What not to eat at Red Lobster?

I recently checked out the menu including the nutrition facts for Red Lobster.  Click here for the PDF.  Whoa, while there are some healthy options, buyer beware for many options there.  Below is a sample appetizer with salad and main course:

Appetizer:  Crispy calamari with vegetables: 1830 calories and 4,720 mg of sodium

Salad:  Classic Ceaser:  520 calories and 1,050 mg sodium

Main course:  NY Strip with Lobster Tail:  1,140 calories and 2,360 mg sodium

Total =  3,490 calories and 8,130 mg sodium!

Considering the adequate intake (click this link for the definition of adequate intake) for sodium is 1500 mg/day for under 50 years of age, 1300 mg/day for 50-70, and 1200 mg/day for 71 and over, 8,130 mg is mind boggling (and this doesn't include what you ate the rest of the day)!  Upper tolerable limit is 2,300 mg/day, but this number is not a recommendation to aim for just the upper limit. 

If you remove the appetizer you'll cut your calories and sodium by about half, but the meal is still loaded with calories and sodium.

What to eat there?  The fresh fish options were all under 500 calories and the sodium was moderate too (except for the lobster dishes).  I get it, most of us want to enjoy a meal out and NOT think about sodium and calories.  I agree, from time to time, why not, right?  The question is, would you make some changes with your selections if you knew the calories and the sodium where off the charts?  Particularly if you are trying to manage a health condition?  Some research suggests if you make your selections online prior to going to the restaurant, you'll make better choices, and I'd have to agree.  Most chain, but not mom and pop restaurants, will have calories online and some in the restaurant.

Let's be honest, Red Lobster is not alone, try checking out some other menus online of your regular eating spots and see what you find. 

Yours in great health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Do you want to get healthier in 2017? If so, check out Kevin in the Baltimore Sun!

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Do you want to get healthier in 2017? 

If so, click this link to read the article that feature's Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN in the Baltimore Sun!  The article is entitled 'Nutritionist's dish on New Year's Diet Resolutions.'

Wishing you a healthy, fit, and happy 2017!

Kevin

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
Certified Diabetes Educator
web: www.nutritioncoachingcenter.com
email: kevin@nutritioncc.com
Tel: 410-989-1886
57 W. Timonium Road Suite 111
Lutherville Timonium, MD 21093

Does Food Journaling Help You Lose More Weight?

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The answer is yes!  According to the following randomized controlled trials, clients who were more successful in losing weight and keeping weight off were significantly more consistent with self-monitoring (keeping a journal). 

Lose More Weight With Journaling

In a study by Baker and Kirschenbaum, 1998, 32 females and 6 males with a mean age of 43.6 years, self monitored (kept a food journal) for 10 weeks (3 weeks during holidays and 7 weeks during non holidays).  Results showed that highly consistent self-monitors lost an average of 10 pounds more than low self monitors!

Keep the Weight Off With Journaling

In another study by Mattfeldt-Berman et al 1999, 224 male and 84 female participants who successfully maintained weight loss were significantly more likely to adhere to the following strategies:  exercise, self-monitoring of food intake (keeping a journal), and weighing themselves weekly.

In practicing nutrition for over 15 years, I have found that patients who consistently keep a detailed food journal lose the most weight.

In addition to keeping a food journal, patients also need to have a target for the quantity of food in meals and snacks. Without targeted goals for total calories and portion sizes, weight loss will be less than optimal.  

What are the different ways to journal? 

Using an app, a computer based tracking program, and simple pen and paper are the most popular.  To minimize the time required to journal and simplify the process, I now provide my patients with a customized nutrition planner with exact portion sizes that drastically minimizes the amount of writing needed and removes the need to count calories by the patient.  So, instead of taking 10-20 minutes to journal daily (a barrier for some), my customized tracker takes about 1-5 minutes per day.

Top 5 benefits of keeping a journal:

  1. Helps to keep you focused on your meal plan and nutrition goals
  2. Provides a target for meal and snack portion sizes
  3. Keeps you accountable
  4. Reduces mindless eating
  5. Provides a written record and when combined with weight data, can provide valuable information as to how you lost weight!

Whether you prefer an app, a computer based version, pen and paper, or a customized meal planner from Nutrition Coaching Center, the key is to track your foods and portions to optimize your weight loss, keep it off, and help you accomplish your goals! 

Yours in Good Health,

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, ACE-CPT, LDN

 

 

 

 

What's in a slip? How to reach your nutrition goals despite a slip now and again?

Have you ever slipped with your diet and allowed that slip derail you?  If so, your not alone.  Many on the diet 'merry go round' have found themselves in a similar situation.  Guess what?  You don't have to let one slip stop you from reaching your goals!  Read on to learn more!

First of all, what's a slip (in regards to food and nutrition)?  It's a one time instance when you overate or ate something that wasn't what you intended.  Maybe it was that second piece of desert, or one too many late night tortilla chips and cheese, or some other food that you didn't intend to eat or overeat. 

How can we stop a one time slip from derailing our goals? 

  1. Build flexibility into your nutrition plan.  No one is perfect.  By allowing some flexibility in your plan, you may feel more confident in your ability to stay on track. I aim for one to two 'eating out' occasions per week.  This gives me the flexibility to have dinner with my family at a restaurant or enjoy a nice meal at a holiday occasion or event without feeling like I've 'failed' at my nutrition goals.  This way, if I eat a little 'off my usual eating plan,' it's actually 'on my plan.'  So, consider building in a little flexibility into your nutrition plan to help you stay on course! 
  2. Give yourself a break.   We all slip sometimes, and when you do, don't be hard on yourself!  We are all human, and it's totally normal to slip given the food temptations that surround us.  It's what you do after the slip that counts.  Next meal or snack, get right back on track!  Forgive yourself, drop the guilt, and move on.  When diets or workouts are too restrictive, a slip (one time), may turn into a lapse (multiple slips), a relapse or maybe even a collapse.  Not anymore, right?  Next time you slip , brush it off, forgive yourself, and get right back on track!

Yours in Good Health!

Kevin Grodnitzky, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN