I noticed a few months ago that five extra pounds had settled onto my pint-sized frame and I could not move the needle on the bathroom scale, even when I made the supreme sacrifice of skipping dessert for a couple of days.
I began to fuss about it, blaming my metabolism, my sedentary job, and the stress of the recent presidential election.
My husband, the truth teller AKA excuse slayer, interjected, “Molly, you eat a lot. (He said ‘a lot’ with ‘a lot’ of emphasis). Have you noticed you eat more than I do?”
“Whoa!” I countered, “When you leave perfectly good food on your plate that is too little to save but too much to waste, what am I supposed to do with it?”
But the truth of his words burrowed into my cellulite.
I am a volume eater.
I like the feeling of an overstretched stomach. Couple that with speed eating, perfected from years working as a nurse with a 7-½ minute lunch ‘hour,’ and I think you can understand the enormity of my problem.
I knew I had to employ tricks to eat in bulk, yet cut calories. I looked to the experts and tried proven strategies.
The plate method. This is a simple concept of filling half of your plate with low-calorie options like lettuce or broccoli, ¼ with lean protein and ¼ with a healthy starch. This seemed like the perfect solution until Patrick queried, “Molly, do you think a turkey platter is the best choice for this technique?”
When you want something sweet, eat fruit. After dinner, I notoriously crave something sweet, so instead of scooping Ben and Jerry’s, I sliced an apple and savored every morsel. It was difficult to transition from the tartness of the apple to the creamy sweetness of the ice cream but I did a stellar job. Patrick observed, “Molly, do you think this means eat fruit AND dessert?” I quipped, “Won’t the fruit cancel the calories in the ice cream? And what about the legion of calories I burned crunching on that Mac?”
When eating out, eat half of all servings. Patrick and I went to Geaghan’s Irish Pub recently and we split an order of house wings, though Patrick believes I ate two more than he did. Serves him right for going to the bathroom leaving me alone. I always eat more when I’m lonely.
Anyway, I decided to try their homemade bread pudding for dessert, and when it arrived I asked for a take home box. I scooped half into the box while I ate the other half mindfully, resting my spoon on the table between bites.
When I finished Patrick was still eating wings he had hidden behind the napkin holder. It was boring to watch him eat so I decided to take a bite of my sequestered pudding. Which led to another bite. Was it my imagination or did Styrofoam make it more delicious? I don’t know how it happened but I found myself staring at two empty pudding vessels.
Patrick blabbed, “The server who brought the container just saw you eat the second half.” Embarrassed I acted quickly and plunked my crumpled napkin in the container, creating the perfect illusion that it enclosed a half serving. When it was time to leave, I clutched my crock of deception and gave our server an airy wave goodbye.
Not to be defeated I have contrived a sure-fire way to kick-start my weight loss progress. I’m eating three fewer bites of each meal.
I wonder how long it will take Patrick to notice I’m using serving tongs.
Are you a volume eater like me? What are your failsafe weight loss tips?
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