Well Tuesday night our friends who dropped by softball for a visit brought their copy of Eat This Not That! 2010: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution for me to thumb through and I spent quite a bit of time reading through it last night. The Eat This books are similar to the Cook This book in that they provide lower calorie, sodium, fat, and sugar alternatives to common chain restaurant menu items but they are different in that they provide alternative chain restaurant menu items to choose from. In other words, it's like a survival guide for eating out and it's not just for people who are trying to lose weight but people who are just trying to maintain their current weight or be more conscious about what they're eating. The best part is that it gives realistic alternatives and it takes into account the fact that not everyone likes bulgar and toast for every meal. In other words, if you really want a cheese burger these books will tell you which fast food restaurant offers the better cheese burger option and which one offers the worst option. This means that you don't necessarily have to change your lifestyle (though if you get Cook This, Not That! Easy & Awesome 350-Calorie Meals changing your lifestyle will probably be a blissful and welcome transition as it has been for me) just the choices you make within your lifestyle.
It also provides some shocking information that I think everyone should know, in fact some of this info seems like grounds for considerable lawsuits or legal action of some kind. With the dangers of potential copyrighting in mind I don't want to give you the full details but I can't not mention a few of these things here on the blog. For example: Did you know that an independent study sent allegedly "healthy menu options" from eight different locations of an extremely well known family restaurant chain to a lab for testing and found that, on average, the dishes contained twice the calories and fat that the chain claimed the dish had in their nutritional info? So you might go into this chain, order something thinking it's 550 calories when, in reality, it's over 1,100! Another well known sit-down restaurant chain lists a single order of their Mac N' Cheese as four servings in their nutritional info so that the numbers look better than they really are! I can't tell you which chains because that would be spoiling the fun and I'm not necessarily trying to convince anyone to get these books (ok, maybe I am a little) but some of the stuff I learned has made me completely re-evaluate the way I look at eating out altogether!
Now the book is apparently also making major modifications in eating-out menu options. They published a "20 Worst Foods in America" list in one of their books and within the year to follow, due to the popularity of the series, several major chain restaurants who's dishes were on that list either removed the dish from their menu entirely or significantly altered it to reduce fat, calories, sugar, and sodium. One chain even sent the authors of the book a letter professing their desire to become one of the healthiest restaurants in America instead of one of the worst. Various restaurants get an overall grade from A to F based on the major nutritional factors of their menu items compared to portion size which means I could find myself carrying a book like this around in my pocket at all times. "What's that Snack Monkey? You want to eat at Jack In The Box? Well let me see what the book says about that." No kidding ... I feel like I've been privy to the deeper secrets of the food conspiracy that we've all known existed for quite some time. Not only do I now want to purchase every book that these guys have ever published, I also want to get them all for my mom to have too ... that's how good they are.
One thing I should mention is that, based on what I read last night from the 2010 book, if you were going to only buy one book I would suggest getting the most recent book: either Eat This, Not That! 2011 or there is actually a brand new one coming out that Amazon just sent me a release notice for called Eat This, Not That! The No-Diet Diet: The Worlds Easiest Weight Loss Plan which will hit shelves on March 1. The reason I suggest going with the most recent is because these books do seem to affect menu options in some restaurants so the older books may contain information in them which is no longer applicable because the menu items are no longer available at their respective restaurants; and it may not account for new menu items that restaurants have recently added. On the other hand, if you're like me and you prefer to own every book in a series I can see extreme value from just buying all of them. Two things of note: Amazon is usually cheaper than buying these books in a book store, no kidding like $10 savings even. Also: Although the books call themselves weight loss solutions and diet plans I wouldn't look at them that way if I were you. These books should be considered lifestyle information, if weight-loss happens as a result great but ultimately it's still possible to choose the best of two options from the book and still not lose weight if you're not counting your calories and engaging in exercise as you go. How, you ask? Well just because the Big Mac and Dairy Queen's banana split got better grades than their competitors doesn't mean that eating them every day while living a sedentary life is going to lead to weight loss. Just food for thought.
In other news, Snack Monkey talked me out of going to the gym before dinner last night and pinki-promised that we would take the dog to the park after dinner and do the mile long jogging track there instead. Then after dinner had been prepared and consumed (Chicken Adobo, my mom's adobo recipe tastes better so I now need to do a nutritional comparison of the two) he started whining about the wind and the cold. I fired up the Wii, popped in the Fit and walked big figure 8's around my living room, counting every step up to 6,287 which is the equivalent of approximately 3 miles. I can't walk in place, it feels too much like marching, so I walked from the living room to the dining room and back again instead. I feel sorry for the people who live downstairs.
6 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 Fiber One bar
1/4 leftover Calzone
1 foot long chicken sub
Daily Caloric Intake: 1097
p.s. the water count is low because I'm posting early. I promise I'll chug two more glasses before bed.
Wii Walking: 3.18 miles in 53 minutes! Wooo!
I actually got tired of doing figure 8's and I'm worried I'll wear a hole in the carpet if I keep doing that so tonight I decided to march in place; march, not walk. Reason being that last night's 3 miles didn't take much out of me because I've gotten used to walking with an incline at the gym or on rough terrain at the softball fields so tonight I decided to pick my knees up higher with each step to increase burn/sweat from the comfort of my own home. I'm starting to think I would prefer a home treadmill over a gym membership ... aside from the perks of tanning and ab machines that I can still get at the gym. Oh well, I worked up a hell of a good sweat tonight so I feel pretty good about it.