Believe it or not, the phrase "portion control" actually means something. Sure, to the untrained ear, the words sound like two pieces of nonsense strung together, and the concept - actually making an effort to self-regulate the amount of food one eats - seems like something out of science fiction.
As boring as dieting can be, there are plenty of good reasons to restrict your food intake, from longer life to improved cardiovascular fitness to simply getting back into shape for those jeans at the bottom of your drawer. You know exactly what we're talking about.
Luckily, Deerfield offers up a variety of interesting ways to keep things from getting out of hand. We have a selection of some of the most popular spots in town with meals under 500 calories. This way, when your friends drag you out you don't have to be dragged away from your dietary discipline too.
It's true what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can also be the most caloric. We use breakfast food to assault our taste buds and shock ourselves awake. If you aren't a careful dieter, you can use close to a full day's calories on sweet treats (buttered toast with jelly) and savory sausage meats. Fortunately, there's a way to satisfy that morning hunger without going overboard.
Patch's Under 500 Pick: The Denver Omelette
Diced ham, green peppers and onions made with egg whites (117 calories), ½ cup hash browns (240 calories) and an English muffin (120 calories).
Total: 477 calories
Lunchtime rolls around and your coworkers want to head out. You want to be social - you're not going to advance too far in the office by sitting at your desk and eating carrot sticks every day - but they want fast food and you're doing too well to fall off the wagon now. Luckily, this local option has some decent options for the diligent dieter.
Patch's Under 500 Pick: The Turkey Burger
All natural ground turkey with Mediterranean spices, served on a whole wheat bun and topped with lettuce, tomato, and pesto mayo (Turkey Burger 150, Whole Wheat Bun 140, Pesto Mayo 86, veggies 10, for a total of 386 calories). Nix the fries which can come in around 400 calories and add a small garden salad (no croutons) with their fat-free Italian dressing for 50 calories.
Total: 436 calories
It's a pretty common scenario. You're hanging out with friends and someone suggests ordering pizza. Cool. What does that mean for your diet, though? When that hot pie is sitting right in front of you it's so hard to say no. Well, you can go one of two ways here. You can try to keep yourself to two pie cut slices of pizza. At about 3.6 ounces a piece, they're each 272 calories, or 544 calories total. There's another way, though.
Patch's Under 500 Pick: A half order of spaghetti with marinara.
Yeah, it's definitely not as fun as pizza, but you'll feel better about getting your calories from carbs than you will from all that gloppy cheese.
Total: 374 calories
It's someone's birthday, or you're on a date, or you're just out catching up with friends. The obligatory drinks can be bad enough, and if you're not careful, they'll really add up. Luckily, you're out for sushi and that's pretty safe, right? It's just fish and rice and vegetables, so which ones make the best choices for keeping that calorie count low?
Patch's Under 500 Pick: The Philadelphia roll (270 calories), the Spicy Tuna roll (290 calories), or the Asparagus roll (114 calories).
Total: You could have one of each of the Philly and the Spicy Tuna and come in at 560 calories, or have as many as four Asparagus rolls for 456 calories. Whatever combo you choose, don't be too hard on yourself. As long as you aren't always making excuses, it's OK to go a little over sometimes.
You've had it with this diet. You long for the sweet release only sugar can bring. You don't know who you're doing this for anyway. Well, you've been dreaming about it and today is the day: you're going to cheat, and you're going to cheat big.
Well, maybe not. Not that big.
You have to admit, your jeans are fitting better and your face looks a little slimmer and you might have just a bit more energy than you did a week or so ago.
No, you're gong to be strong. But you're going to have a treat, darn it, a reward for doing so well. And it's going to be good.
Patch's Under 500 Pick: A Mini Cream Puff Pastry – pastry shells filled with whipped cream (190 calories) or a Mini Rum Ball – dense chocolate rum cakes are rolled in colorful sprinkles or nuts. Melt in your mouth richness (122 calories) or maybe Chocolate Covered Strawberries (one for 75 calories).
The heck with it. Have one of each, you've earned it.
Total: 387 calories.