Weight Loss Support - When you have to attend events where you have no food choice

04-21-2009, 02:56 PM
How do you handle being in situations when you have no food selection. My son had an award banquet last night. It was catered with only one selection of food. I didn't want to take my meal with me as that would embarrass my son. I hate to get a plate of food and just pick at it and then throw it away as that is wasteful.

How do you handle being in situations where you are "stuck" with the food put before you.

04-21-2009, 03:01 PM
I'm doing very low carb so I've just had to learn to be a pushy broad about it. In most restaurants and pre-prepared meal or party situations, I simply can't eat what everyone else is having and I refuse to go off-plan just because staying on-plan is inconvenient. I know some folks can do portion control or count calories to balance it out; I can't. So I just suck it up and bring food with me. Honestly it's never become an issue...I think it's more us being embarrassed than anyone really thinking anything of it. You're living a healthier lifestyle ~ be proud! :)

04-21-2009, 03:08 PM
Use you may eat the food so you aren't being wasteful, but in the long run it will still be waistful. Sorry, my health and body are more important to me. Depending on what it was, I'd eat what I could and waste the rest or I'd eat before I go and not take a meal - food allergies are a good excuse.

04-21-2009, 03:09 PM
Well, I'd change how I viewed the food and how I felt about being wasteful. You weren't given a choice on the menu. And the plate was brought to you, so that choice was taken out of your hands as well. But you had the choice about eating it or not. If you chose to eat a little or a lot, that's all you're responsible for, to yourself only.

You are not responsible in any way, to anyone, for what is done with it when the plate is taken away. That's entirely someone else's responsibility. Just enjoy your time with your son, in the moment.


04-21-2009, 03:10 PM
I try to be very picky about what I eat. If they have good choices then I load my plate with those good choices. If not then I just pick through it and end up throwing away a plate of food. I'd rather throw it away than have it hanging about on my hips, which is where it would eventually end up.

04-21-2009, 03:20 PM
I agree with all of the above. And my view on waste? Waste the food or waste another meal/day you could have been on plan and true to yourself. Not a real difficult choice, is it?

04-21-2009, 03:52 PM
If it's a buffet, I'm not ashamed to just select very little.

I'm going to dinner with the army next week (woohoo) and I think it's silver service at the table - choice of eat or not eat. I'm happy to say no to veggies if they're swimming in butter, I don't eat the roll on the sideplate, I'm happy not to eat dessert and to drink water. It can all be done with a smile and without drawing attention to oneself by moping about it! (Sorry, didn't mean to imply that anyone here did mope loudly about it but boy, do I have a friend that does!\0

Mrs Snark
04-21-2009, 04:04 PM
I eat before I go. No need to eat or waste food I don't want.

04-21-2009, 05:08 PM
Oh, yes; A month from now I am attending an anniversary party where the restaurant's sit-down dinner choice will likely be meat lasagna or vegetarian lasagna.

I'll just eat a couple modest inches of it. It's inevitable that the plate (more than my daily calories) will be huge and thus it will still look like I ate none of it -- but this makes it easier in a way. I'm not going to make a worthy dent, so why bother? Also inevitably, there is at least one in-law who will make a big deal about whether or not I like it, etc. I'll surely end up sweetly conceding that I must still be getting over that mysterious thing I had the week before ...

Sad that I'll lie to excuse 'only' eating say, 2 servings of heavily-sauced/cheese'd pasta. But it's just easier and any resulting fuss is better
(and more short-lived) than diet-related fuss.

04-21-2009, 05:19 PM
Depends on the situation. I was with family after a funeral service this weekend, and the food ordered was pizza and wings. I ate moderate amounts of pizza and wings...at that point, the calories were less important than the group bonding experience honoring the relative who'd passed away. Likewise, my company does it's annual party, always, at an Italian restaurant, and the food is always the same - chicken parm, fettucini alfredo, and fried mozzarella play big roles. Bringing my own food would be damaging career-wise, so I load up on the healthier choices (tons of salad, green beans, veggies from the crudite) and take small amounts of one of the higher-cal entrees.

At events that aren't so emotionally or strategically loaded, I either eat only the healthy options on the plate and get something healthy on my own later, or eat before the event.

