OMG, I Can’t Believe I Ate The Whole Thing!

After a food-centered gathering at a friend’s house, this is literally how I feel…and Yes, I Really Know Better!!

The Wind-Up:

  • Light Breakfast: 2 eggs, no salt seasoning, 1/2 cup granola, 1/4 cup non fat milk, coffee, fat free creamer
  • Almost 1 hour of cardio (bike intervals due to ankle injury) – lots of water
  • Lunch: Protein shake made with nonfat milk, no-sugar fruit spread, plain cocao, and ice – lots of water

Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be – “The Gathering”:

  • Appies (Appetizers-Plural!): few small pieces of 2% milk cubed cheese, bread and spinach dip, 2 crackers with spinach dip, a few olives, a few Harvest Chips in cheddar cheese, 4-5 cookies
  • Dinner: bowl of mixed salad with egg and full fat salad dressing, 1 LARGE kibbee (fried cracked wheat, pork, pine nuts), 1/4 cup homemade yogurt with cucumbers, 1/2 cup of green beans flavored with bacon
  • Beverages: 2 cups of sparkling grape juice and 2 cups of coffee with 1/2 and 1/2 and splenda, water
  • Dessert: 2 biscotti (100 calories each), at least 5 or 6 small chocolate covered cookies

After the excesses of the holidays and then New Year’s Day Brunch (thankfully the plates and al a carte portions were small), the level of misery after the above indulgence is suprising me. You know when you feel so ill you actually want to throw up just to feel better (think: Thanksgiving!).

I thought that early eating in moderation and working out would allow me to enjoy a get together and specially prepared lebanese kibbee meal (a traditional with my bestest) without being uncomfortable. Whew, majorly wrong about that!

Lessons Learned:

The Law of Accumulation – first, exercise is an appetite suppressant, an important factor I conveniently forget. Second, even eating small portions adds up and when you have a heavy main course (the kibbee is pretty heavy, especially the large size this time) followed by coffee and dessert, that’s an almost guarantee of over-indulging misery.

What To Do Differently Next Time:

  • Either completely skip the appetizers or get a very small plate and eat only what fits on it.
  • Drink water ONLY before and during dinner, saving room for 1 cup of coffee afterwards.
  • Keep the salad size small and light on the dressing.
  • If the main course portions look too big, have 1/2 a portion and a smaller portion of veggies.
  • For dessert – SMALL portions – 1 biscotti and 2 cookies would have been plenty.
  • Remember the “Rule Of Diminishing Returns”: Every bite after the first one tastes a little less good and is a little less satisfying. 2 or 3 bites of dessert (sharing!) or a small portion is just as good as a full sized one, maybe even better because you satisfy your sweet tooth without all the extra calories, guilt, and misery!

Suggestions For YOU:

  • A dinner out at a friends isn’t a contest! Drink a glass of water before you start eating anything. That helps fill you up and lets you enjoy and be satisfied with smaller portions.
  • Control your appetizer portions with 1 small plate and tidbits from the items that are most appealing.
  • Watch your beverages for empty calories! 1 glass of beer/wine or soda is fine, but try to drink plain water throughout the evening and your main meal.
  • At dinner try to adhere to the “lots of veggies, small portion of carbs, small portion of protein”. Filling up on salad and veggies is not only healthier (and if not coated with butter or sauces much few calories), but allows you to still be satisfied with smaller portions of carbs like rice or potatoes, and a smaller portion of fish, chicken, roast beef, etc. Think twice about going back for seconds!
  • After dinner, enjoy your coffee and stretch it out! It takes about 20 minutes from the time you start eating until you stomach starts signalling you of your actual level of fullness. You may find you can’t fit in dessert, want to share, or just have a bite or two from your sweetie or a friend.
  • Then chat, play a game, watch a movie – stop eating once you feel full and move on to a different activity. Switch from coffee to water again if you’re still thirsty.
  • Enjoy your evening and be proud of yourself! You CAN combine moderation with a wonderful meal with great company!

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