One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident
Roni started this blog in '05 to journal her weight loss.
70lbs later, she's committed to living a conscious, healthy
life and hopes to inspire others along the way.
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There are 40 comments so far.
April @ Grits and Granola Bars
Lord have mercy, that onion is 1551 calories?! Wow!
Wheeeeee! Finally! Those chain restaurants will be outed for the calorie hoarders they are! I am so ready for this. My poor husband will be awfully disappointed, though. No more fried onion garbage for him.
Now… when do they have to disclose that most of it is microwaved? (Bleeech!)
Michelle @ The Running Jewess
I think this will definitely help with my eating-out problem. Did they stay when it would be instated?
By the end of the year I think. ANy restaurant with more than 20 locations!
I think it’s great to post nutritional information on menus, but I think there are a lot of people who will still order the high caloric items, despite the information. Some people already know that some menu items are extremely high in calories, and they still order them. But I do think that there are others who have no idea, and some people need to see numbers to make them realize that what they’re ordering is super high in calories.
I think a lot of people will be glad to know the nutritonal info if they’re counting calories or points, because it will give them some control over their choices.
I think this will be good! I am sick of chains saying they don’t post calorie counts because it can vary from location to location. I am sick of finding out later that my grilled chicken salad had over 1000 calories or that my meal had 100,000 mg of sodium. If people choose to ignore the facts that are right in front of them, that is their problem. Hopefully this will also encourage new menu items when people are horrified by the current calorie counts!
The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
This will be great when we go out to dinner for family birthdays. My mom LOVES to choose Red Lobster because she thinks it’s a healthier choice than Outback. Well the problem is she gets the Admirals Feast which is 4300mg of sodium and she’s on high blood pressure meds. I’ve told her that before but I’m not going to hound her about it. Maybe seeing it in front of her face will gently remind her. ;-) Now if I could just get that new Jeni’s Ice Cream that opened to list their nutritional info on their amazing ice cream I’d feel better about the occasional indulgence! (I think it should be mandatory for ANY restaurant, not just chains)
Robyn @ New Every Morning
I am hoping this has a positive wake-up-call-like effect. But I’m also thinking of the cigarette packages with health warnings printed all over them and the people who still suck them back.
I remember the first time I went to a restaurant that did this – a Chili’s in the JFK Airport. It really WAS a wake-up call, and even though my friend and I complained about what a buzzkill those numbers were, it influenced my choices that day. Can’t say I thought about it for the rest of my vacation, though. :)
I live in LA and this has been the law for some time already and it makes very little difference. When I go out I look at the booklet of information and we play the game “what’s the worst thing on the menu?” Sadly it’s usually a salad with creamy dressing, fried chicken, and all the fixin’s. I’m not sure it’s changed my behavior but it has made me more aware and conscious of making unhealthy choices.
I’m gonna be completely honest, and agree with Suzie on this one. I wouldnt order the blooming onion regardless, but for example sometimes I’m on my way to Chipotle and I know Im gonna get guac and chips (~700 cals). I wouldnt say that it has helped me change my behavior (that part is more on me) but the information gives me awareness, which is the first step.
I also live in SoCal where it’s been in effect for a while. It has influenced mine and my families choices! Just hit my 36 lb loss at WW last week!!! You’re a big part of my success Roni! I’ve been reading your blog for 5 years. I couldn’t do it without you!!
I think people are going to do what people want to do. If someone is conscious of making healthy choices, they will be happy to see nutrition info. But if someone doesn’t care, it won’t make them care. You have to help yourself and some people don’t want to do that.I do however think the info on the salads will be a big wake up call for some health conscious people. It was for me when I decided it was time to get healthy. I am happy for the change.
The calorie listing would certainly affect my choices, as well as those for my family. We’ve made changes to how we eat out and I have lost nearly 30 pounds in a year – we share an entree; we only get a half portion. We eat at Jason’s Deli all the time and the menu lists the calories on the light menu. I get a half sandwhich and a cup of soup and stay below 500 calories.
I love to know the calorie/fat content of food, it does help with choices. What staggers me is when sodium levels are posted. Holy smokes….some things that seem “healthy” really aren’t if they’re 2500 mg+ of sodium in the dish alone.
It’s the law in California that restaurants or chains more than a certain size must list calorie content on the menu and also must provide nutrition information on request. I love it, and, yes, I do use it to make choices. I get frustrated with smaller restaurants & chains that aren’t required to post, because you’re stuck with guesswork. I’d much rather know, even if I’m maybe going overboard, exactly what kind of damage I’m doing.
The thing is, most people have no idea how many calories they should eat. Or if it’s half their daily calories, they think they make up for it by eating at home for breakfast/dinner (and ignore snacks) or yes the salad is 1500 cal but I took the dressing off so now it’s okay, right? I use a different rubric, which is that I know that my nutritive choices (protein, vegetables, fruits, milk) use up 800 calories, and depending on my diet plan, I have so much leeway for the carbs and fat which are not giving me any real vitamins or fiber. Most restaurant meals will only have 40-60 g protein, maybe a serving of vegetables, which is only 300 nutritive calories. The other 1200 is all junk calories which is more than a day’s worth. I have my favorite junk calories – chocolate, wine, handful of nuts, croissant, small scoop of gelato – which i would rather use as small splurges instead of all in one mediocre fried onion.
