Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Weight Watchers and Chinese Food

Jeff, Tom and I are all trying very hard to stick to weight watchers. This week is especially important, because it is the first. From what I recall, after the first week, it gets easier and if you make it through the 2nd, you have it won. However, sometimes you have to eat! Today was horrible at work and by the time that I left the office I was starving (I got 3.5 points into me all day (1 cup of cereal and a non fat yogurt). Jeff met me downtown for the Hockey Game (they won, GO CAPS) and I dragged him to a Chinese restaurant. To Dad’s credit, he REALLY didn’t want to go! He didn’t want the calories and knew that Chinese is high in fat. But, he loves me and I was starving.

When I got home I went right to Dotties Weight Loss Zone (my very favorite Weight Watchers site) As it turns out, things really weren’t that bad:

I had Won Ton Soup – 4.5 points and Jeff had Hot and Sour Soup – 2 points
We split a Szechuan Pork – 10.5 all together so I will round high and say we both got 6 points there
1 Cup Rice – 5 points
And, I had a fortune Cookie – 2 points (Jeff skipped his, but read his fortune

So, my dinner was 17.5 points (at the most) and I went into it with 3.5 – giving me a total of 21 points for the day, with 1 to spare. Not bad for a night out!

Jeff used 13 at the most, but I don’t think that he ate the rice.

Dottie also gives the following tips for ordering in a Chinese Restaurant:

Making the Best Food Choices at Chinese Restaurants
• Avoid fried foods ("fried" "crispy") - frying foods may double the calories of the food.
• Order "off the menu" instead of going for the buffet. To prevent the food at the buffet table from sticking and drying out, they tend to be prepared with more oil. Watch them "shine".
• Use chopsticks - you will eat slower thus allowing your stomach to signal when you're full. Remember - Confucious say: "Man who eat with one chopstick never have a problem with obesity!"
• Instead of ordering fried egg rolls, order steamed dumplings.
• Do not order "fried" foods. Most items at Dim Sum lunches are fried.
• Soups are very low in fat and calories (although sodium is rather high) so fill up on them (good choices are Won Ton, Egg Drop (higher in cholesterol), Hot & Sour, Velvet Corn).
• Instead of fried rice or noodles choose steamed rice or noodles. Always ask, even if it's not on the menu - you can always request it.
• Order boiled noodles (very similar to American wheat noodles) instead of fried noodles.
• If restaurants serve their food fast try to avoid them. They usually deep-fry them in advance and then stir-fry it in more oil before serving.
• Order dishes that contain more vegetables than meat. Most vegetables have 50 calories or less per cup whereas meat (beef, poultry and seafood) have 120-520 calories per cup.
• Try to avoid sweet and sour entrees - most are deep fat fried before the sauce (sugar laden) is added. If you have to have it, order the sauce on the side and only eat half of it!
• Avoid the "House Specialties" - they are usually very high in fat and calories as they contain more meat than vegetables.
• Avoid entrees with nuts - about 1/4 cup nuts will add about 200 calories and 20 grams of fat. Try water chestnuts - they only have 20 calories per 1/4 cup).
• Do not be afraid to ask the cook to prepare your dish with "as little oil as possible" - restaurants use 1-2 tbsp of oil (on the average - some use up to 4 tbsp) to stir-fry and that adds up to an extra 120-240 calories of fat.
• Always order steamed food (cooked over water or chicken broth) with the sauces on the side - you are in control this way. You can also request a sauce made of only thickened broth and no oil.
• If you are going to the restaurant with a group (of 6) and you are sharing the meal, try ordering 5 meals instead of 6.
• Order Chop Suey instead of Chow Mein. Chow Mein is topped with fried noodles whereas Chop Suey is not (so, if you order the Chow Mein keep off the fried noodles).
• Instead of meat try ordering the tofu - it is made of soybeans, high in protein and not too high in fat and calories - it soaks up the flavor of the foods that it is cooked with. Avoid dishes using fried tofu.
• Do not order foods with MSG if you are sensitive to it's effects.
• To flavor your meals try using one of these sauces (they are usually high in sugar and/or sodium): Black Bean Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Plum Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce - don't forget to order it on the side so that you remain in control.


Papa Jeff said...

If I did so well last night why did I wake up this morning with a food "hang over"?

Anonymous said...

The environment too plays a role in the causes of obesity. The family home is an important place to learn about proper nutrition and enough physical activity. Attitudes, Habits, and beliefs about food selection and how to spend family leisure time are critical factors to forming a healthy relationship with food. Children spend a lot of time in school, their food choices at school become important and it was influenced by the school eating environment.