1 family. friendly food. » Weight Loss Weekly – what to do about free food?

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I want to have a cake and eat it too. And if I have to choose whether to have it or eat it, then I choose to… eat it.

At this time in my life and my current age – getting closer and closer to 40, I cannot believe it, but I love it – I try to focus more about what I like about myself. I realize the extra pounds don’t bother me that much. This is my last weight loss weekly post. I feel I deviate from the intersection between family and food which is what I feel passionate about, so I decided not to post about it anymore. It sure was fun, and I learned many things about myself and eating habits. I hope you enjoyed it too.

This week on weight loss weekly, I asked my buddies: You’re about to go to an event – a party, wedding, potluck, etc – where there’s going to be lots of (free) food. What are you doing about it? What is your strategy?

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Bernie: Lots of free food did you say? I’m there. That about sums up my love of the event/party/wedding/potluck food related scenario. Lots of free food is like, well, lots of free food, does it get any better? But is it really free? (see where I’m going with that…. ohhh the witty intelligence is too much). Read more at yo-yonomore

Joie de vivre: I wish I could tell you that I always behave well at potlucks or buffets, but sadly, I can’t.  There is a reason why I am overweight!  But I do have some tricks to help my best intentions along. Read more at Joie de vivre:  An amateur gourmet’s guide

Sunny: When it comes to free food, forget it!  My strategy? Unfortunately it’s Eat, Eat, Eat… Keep reading at That Extra 20 Pounds 


And I say…

An imaginary scenario: you go to a party, you see all the wonderful food, you either decide “I’ll try just one bite of some dishes that look good”, or you don’t even think about it and just go with the flow. The result – you feel over-stuffed, you think “I ate too much. Why did I do that?” Does this sound familiar?

This used to happen to me a lot. I’d get carried away, eating too much. If the food wasn’t even that good and I’d still eat it, I would feel totally yucky afterwards.

I went to two food events in the past 2 weeks. Both had wonderful food prepared by one of the top chefs in Seattle. Once was during the hunger challenge week, and the second time was at the Seattle food writers event.  I didn’t even look at the food. I totally surprised myself. During the hunger challenge I ate dinner at home before I went so I won’t be tempted to eat (those were the rules of the challenge, not to accept food from anyone), and at the second event the line for the food was long, so I just gave it up and decided to focused on the people instead. Actually, now that I think about it, I do regret not even looking at what was served. I feel kind of silly.

So what to do? I think it’s no solution to completely ignore the food. Usually, there are a few tactics that help me eat more reasonably at such events. It doesn’t work 100% but at least it minimizes the “damage”:

1. Being picky. First, I scan the various dishes, see what I like, decide what I would like to try, then go second time around with a plate.

2. Portions. I take only a spoonful of each dish that I’d like to try (but be cautious: this can easily add up to a lot of food)

3. If I don’t know what kind of food is going to be served and at what time, I eat a little something at home so I won’t starve by the time I get to the event and then eat too much. (I have mention this in the dining out post). It is somewhat stupid because the point is to try new food while dining out, but I think better be safe then sorry, no?!

4. Ever since I learned about food safety (to get my food worker permit), I try to guesstimate how long has the food been sitting out at room temperature and is it safe to eat. (I did get a few people angry when I tried to offer some advice about food safety. However, it’s really important, especially when summer, picnics, camping and all that are coming soon with the addition of warmer weather. Go to that link and learn something about it, OK?)

5. Conflict of interests. The food is important, but the company too. If I’m busy eating, I have less time to talk to people. This is why I’m not so crazy about discussing important things with food in my mouth. So if I have somethng smart to say or a person I want to talk to near by, I try not to eat while at the same time.

#1-5 work in most occasions.

But what to do when the food is especially heavenly????? What do you do that works for you?

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Categories : Weight Loss/Diet

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