We already have that in CA, and I love it. Any of the calorie conscious would- makes our lives alot easier. But I do see how many people would simply ignore it. You have to have the calorie conscious mindset for those numbers to really mean anything. Before I spent time figuring out how many calories I SHOULD eat, learning about BMR, etc, I really didn’t know what a normal amount of calories was. So even if I counted that I was eating 3,000 a day, the number meant nothing to me. Maybe 3,000 is normal. But now I know alot about appropriate amount of calories based on daily activity, and counting calories has become the most effective tool in my arsenal for successful weight loss. Still, I remember being clueless so I know that many people are still in that boat.
What would actually make these menu calorie counts more useful, is to do a campaign on tv and via other venues, that get the info out- how much should a man or woman, based on their size and activity level, be eating to maintain their weight/lose/ or gain? A shiny campaign flashing these numbers would help people put calorie counts in useful context.
We have the calories listed on most menus here in CA or at least they are on the table if not on the menu. I find that when dining with friends most of them don’t want to know the nutritional values of what they order!
I love having the information it helps me make better choices.
I like having the information, but what I especially love is when a place like Ruby Tuesday has a TON of choices that are great tasting and good for you calorie/health wise. It is disappointing when the lowest calorie items on the menu are the worst looking and least appealing.
I’m really happy about this because restaurants, and patrons will finally have to face those numbers. I really can’t wait.
I would really like this since I am a calorie counter and when we go out for a meal I have no idea what the heck I have consumed. I hope that this happens soon so it can allow me more freedom.
I’m in NY & this has been here for a while. It makes a BIG difference for ME when I look at a menu out on what I’ll get.
Actually I remember one time last year I was craving a shake at Dairy Queen. When we stopped I saw the calories & almost passed out. Needless to say we walked out with no shake, but I walked out knowing I did the right thing for my body.
While well intentioned, the bad news is that people just don’t care. They’re going to eat what they want because they don’t know how much they “should” be consuming, and they certainly aren’t adding it all up on a regular basis.
Rather than going this route, the focus should have been put on educating the population so that they make good choices.
So many people say that but what does it hurt? Those that want to eat crap still eat crap and those that don’t have even more information to make better choices. It’s a win in my book!
Plus creating an awareness can lead to more education.
I hope that you’re right. That’s completely dependent upon common sense, which is not so common. I would love to be proven wrong though.
I don’t think it’s about “right” or “wrong”. Information is never a bad thing.
Those that want the information can get it (calorie king, fitday, etc.). In addition, many restaurants post nutrition data on their websites. Those that this is really for, sadly won’t care.
This has been in use in some cities for a couple of years now. I would be curious to see if the information has had an impact.
Roni, I’m with you on having information, and I really do hope that this helps. I just think that those in charge are going about it the wrong way.
Of course but this makes it so much easier!
and aren’t WE in charge. ;)
I’m only busting your butt. Thanks for the comment discussion. :)
It’s all good. These discussions are what make for an awesome blog community. Thanks for sparring with me. :D
@Todd, When I wasn’t 100% on my game (aka tracking everything I ate) I didn’t take the time to check websites for calories. BUT by seeing the calories on the menus it made me aware & really truly influenced my buying decision (see comment above). Now, I won’t put anything in my mouth that I don’t have some sort of an idea of the NI.
I love that she kept mentioning 2,200 calories a day is what “we” are supposed to be eating. That’s literally double my calorie allowance. :-)
You know, you’re right Roni – at least people can’t use the excuse of “I didn’t know …”, right? :)
Thank you very much for your post. I am addicted to eating out, this definately shines a new light on the topic. Something to keep in mind.
Not living in the US, I wasn’t surprised by the calorie counts so much because I was just shocked at the size of the servings!
When I want something fatty or salty or sweet, I generally get it knowing that it is a treat. When I have to buy something because I’ve forgotten lunch or some other reason, I would appreciate calorie information to help me judge my options.
My husband and I went to chili’s for dinner. I was in no way prepared for the trip (aka: didn’t look anything up ahead of time) and was really hungry AND was feeling off my game for diet and exercise. Suffice it to say, I made some very poor diet choices that night. However, in no way did I realize how poor those choices were until I got home and checked online. I consumed over 4,000 calories in that one meal. I was horrified! I’m looking forward to having that information available for those spur of the moment trips. Granted, I’m not stupid. I could have done a better job at what I chose that night, but feeling kind of “off my game” and not motivated, it would have helped to know all the information up front.
I’m on plan, but I’m not sure that this would make much difference to me. Part of what my boyfriend and I needed to do to make real changes in our life was to cut out the eating out so much. Now it is truly only for special occasions – and on those rare trips out, it is a treat and I’m going to have something crazy.
Also, we generally go to local restaurants, which wouldn’t be subject to this. And I do still try to plan, make good choices, both at the restaurant and for the meals around the trip, etc. But once I changed my view of going out to a treat, I realized that was the time for me to indulge. Not everyday or week, but on those special trips. Darn right we ate deep-fried gnocchi on my birthday!
Also, this has made eating out more special. It is about being together, enjoying each others’ company – now it is an event, rather than just a way to get a meal.
I know what works for us won’t work for everyone, but just wanted to share.
But I’m glad the information will be available for those who want to use it.
That’s a lot of calories!
I hope the reports that it doesn’t change behavior don’t change the law. It will take time for people to learn/understand what it all means. Plus, even if I still buy that brownie at Starbucks, I may only eat half or I may eat less later, or get the brownie less frequently. And at least I will know that getting an asiago bagel instead would cost me even more calories!