04 May 2009

Weight Loss Weekly

Christmas buffet at the in-laws

Weight loss weekly is a weekly collaboration between me and three other bloggers who are also trying to lose weight.  Join us as we discuss our weight loss tips and strategies, as well as our successes and failures along the way.

Today's weight loss question comes from Nurit from 1 family. friendly. food.  Nurit asks: 

You’re about to go to an event - party, wedding, potluck, etc - where there’s going to be lots of (free) food. What are you doing about it? What is your strategy?

Let's hear what the other three have to say:

Bernie from Yo-yo No More says:
"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

Nurit from 1 family. friendly. food says:
An imaginary scenario: you go to a party, you see all the wonderful food, you either decide “I’ll only 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? Read more on 1 family. friendly. food.

Sunny from That Extra 20 Pounds says:
"When it comes to free food, forget it! My strategy? Unfortunately it's Eat, Eat, Eat..." keep reading at www.ThatExtra20Pounds.blogspot.com

I say:

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.

Strategy #1:  The Snack.  When facing an endless eating situation, have an apple and a glass of water before you go.  I once talked to someone who tried this same strategy with a tablespoon full of flax seeds mixed into a glass of water.  Just have a little something so that you are not raving hungry when you face the endless dishes.

Strategy #2:  The Mental Rehearse.  Before you go to the party, imagine the buffet.  Then imagine yourself with your small plate in hand, reviewing all of the options before carefully making the wisest choices.  When you get to the party, your mind is already prepared for what you are going to do.  

Strategy #3:  The Anchor.  Do you have a little red dress in your closet that helps remind you of your goals?  The anchor works in the same way, just away from home.  You wear a bracelet or ring or necklace that reminds you of your goals when you face temptation.  Theoretically, I smile because this one doesn't work so well for me, when facing the endless buffet, you touch your anchor item and it reminds you of your goals so you do not overindulge.

Strategy #4:  Do your best, and forgive yourself.  This strategy accepts your weakness and acknowledges that you do not face these situations everyday (THANKFULLY!).  In this strategy, you make the best choices you can make for yourself, and then forgive yourself if you do overindulge.

As crazy as it sounds, I do heavily rely on Strategy #2, the Mental Rehearse.  For me, overindulging is a matter of habit, so to change those habits, I need to mentally rehearse them over and over.  When they are practiced over and over, even in my mind, they become part of what I do.

Do you have any ideas to help us through the crazy wedding/summer/back to school/fall festivals/Christmas buffet season?  Do share!

20 comments:

Bob said...

Heh, this sounds kind of mean, but when I am tempted to over indulge I think of my father. He is... a large man. Very large. And I keep reminding myself that I don't want to end up like that.

Sunny said...

wow, what a beautiful spread in your picture! makes me hungry. :) thanks for sharing your tips, i will give those a try!!

Jenn said...

Usually I'll have something light during the day of the party/buffet is at night. In a way, I'll be going slightly hungry. If it's during the day. I have a light dinner the night before a light snack for a breakfast as I know I'll be stuffed. Other than that I'll just eat, eat, eat.

Joie de vivre said...

Jenn, Seriously, this is why I say I have the strategies, but often my best intentions are foiled once I get there. It's so hard not to eat, eat, eat in that situation. Thankfully, these situations are not everyday.

Julie Pia said...

So, this may sound funny, but I always wear a tight shirt when I go out on a date with my husband and friends. I'm talking tight around the waste. That way I won't over eat because I don't want my belly to hang out after dinner. I still eat yummy food, but I never eat too much. It really helps me thing about what and how much I'm eating.

loves....

Heather said...

great tips :) i tend to drink a lot of water. it keeps me full without the calories :)

Karen Brown Letarte said...

Well, fat is my genetic destiny, and it is something I have had to work with most of my life. I've tried just about every strategy you can imagine. My approach is this: food is a gift. Parties are to be enjoyed. I give myself permission to eat and enjoy what I wish. When I make it "ok," I tend not to overindulge. If you love it, eat it--- is my philosophy. Just work on not maybe not eating the WHOLE carton of ice cream! Unfortunately, I think we each have to find what works for US. My strategy has also always included frequent and intense workouts-- which, now that I have spent most of this year injured and/or sick, I've stopped doing, so am feeling stuck in an endless cycle currently. Howewver, I think I am on the brink of getting my medication issues ironed out and look forward to feeling well again, if some 50 lbs. heavier than last year.

girlichef said...

This is always a dilema for me...your tips are right on, but still...I don't know what it is. unless I'm so busy that I can't see the food...I eat. :( Or I just drink...and that's no good either...tee hee.

Tangled Noodle said...

I find that #4 works best for me - it's not giving myself permission to overindulge but it allows me to relax and enjoy the party without bringing my personal food issues into it. For an immediate strategy, I try to grab the dessert plate rather than the regular dinner-sized one. I pick what I want to eat, not what I think I should eat but only enough for one or two bites.

One thing I do have going for me is that I am chatty, which means that I'm too busy gabbing to eat! 8-D

Donna-FFW said...

One of my strategies is to drink lots of water.. it fills you up. I try to drink 1-2 cups prior to each meal and I wont eat as much. My other strategy is to add on to my workout time, but I hate that one. You have some great tips listed, Ill have to remember them.

Berni at Yo-yonomore said...

Good tips, I like the Anchor idea.... although knowing me I'd forget about it as soon as the desserts came out!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh, another idea and trick of mine is to eat a fiber bar.. they are filling and good for you too:)

burpandslurp said...

for me, I just try a TINY little bit of everything, but then stick to the ones I like. and also, I try to have something different that I wouldn't be having otherwise. and since I'm not a sweet fan, I skip the desserts. real savory foods are more interesting!

Netts Nook said...

I love buffets but I learned along time ago if you try to eat a meal before you go and just have a sweet or a veggie you are better off. Your buffet looks perfect.......

5 Star Foodie said...

I try to talk more with people and so have less time to eat. We do a lot of brunches and a lot of times if we eat too much we just skip dinner.

Sarah said...

I Try to eat the healthier options, if they are not available then I will eat very small portions of my favorite item, like the cheese in your photo!

NuKiwi said...

Well...for every bite of cheese or creamy dip, eat a veg...tell yourself in advance "it's not as good as it looks"...imagine ways it could really be awful (they probably use Miracle Whip instead of REAL mayo, or they look like dry meatballs, or th cake looks too dry).

I sometimes totally talk myself out of things just being finicky. :o)

NuKiwi said...

I did say...SOMETIMES, right??? LOL

Chef E said...

We did what Netts Nook said and we ate a salad before we went to a wine tasting on Sunday, and I am glad I did...they had so much food, and bread oh my gosh! Most got 2 oz pours I only took a 1 oz, and drank plenty of water in between.

Hubby's mother and step mom's table always look like that x 3...I could not stand myself if we grazed all day...I like this encouragement!

Claudia said...

All good tips. I don't do buffets anymore - cause I am too weak. And I wind up sated and not happy. Free food is hard to pass up - especially when it's simply grand.

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