Moderation vs. avoidance: how do you deal with certain foods while dieting?

Filed in Gather Food Essential by on August 1, 2008 0 Comments

I don’t like to subscribe to the belief that certain foods are so “bad” they should be eliminated, but it’s also true that I don’t typically eat white bread any more. It’s not that I’m a low-carb devotee, exactly, but as long as I’m watching what I eat I’d rather get more bang for my buck. Slice of bread, or, like, a whole salad?

Okay, they aren’t always on par calorie-wise (especially considering the things I like to cover my salad with. Hello, feta cheese, WE MEET AGAIN), but I have definitely found that it’s easier for me to lose/maintain weight if I completely cut out the simple carb breads, pastas, and crackers I like to go overboard on. Passing on certain foods — like pillowy-soft, little-nutritional-content, diabolically tasty slices of processed bread — often forces me to re-think my meal options in positive ways, and go with whole grains, veggies/fruit, or protein instead.

It seems silly, though, to make a food totally off limits, but I guess I’m still trying to figure out what works best for me when it comes to maintaining good eating habits. Certain things I acknowledge and don’t try to completely change, like my tendency to snack at night. Instead of imposing a No Eating After Dusk rule or whatever, I allow myself healthy options like cut-up vegetables or yogurt. Similarly, I could just adjust the portions of bread I eat and the frequency, but for some reason it’s often easier to just exclude it as a menu choice altogether. Maybe because I don’t want a tiny piece of bread, I want HALF A LOAF OF WONDER BREAD. With peanut butter. And butter. And, um, honey.

This, by the way, is the same reason I can’t eat a quarter-cup of ice cream, a solitary M&M, or a small handful of chips. Because allowing myself less than what I want doesn’t make the craving go away, it just makes it worse.

Do you find that it’s more challenging to control the portions of the foods that you’re trying to eat in moderation, or to avoid them completely?

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I'm 34, and I live in a Seattle suburb with my family. Our foursome includes my husband, the many-adjective'd JB, and our sons Riley and Dylan. In addition to my day job at a Mac software company and that whole wrangling-two-children thing, I&#39

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