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CNN, LA Times, and Weighing and Measuring On Vacation

I realized as I started to write this blog about summer travel, that I had not talked about weighing and measuring while traveling. And I think that is a really important issue. So, the first part of this will be about weighing and measuring in travel and restaurants, and then I want to share two other articles about forces that limit our weight maintenance and health.

My clients often resist weighing and measuring food in public and on vacation: they find it embarrassing, shameful, and annoying. “I have been doing diets my whole life, they say” I know how much I am supposed to eat!”

“I am not going to humiliate myself by taking a scale into a fancy restaurant!” And to my mother-in- law’s? NOOOOOOOOO no no no! No one measures food today!

OK, I say, let’s calm down and look at this rationally.

Nearly every item bought or sold in the United States is weighed, measured, or counted.

The meat you buy at the grocery store is weighed when you buy it, or when it is packaged for sale.

The chips are in little packages, weighed, and the bag tells the individual weights and the total weight.

Your cereal says how much is a serving and how much that weighs in ounces and grams.

Even nonfood items, like swimsuits, shoes, and medications are weighed measured or counted!

But it is the proportion of nutrients related to each other that is the critical issue and must be adjusted to get the amounts right to meet your body’s needs. When you weigh and measure, you will have the right amounts and the right proportions, and you can be sure that the food fits your body’s needs, and you can enjoy your vacation without cravings or obsession or fear of weight gain or binges.

So, in a restaurant, this is how you set yourself up for success and subtle weighing.

First, remember to always call your waiter or waitress by their first name. Every time you speak to him/her. This is a subtle sign of respect which will give you large dividends in service.

Second, when you order, start with: “I’m sorry for the questions, I have some food allergies.” Then ask specific questions about the two entrees you’d like. When you make your choice, ask him/her to bring you an extra plate with your meal.

Now, move the platter with food aside, take the clean plate and put it on the scale. Tare it. Add your protein, adjust for weight, put the rest back on the plate; tare, add starch to your needs, leave the rest on the plate, tare, add the veggies and the fat.

Now when your waiter comes by to see if everything is ok, ask that the extra plate be wrapped to take with you. Slide your scale back into your bag and enjoy your meal.

The rest of the restaurant will never notice; and probably half your table won’t care. But if they ask, do you want to tell the intricacies? Why not just say,” I am sensitive to certain foods and I need to be careful. I want to enjoy this vacation.”

If anyone tells you that weighing food is really weird, just ignore it. Tell them you are working with a crazy dietitian who thinks you have food allergies. Or ask them why it is important to them. Or smile and tell them thank you for caring and you do not wish to discuss it.

When you start to feel offended, silently staring at the person, smiling, for a moment, then going on to another conversation, is often the best and most effective answer.

Now go enjoy your food, your companions, and your day!

Okay, we have discussed restaurants, travel across time zones, and weighing and measuring. Next week is vacations. Then we get back to our daily situations. But today I also want to share articles from two newspapers. I hope you enjoy them.

 My husband sent me this article which was published in 2019 by CNN. It reports a study which compared the calorie intake of whole foods with ultraprocessed foods. The subjects were, on two 14 day periods, allowed to eat as much as they wanted from the items served. For 14 days, healthy whole foods were served. The next 14 days, refined and ultraprocessed foods were served. The days in which the ultraprocessed foods were served, showed an increase in intakes of 500 calories per day.. This is a five hundred calorie a day increase, friends! (About a pound a week!) Changing the nature of the foods led to a decrease of five hundred calories per day. Amazing!

And my client Kathryn was kind enough to send me this article from the Los Angeles Times. It is an Op-Ed piece that talks about the incredible increase in processed foods in our supermarkets, discusses the fact that hyperprocessed convenient foods can be as addictive as alcohol and other drugs. It explains the fact that advertising has changed our perception of these foods, and offers some new ways that may help change the balance.

I hope the first portion helped you with restaurants, and that you enjoyed the other two articles. Be welcome to reply in the comments section, or call or email me if you want to chat.

Have a lovely week!

Blessings to you,


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