and throw out the other thing. I generally frown on pickiness in myself and my children and tell them to be happy with what they've got. But I also don't force them to eat if they're not hungry or if they're willing to wait it out until something more palatable to them is served.

    It's not always an easy thing to figure out.
    hipari wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    I missed the original thread. Do I have this part of the situation correct?
    • The OP goes out to eat with vegetarians
    • The restaurant mistakenly serves non-vegetarian rice
    • The OP is not a vegetarian, assumes responsibility for the rice, and eats the whole thing

    I am so against food waste that I compost, so am making use of tea bags, egg shells, banana peels, etc., but I would feel no responsibility for the rice in this situation. If I order a medium rare steak (the way God intended it to be cooked) and am served a well done steak, I'm taking no responsibility for this - I'm sending it back.

    In the OP's situation, I might have had a few bites of the rice and taken the rest home to eat over time. If I was not going directly back home and the food would be unrefrigerated too long, I would send it back.

    When my OH and I used to have dinner followed by a movie, we'd split an entrée and a salad so we could eat everything we ordered and not be uncomfortably full.

    Most restaurants in the US serve excessively large portions so normally I plan to take half of my entrée home.

    So many points here to respond to. First, a personal gripe. Just last week I had to send medium cooked meat back because I ordered well done (and explicitly said it needs to be cooked thoroughly so there’s no pink/red left) and literally cannot safely eat medium meat until this baby is born. Me, you, your God and that restaurant all agree medium rare is the way it’s meant to be, the local health officials and their pregnancy safety recommendations are just ruining this.

    So, I might get blasted for saying this, which I'm not really used to here but I feel strongly enough about this that I'm going to stick my neck out anyway - you are absolutely within your rights as a restaurant patron to get what you ask for, but IMO the way pregnant women are expected to behave (at least in some areas) is absolutely insane and based more on fears of litigation than actual real health risk. If it makes you feel better to eat well done meat, that's totally fine. But if you want to eat it the way you would actually prefer it, I think you absolutely should. Maybe even with a small glass of wine, like they do in many areas of the world without any worry of adverse health effects. It really will be OK. If I remember it in time I'll edit this post with a book title I really like on this topic, that analyzes the actual risk of a lot of the common "no"s American women, at least, are told during pregnancy.

    ETA: I remembered! It's called Expecting Better. I highly recommend it. This is a new edition, but I borrowed an earlier one from the library, which I generally treat as my own rotating book collection. :D
    edited June 11
  • Theo166Theo166 Member, Premium Posts: 2,538 Member Member, Premium Posts: 2,538 Member
    Any calorie count on a group meal is just going to be a swag. Logging 1600 calories, right or wrong, still makes the impression "wow, I can't do that every day!" A reasonable swag still aides reflection on your eating habits.

    Nothing is wrong with not wasting food, but there are different approaches. I would have just eaten my desired amount and asked for a take out box, to take home for tomorrow. Obviously, don't order what you don't want. It sounded like the person liked the non-vegetarian fried rice. You can also jazz up leftovers by mixing in fresh veggies the next day. Or just feed your pet as you suggested :)

  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,264 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,264 Member
    hipari wrote: »

    So many points here to respond to. First, a personal gripe. Just last week I had to send medium cooked meat back because I ordered well done (and explicitly said it needs to be cooked thoroughly so there’s no pink/red left) and literally cannot safely eat medium meat until this baby is born. Me, you, your God and that restaurant all agree medium rare is the way it’s meant to be, the local health officials and their pregnancy safety recommendations are just ruining this.

    So, I might get blasted for saying this, which I'm not really used to here but I feel strongly enough about this that I'm going to stick my neck out anyway - you are absolutely within your rights as a restaurant patron to get what you ask for, but IMO the way pregnant women are expected to behave (at least in some areas) is absolutely insane and based more on fears of litigation than actual real health risk. If it makes you feel better to eat well done meat, that's totally fine. But if you want to eat it the way you would actually prefer it, I think you absolutely should. Maybe even with a small glass of wine, like they do in many areas of the world without any worry of adverse health effects. It really will be OK. If I remember it in time I'll edit this post with a book title I really like on this topic, that analyzes the actual risk of a lot of the common "no"s American women, at least, are told during pregnancy.

    ETA: I remembered! It's called Expecting Better. I highly recommend it. This is a new edition, but I borrowed an earlier one from the library, which I generally treat as my own rotating book collection. :D

    No worries, I won’t blast you. I’ll preface this with the fact that I don’t live in America and here in Finland we generally don’t share the American fear of litigation ;) instead, its something we usually laugh our butts off about.

    Our guidelines are generally on the strict side, compared to other countries, and constantly evolving - my mom is baffled about the stuff that’s on the no-no list compared to her last pregnancy 25 years ago, and there’s some stuff that was ”banned” a few years ago but is no longer as more research has become available. The way I have personally approached the list is that I’m not a professional in healthcare or food safety, the people who write those official lists and recommendations are, and I have no reason not to trust them. I have also had a lot of anxiety about being able to have a successful pregnancy, and I feel it’s better for my mental health to follow that list so there’s nothing to blame myself for if something does go wrong.

    Following the list to the letter is a personal choice, and I also won’t blast others who decide to treat it more like a loose guideline, especially the gray areas. A couple of weeks ago I reached out to a fellow pregnant friend about whether she knows if a particular canned fish product (a Nordic delicacy) is safe to eat as it’s not specified on the list or the food safety agency’s website, but kinda falls between categories. We researched it together and came to the individual conclusions that she feels it’s safe for her to eat, but I’ll steer clear. No harm done, just a difference in personal decision customized to our individual risk assessments, anxiety levels and, in the case of that very salty product, blood pressure readings.

    I do agree there are some ridiculous expectations on pregnant women both in terms of food and behavior, ranging from expecting us to be delicate flowers who can’t do anything but sit on a throne to expecting us to be superwomen who won’t be affected by pregnancy before delivery in any way. The reality for most is somewhere in between, and there’s no way of knowing where in the spectrum when one falls before the pregnancy happens. I’m on the more physically limited side of the spectrum, which isn’t something I expected pre-pregnancy, but here we are.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 915 Member Member, Premium Posts: 915 Member
    @hipari, that makes a lot of sense and thank you for your gracious response!

    I do tend to be on the looser side, if nothing else because I've been pregnant, breastfeeding, or both, pretty much continuously for the past eleven years, and while I'm very happy to have my children and may very well have more, a lot of what American women, at least, complain about with pregnancy is self-imposed or societally-imposed without good backing - "I miss coffee" or "I miss fish" or "my doctor says I have to get induced at 39 weeks just because that's what they always do because it's not safe to go longer." We just accept it as true, and seem to fear judgment more than actual poor outcomes. There's a lot of weird, not actually true mythology around it, kind of like weight loss in some ways.

    Anyway, thanks again for letting me do one of my soapbox rants! :D

    ETA: Also, I greatly admire Finland's "baby box" concept! Some mom friends and I occasionally discuss them and think they are very cool.
    edited June 12
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