There are two types of people. Those who can handle any food in moderation and those who just can’t. Learning which one you are is the most important part of the battle to achieve your ideal weight. I love the idea that I could eat a bite or two of whatever food I’m craving and then move on, no worse for wear. This is the best approach for those who are unhealthy or overweight because of falling into bad habits or because of a lack of nutritional knowledge. Bethenny Frankel focuses on this principle in her book Naturally Thin and in the audiobook The Skinnygirl Rules. Her motto is, “Taste everything, eat nothing.”
My very favorite portion control book is French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. She describes beautifully the art of making each meal really special. The presentation can make even a lone apple seem decadent. Mireille stresses the importance of eating the very highest quality food obtainable. Buy the freshest with the least processed ingredients. I think we all know by now that we really are what we eat, so do you really want to eat cheap, over processed garbage?
Using the best ingredients is absolutely worth it, skimp on something else. This approach is about getting maximum enjoyment out of small, wonderful and satisfying servings of food. Deny yourself nothing. You won’t get fat from one bite of cake.
Now, there is the second type of person. I am included this group.We struggle with our weight because we get so much darned pleasure from eating. If a little tastes good… There is no way on earth you could put a plate of french fries in front of me and ask me to eat just one fry. I know there are people who can do such a thing, I’ve even seen these mythical creatures and I am in awe of them. I just can’t relate to this behavior. Eat one broccoli floret? I can do that. Eat two bites of beans and save the rest for later? No problem! But if I feel much too excited about eating a certain food, I can’t even have it in the house. I had to accept the fact that I simply can not handle certain foods in moderation.
I’ve been seeing Jeff Garlin (comedian best known from Curb Your Enthusiasm) on T.V. a lot lately promoting his book called My Footprint. He says that he lost his weight by treating unhealthy foods such as fast food like an alcoholic treats alcohol. It’s all or nothing and like me, he must completely abstain. I haven’t read the book yet but I love the message he is spreading because I suspect much of our overweight population has similar issues.
In which group are you? Can you satisfy a craving by simply taking a bite or two and walking away. Or do you have a deeper emotional connection to food? If you aren’t sure then ask your family and close friends as they may have a clearer picture of your behavior than you.