04-21-2009, 05:26 PM
Well, honestly I've not yet managed how to work with these so I'm just posting my support and understanding.
I hate when I'm in a situation that requires me to eat what I am given and not follow my diet, I get told things like 'hey, it's just one day!'. Yes, it's just one day, but I don't want to cheat it, if I wanted it'd be ok, but I don't want it!! Anyways, the only solution I have found is picking just what I want, I know it's a waste of food, but it's not good for me, then I don't eat it. Otherwise, if I can skip the event I just do it, but my social life didn't improve at all.

04-21-2009, 05:48 PM
Honestly, I usually just go with it and try to do the best I can. I eat my veggies first, protein second (if it's a piece of meat... if it's mixed in a pasta it's harder), and then a few bites of the starch whether it be potato or pasta or bread.

It is possible to eat beforehand and then just pick at the food, especially if it's something you don't want or isn't very good. Don't feel bad for throwing away food! It's better than having it attach itself to your tummy/thighs/hips... :lol:

04-21-2009, 06:17 PM
Also, with restaurants, the people you are dining with will not rest until they see you walk away with the food in a box. So readily agree, and then just throw it away or give it to a homeless person if you're in then city!

I realize I sound like a big coward. But I just do what I gotta do for my plan. It's never worth getting into it with relatives, who will never agree.

For that matter -- anyone else find that telling others you are eating healthily (or ugh, on a 'diet') is just disaster? I have not done that this time. My mom noticed at Christmas, and so I've acknowledged it to her in later conversations. But other than that, people knowing that I'm being "healthy" just means that they'll loudly expect to see me chow down 5-7+ servings of high caloric restaurant salad or Aunt Jean's broccoli casserole -- and be insulted when I don't. Why subject myself to opinions and expectations I strongly disagree with when I can quietly eat just one slice of Pizza Hut thin crust veggie pizza without anyone noticing, and stay On Plan. And the plan is what I care about ...

04-21-2009, 06:27 PM
I would have to eat before I went and sit there without the food...if it's delivered to your table offer it to someone else :)

It's going to turn into to waste if you eat it or not & why work yourself more to over come something you ate just for the sake of not throwing it away?

04-21-2009, 07:49 PM
Eat a sensible portion of the foods, concentrating on the healthier, more weight-loss-friendly items, and let the rest go. This is not the time to clean your plate over some idea of not being "wasteful."

It really does help to learn that you do not have to eat something just because someone put it on a plate and set it in front of you.


04-21-2009, 08:32 PM
I would eat before I go to be sure that I did not give in because of hunger pains. Then if I needed to pick at the food and throw it away, I would not worry about it. You are not a human garbage disposal.

04-21-2009, 11:48 PM
Good topic, I've been in the situation before and it's great to read how you all handle it. I also think it's great how you all have the mind set it's ok to waste food- that's a mindset I have to change.

I wonder what if you are really hungry, is it better to eat a little something you shouldn't or wait till you can get something healthier? Like I try to eat 3 meals a day with 2 snacks...what if I didn't have a chance to eat before hand? Or should I stock some healthy snack in my purse to tide me over till I can get a healthy meal?

04-22-2009, 10:38 AM
ringmaster, I think that nuts and seeds were designed to fill that function - I can keep a ziploc bag of almonds in my desk (10 almonds = 71 calories) for weeks. They're small, portable, don't mind some time in the hot weather, and have the combination of protein, fiber and good fats to be very satisfying in tiny amounts. mmmm!

04-22-2009, 11:13 AM
Eat before, make the best choices you can, have no guilt about throwing away stuff you won't eat.

What is waste? I was at an obesity presentation a few weeks ago and the speaker said that obese people have a shorter life span by about 7-10 years compared to their "normal" weight counterparts. Losing 7 to 10 years is a far greater waste than throwing away some banquet food.

