Monday, March 8, 2010
Tricks of the Trade: Moderation...It's More Than a Buzz Word!!!
I've learned that moderation means this to me: deciding ahead of time what I PLAN to eat, enjoying it completely, and refusing to feel guilty about it. Then the MOST important part? Not letting it become an excuse to NOT get back on track once the special occasion is over. Most of the time, people get into trouble when a planned splurge leads to falling off the weight loss wagon completely. For me, I find that this doesn't happen when I make the conscious decision to splurge a little...and to keep my splurges within certain limits.
For example, we went to Berryhill's Baja Grill for lunch on Saturday. They serve wonderful tortilla chips and fantastic jalapeno ranch (not lowfat!) to eat while you wait for your food. So we had one small basket of chips and one little bowl of dip. We declined offers to bring more to the table and saved room for grilled fish tacos on steamed corn tortillas. The entree was very healthy, so the chips were our splurge for that meal. When we had dinner that night at Threadgill's, it was tempting to order their famous chicken fried steak. I opted to have mesquite chicken breast, garden salad, and grits instead. It's a matter of deciding which splurges are worth it and which aren't. For me, fried meat and cream gravy was too much of a splurge this time.
Yesterday, we had a late brunch at the South Congress Cafe. Instead of ordering a full-size order of their special carrot cake French toast, we asked for one piece a la carte and shared it. We were able to each savor a few bites of this amazing, unique dish without feeling too guilty. My other splurge yesterday? A cupcake from a mobile cupcake vendor across the street. Did I enjoy it? To quote a certain Alaskan ex-Governor: "You betcha!!" Did I feel guilty? Not one bit. But...did I buy another half dozen cupcakes to bring back to San Antonio? Nope. One and done was my motto for the day.
Our brunch yesterday was fantastic, and we enjoyed every morsel. No regrets and lots of great foodie memories. Now I'm back home, counting points, and eating my normal weight loss food. Rather than let a few planned-for splurges pull me off track, I find them energizing. They help me stay committed to my weight loss efforts long term. I think that moderation is something that everyone should practice. One of my mottos is that there aren't bad foods, just bad choices. Each day is filled with food-related choices...my hope each day is that I make more good decisions than bad.
How do you practice moderation in your daily eating plan, and what insights has experience taught you? I'd love to hear more about what moderation means to my readers...