Bombarded by food?

A dieter emailed me about difficulties she had “arranging her environment,” to keep tempting foods out of sight, out of mind, at home and in the workplace. She’s a waitress and wanted to know if I had any extra advice for someone who can’t help but be bombarded by the sight of delicious, fattening foods for several hours a day.

This is what I suggested:

It’s important to create a diet plan that includes a favorite food at least once a day. Probably it’s best to wait to eat this food until you’re home at night. Then throughout the day, when you’re tempted by other food, you can say to yourself, “It’s okay. I’m not going to eat THIS food, but I’ll eat my favorite food tonight.” Also, every time you resist eating food you hadn’t planned (at the restaurant or anywhere), give yourself lots of credit. (“It’s so great that I’m sticking to my plan.”) Other techniques, such as reading your list of reasons to lose weight a couple of times while at the restaurant, will probably help, too.

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3 comments

  1. this is helpful. i work in a coffee shop surrounded by tempting, delicious, baked goods. it’s hard to resist the broken edge of the muffin or 1/2 a broken biscotti. when i do, i do give myself credit; when i don’t, i feel bad and out of control. having a really special small treat to look forward to at home is a good idea that i will try immediately!!

  2. I had the same problem, working for a catering company and surrounded by hors d’oeuvres, cheese plates, and other bite-sized treats. After talking with my diet coach (my mom, who has kept off the 30 lbs she lost for over 20 years) and trying several tactics, I finally came up with one that works for me.

    I plan ahead and take the snacks and meals that I would normally eat during the time I will be at work and because they’re pre-planned and recorded, I let myself eat them “on the run” instead of sitting down (when I tried to stick to the rule of always sitting down to eat at work, it was sometimes difficult to find time and as a result I got too hungry and it gave in to temptation quite often).

    I have a policy of not eating anything that I didn’t take — if I think I absolutely MUST have something, I take a small portion home (in the now-empty containers from what I brought) and see if it will fit into my food plan for the next day. It’s amazing how many things I’ve decided not to eat once I’ve looked up the nutritional information!

    It’s easier to resist temptation when I’m full of the healthy food I’ve brought, and I can make a more rational decision about whether or not to eat the take-home food the next day. And, in the heat of the moment, I can tell myself that I’m not denying myself, just delaying.

    I’ve also found myself saying, “Oh well,” and “I’m proud of myself for sticking to my plan” — those response cards have sunk in!

  3. I have problem with sitting down, at a table, to eat. Even with pretty stuff around, I’m still very much aware that I’m alone. Most of my weight has been gained since my husband’s death 6 years ago. I wind up feeling sorry for myself, and the way I’ve always dealt with that was with sweet foods! So, for me, I think that possibly eating my planned meal, slowly and mindfully as possible, in front of the TV works better.

    Any suggestions???

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