04-22-2009, 01:43 PM
I, too, am in a situation where not eating food can be damaging to my career/professional connections (I work in the restaurant industry, and there's no surer way to p*ss off a chef then by refusing to eat their food). I'm calorie counting, so I just plan my week in advance and acknowledge that I'm going to eat X calories on that day and then Y the rest of the days. I find that if I work on a weekly schedule, rather than a daily schedule, I'm happier and more satisfied each and every day. So I have an average number of calories to eat daily and divide them throughout the week, not going below 1200 calories any day, and eating Z calories on average each day. I'm not losing tons of weight fast, but I'm doing what I have to in order to survive (and thrive in) the rest of my life :)

04-22-2009, 02:32 PM
I don't eat meat, dairy, and a few other things so vegetarian options probably wouldn't cover my diet needs. So, if it is an event where I simply cannot bring something to share with people, then I would eat before and hope for a salad option. I don't like making a fuss about my needs anyhow. I'll stick with ice cold water or whatever, but you could have a handy snack in your purse that you can whip out later when no one is looking! ;)

Lori Bell
04-22-2009, 02:48 PM
TheWalrus and I take a similar approach and it works very nicely. Plan! Save up a few extra calories for the event. A nice little trick I learned from my old days at WW. "Optional calories and floater" I don't want to sit there and stare at a plate of food while everyone around is enjoying a nice dinner, therefore I plan. Most times I know at least a week in advance that I'm to attend a special event. *USUALLY* I know what is going to be served, you can almost always find out in advance. If necessary, use the excuse of allergies or food intolerances...lie or what ever works to find out if you don't want to tell the world that you are trying to eat healthfully. Last night it was the wrestling club hamburger feed, last week it was the cub scouts lasagna supper, last month it was the firemen's soup supper...I planed for each so that I could eat with my family/friends without sticking out like a sore thumb. I knew last night I was going to be served a hamburger, so I made sure I had enough calories for a 4 oz (average cooked patty) burger w/bun and a couple extra 100 for a possible side dish. I stuck an apple and a yogurt in my car. Well, there were chips and cookies to go with the hamburger, so I just ate the burger and on the way home I ate my apple, and I had the yogurt as a snack before bed. I ate, socialized, didn't embarrass my son and felt good.

Planning is the key. I've never been in the dark about what was going to be served except once, but still was able to enjoy *some* food and gave the rest to my 16 year old son who is a slim bottomless pit.


04-22-2009, 09:24 PM
Great responses. All work for one or another.

The food not eaten is going to the dumpster anyway....so really no waste.

In these situations I would plan the best I could ahead of time if possible, as in eating a something healthy before as mentioned. Then just deal with it the best I could with what there is offered.

I totally agree with the no-cheating responses but I also know that there are going to be many-many days to make up for those few extra calories taken in.

If it's me... I'm going to go...eat...enjoy the time with my kid and, if I have to...take on an extra mile tomorrow.

SO~ How was the banquet?

04-22-2009, 10:21 PM
I'd eat REALLY REALLY slowly. And talk a lot. Then people will think I'm eating more than I actually am! Haha!

04-22-2009, 11:51 PM
I'd eat REALLY REALLY slowly. And talk a lot. Then people will think I'm eating more than I actually am! Haha!

yes, the old eat slowly..,,and take small bites trick so when everyone is finished you are only half finished and can just stop because everyone else has.

04-23-2009, 12:15 AM
I had a similar situation a couple of days ago and can only reiterate what everyone is saying about not feeling obliged to eat. It is better to be healthy than to eat garbage. Still, I know how you feel but it does get easier.

Instead, eat your 'real' meal ahead of time but cut it down by say a hundred calories. Then when you get to the hosted dinner, eat enough to be polite but not all of it. This saved me! The meal I was supposed to eat was chicken in a mushroom and cream sauce with pasta and green beans. It was heavy on the grease and tasted awful. I ate the green beans (which were acceptable) and a few bites of the chicken.

Nobody asked why I didn't finish my meal but I had already decided to say I was recovering from a stomach bug. There were more than a few people who didn't finish, so I suppose I was in good company!


04-23-2009, 12:19 AM
Honestly, I agree with the others... you can bring your own food, or just ask for sparkling water or a diet soda or something or choose not to eat at all.

You may not always get to "choose" your food, but you definitely always can choose what you put in your mouth!! ;)

~ tea