Yesterday, I was at work and after cooking the meal for our guests, I was standing there waiting to serve ice cream to them as well, for Brownie Sundaes. A bunch of girls came up to me and were extremely excited about dessert. One of them asked me “How do you manage, being around all of this amazing food all the time and not eating all of it?”
It made me realize just how much I have changed in the past few years. I used to eat everything. I had to have it all. When I went for a meal, I would make sure there was no room left on my plate. I was always hungry, because as I have now realized, it takes a lot of calories to maintain a 500lb body.
If someone offered me a treat, a chocolate, etc, I always said yes and took it. It made me happy, it made me feel good to taste everything. After all, I loved food.
After I changed the way in which I consumed food by tracking my daily calories, I was shocked and horrified to see just how much it added up. At first, the easiest way of saying no, was just to not have anything unhealthy in the house. It was easy to say no when I could make myself realize that I was actually saving money by not buying the product in the first place.
Later on, I realized that I hated giving myself limits like that, because I still desired the same things. I went through a long time of experimenting with what worked for me. I would weigh and track the calories of every snack I had, but then I found that the snack was often too big for me, calorie wise. I would eat it, but then my calorie budget was completely gone and there were still snacks that I wanted.
Eventually, I settled on the system I have now. Taste everything I want. All day long, I will taste and snack on all kinds of things, but they are always tiny amounts.
Just enough to taste.
If I want some chips or some other snack, I will go to the pantry or cupboard and I will take a couple pieces of whatever I want, and leave the area. This way, I am not actively eating lots of unhealthy, high-calorie foods. I’m tasting them. Which is all I really want anyway.
At work, I often have to taste things while cooking to make sure it’s good. This provides me the perfect excuse to have my small taste of something and stop there. Usually then, I don’t have a desire to eat more of that item when I actually go for my meal break. I’ve already had a bite, and that’s plenty. This leaves me the opportunity to fill up on vegetables/fruit/healthier things during my main meal time.
I love food, and while I would love to eat everything like I used to, I can’t possibly stuff it all in me anymore. I’m pretty sure I’ll explode from waaaay too much food. So this way, I get to take a tiny piece of something, enjoy the taste, and not completely blow through my calories every day because it’s all spread out.
For instance, my wife loves to bake, but she knows that this is how I eat my snacks, so she has gotten used to finding broken chunks of cookies in the container, because I might take that delicious 300 calorie cookie and break it into 4-6 pieces so I can taste it throughout my day. If I ate it all at once, I wouldn’t get to enjoy it as much, and I would be prone to overeat very easily.
Sometimes I say yes, and sometimes I say no, but no matter what it is, where I am, or how hungry I am, I think I always now have the attitude of tasting over eating, and that has really helped me long-term.