Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

10 lbs. Down - Portion Places

Posted May 29, 2009

How many of you plan to eat out this weekend? Where are you going? What restaurant not only offers excellent food but reasonable portions for those of us who are trying to shed a few pounds?

You’ve been there. You’re on a diet and you’re invited to join some friends at a restaurant. The portions are humongous. You vow to box up half of your meal for later. You try to hold back but you end up eating the whole shebang. That has been a problem for me.

One of my favorite restaurants is 18 Seaboard  near Peace College in Raleigh. I love their North Carolina recipes. I also appreciate their reasonable portions and prices. Among chain restaurants I am also a fan of Carrabba’s. My two favorite dishes there are the grilled salmon and grilled chicken with basil lemon butter sauce.

For really special occasions I love The Angus Barn. In fact I am going there with family this weekend and I can’t wait to plow into an Oscar style rib eye. I’ll do some serious running Saturday to make room for the meal.

Thank you for your questions, interest and concerns about the Ten Pounds Down weight loss challenge. Nutrition coach, personal trainer and registered dietitian Avril Young has been kind enough to answer some more questions. Here are they are along with her advice. Have a great weekend!

What about people who have lost significant weight but have hit a plateau even though they need to lose more weight?

If you hit a plateau while your exercise and nutrition routines have remained the same, it may be time for a change in one or both. Typically your calorie needs drop when you lose weight. If there isn't an opportunity for metabolic testing to measure exactly how many calories you are burning at rest, try dropping your calories by 100 to 200 to see if this jump starts the weight loss.

What does it take to get six pack abs?

Mostly good genetics! If you aren't lucky enough to have those good genetics, it takes a lot of core work as well as cardio and strict nutrition to get your body fat low enough to see those muscles.

Why is it harder to lose weight as you get older?

Metabolism drops as we get older mostly because we become less active. This drop in metabolism can be curbed by maintaining an active lifestyle which includes strength training to decrease muscle loss. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism is and the easier it is to maintain a healthy weight.


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  • blytle May 29, 2009

    Bill, a nutritionist gave me a really good tip on portion control when eating out. As soon as your meal is served, request a box and put half of the meal in the box immediately. Take it home and enjoy it for lunch or dinner the next day. If you wait until the end of the meal, the temptation is too great to eat everything!! Have a great weekend and a good meal at "The Barn."

  • Roach May 29, 2009

    Another eating out tip is to ask the server to bring you a to-go box with the meal. Before you even begin eating it divide the portion sides into, put half in the box and set it aside to take home for another meal. This has helped me tremendously because I don't feel guilt for leaving good food or from overeating.

  • cheddarhead May 29, 2009

    Honestly sharing a meal is the best way to do it. You get the actual portion size you should be eating by sharing! I go away happy that I got to eat out and I also go away NOT feeling miserable because I ate too much!!

  • thefensk May 29, 2009

    Avril -- on the six pack abs. I don't think enough was stressed that people should be satisifed to be healthy and not bother themselves with trying to achieve some external standard that is not realisitic for most people.

    People should focus on general good health, not body image.

  • clover1019 May 29, 2009

    my fiance and i usually share meals when we go out to eat; we split an app or a salad and an entree and that is always enough to fill us up...or if we want left overs when the food comes i immediately ask for a box. Eating out on a diet is difficult you never really know what they prepared the food in or what is in a sauce. this is a great site to check out before you go somewhere to see what you are really eating! i just found out my fav salad at cafe carolina is more like an entire days worth of meals =(

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Bill Leslie