Paring Down at Noodles & Company

September 11, 2007 · 6 comments

noodles.gif Noodles & Company is another restaurant that sees a lot of my money.  Not only do I eat there occasionally when I am at work but it also happens to be one of the few places that both of my kids agree on, and since it’s fast, but not fast food, we end up going there a lot like last night, after my son’s soccer practice.

Prior to starting my weight loss plan a typical meal for me was:

  • Large Indonesian Peanut Saute with Chicken (1000 calories)
  • Cucumber Tomato side salad (120) or Potstickers (490)
  • Flat bread (210)
  • Stuart’s Orange & Cream soda (170)
  • Large cookie (490)

Depending on whether or not I had the salad (was I thinking I was eating healthy?) or the potstickers the bill for this meal came in at between 1990 and 2360 calories. 

This is now an average meal for me:

  • Small Indonesian Peanut Saute with Chicken (510 calories)
  • Small tossed side salad (60)
  • Glass of water

Total of 570 calories.  The taste is great and it’s enough food to keep me satisfied.  When I walk out of the restaurant I am not stuffed but I feel like my hunger was sated.  It’s really important for me to remember that it’s not a good thing to feel stuffed after every meal.  If I eat my small meal and I am still hungry I can also buy something else, but that never happens - this is enough for me.  And if it is enough for me at 283 pounds then I know it will be enough for me at 185 pounds.

This is a key element to my long term plan.  I’m not staying away from food like this but I am learning how I can reduce the amount I need to eat.

I have no intention of keeping a food journal for the rest of my life (what an anchor that would feel like) but you really should keep one until you learn a little better about how much calories certain food contains.  I knew in my heart I wasn’t eating healthy but I had absolutely no idea that it was this bad.  It was a real eye opener for me when I started running my normal meals through the calorie counter.

It’s important for me to be able to continue to eat at places like Noodles & Company and it feels great to be able to do so while greatly improving my meal choices.

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kathyj333 September 11, 2007 at 10:21 am

A food journal really helps. I have been slacking on mine lately. I can’t imagine doing it for the rest of my life, but it sure helps to keep me in control now.

Israel September 11, 2007 at 10:47 am

being able to eat out is very important for me. i dont want to have to keep feeling like i am breaking the law just to stay in shape. kudos on the post.

Rachel B. September 11, 2007 at 2:55 pm

A food journal has really opened my eyes. It won’t be permanent for me, either, but for now it is a useful tool.
I have actually been having fun at restaurants lately because my new eating habits have made me branch out and try new things. The side effects that I love are:
No sickening feeling of being too full and I really, really taste my food.

john September 11, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Sounds like an excellent choice.

Kiran September 11, 2007 at 9:50 pm

My food journal has become a super important tool for me. I am a big fan of It costs a few bucks a month but for me it’s worth it. Not only does it keep me honest, but it reveals the naked truth about the nutrition content of everything that passes my lips. I’ve been calorie-conscious for as long as I can remember, but I am still occasionally surprised by calorie counts of certain foods. Also interesting (and useful) is watching your ratio of fat / carbs/ protein, as well as stuff like sodium intake (shocking!).

save and go green August 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm

I love noodles. They had one at my college several years ago before they started getting popular and they have stayed the same. The food is good quality and tastes great. I agree that portion control is key.

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