Weight Loss Support - The lure of the leftovers




View Full Version : The lure of the leftovers


Areia
10-29-2009, 01:56 PM
Meh - between having a cold and having a fridge full of leftovers from my husband's birthday party, my carefully laid diet plan isn't doing so well. I'm fine while I'm at work and eating what I planned for, but then I get home. Let's just say dinner last night involved pretzels and cream cheese frosting. (That's um... dairy and grain right - so it's good for me? ;) )

A lot of the food ended up in both of our offices to be left in the break room for the vulture-like coworkers to descend on. But it definitely drives home the point that I'm really quite bad at convincing myself to eat the right things when tastier alternatives are available.


beerab
10-29-2009, 03:15 PM
Oh yeah leftovers are hard to resist- specially cuz I LOVE THEM!

I now take stuff to work or if it's a party send it out with people. At work it's gone in less than an hour and it's not on my hips! :D

CHUNKEY_MUNKEY
10-29-2009, 03:53 PM
omg seriously thinking about pretlzels and cream cheese frosting now .... ughhh


Glory87
10-29-2009, 04:15 PM
Don't keep anything at home you can't handle. Send people home with the leftovers or immediately pitch. If you must keep it at home, put it in an opaque container, out of line of sight.

For example, I've had half a pack of chocolate chip morsels tucked into a mixing bowl at the top of my cabinets for over a year. I really did just forget it was there! (leftover from chocolate chip waffles for my boyfriend's birthday last October!)

thisisnotatest
10-29-2009, 05:30 PM
I don't know why we feel like we have to keep stuff around.
The trash is a fine place for stuff you don't want anymore.

Its also funny about work food-half the posts are from people struggling to avoid the food coworkers bring in and the other half is people bringing food into work so the coworkers eat it instead of them

Well, the jig is up, no-one wants the food-just toss it in the garbage where it belongs ;)

JustBeckyV
10-29-2009, 07:10 PM
I agree -- just get rid of it!!

Areia
10-29-2009, 09:17 PM
Throwing things out isn't an option in my mind. I've always done volunteer work and I've met far too many people who would give anything for some of the stuff a lot of people throw away. Plus the tree-hugger in me really can't justify wasting resources like that.

It's not just about food either. I won't throw out anything that's still usable. I hate clutter, so I make sure to find a home for the things I don't need anymore, but in a city the size of Chicago I've yet to find an item I can't get rid of on Craigslist or FreeCycle.

But to get back to the point, I do agree on not keeping the stuff around when it's tempting. I do take things into work, but I don't push them one people. Anyway, working in the tech industry I'm surrounded by young guys who will gladly eat whatever's on offer, so I don't feel too bad about it.

I think I just noticed it more this time around because I was sick and eating the leftovers was easier than finding homes for them and cooking healthy things from scratch. Fortunately my husband volunteered to cook lamb chops tonight, so I guess I'll leave the frosting alone. ;)

ringmaster
10-29-2009, 11:04 PM
Areia, I'm a tightwad and frugal and don't like wasting food or anything. I would (and still do sometimes- I'm slowly breaking out of that mindset). As others have said here to me, it's garbage in your body that turns to fat or it's garbage in the trash that won't make you fat... you have to decide YOU are more important than leftovers.

JulieJ08
10-29-2009, 11:16 PM
I think if you need to throw things away, and it bothers you, you can make changes to keep from having things to throw away. That's constructive.

But once things are there, eating them just because accomplishes nothing. At least, nothing positive. It doesn't even keep it from happening again.

screamingfatgirl
10-30-2009, 07:17 AM
Meh - between having a cold and having a fridge full of leftovers from my husband's birthday party, my carefully laid diet plan isn't doing so well. I'm fine while I'm at work and eating what I planned for, but then I get home. Let's just say dinner last night involved pretzels and cream cheese frosting. (That's um... dairy and grain right - so it's good for me? ;) )

A lot of the food ended up in both of our offices to be left in the break room for the vulture-like coworkers to descend on. But it definitely drives home the point that I'm really quite bad at convincing myself to eat the right things when tastier alternatives are available.

My approach has been to not put any food off-limits, but to only eat small portions of things which are not healthy. A loss of control generally means I haven't eaten enough better food and I get hungry later and go for what is quick, easy and tastiest.

I'd recommend making sure you allot your calories in such a way that you can sample the goodies (two or three bites) and make sure you eat a good meal high in protein and with some fat in it on the evening when the food is around. Also, try to remember that most of the enjoyment of any food comes on the first bite with diminishing returns after that. Your taste buds get acclimated to the flavor and you enjoy each subsequent bite less. That being the case, having one bite that you savor slowly is more meaningful than wolfing down a lot of something. If you find yourself eating a lot, it's likely real hunger or a compulsion.

In my case, my husband has had Reese's peanut butter cups and a 1 lb. box of See's candy around since I started looking after my diet and telling myself I can have anything I want if I want it tends to be enough to not make me decide to have it (this goes more smoothly after the first month when biologically induced sugar cravings are no longer an issue). If I'm full and want something sweet, I usually just have something small and eat it slow - like half a peanut butter cup (though I actually never ate them). This works quite well. If you ate a meal and said you could have one small portion, you might be less likely to dive in late at night. Of course, each person is different and my approach may not work for you.

canadianwoman
10-30-2009, 07:31 AM
Frosting has no nutritional value. Toss it.

Glory87
10-30-2009, 11:44 AM
I'd recommend making sure you allot your calories in such a way that you can sample the goodies (two or three bites) and make sure you eat a good meal high in protein and with some fat in it on the evening when the food is around. Also, try to remember that most of the enjoyment of any food comes on the first bite with diminishing returns after that. Your taste buds get acclimated to the flavor and you enjoy each subsequent bite less. That being the case, having one bite that you savor slowly is more meaningful than wolfing down a lot of something. If you find yourself eating a lot, it's likely real hunger or a compulsion.

In my case, my husband has had Reese's peanut butter cups and a 1 lb. box of See's candy around since I started looking after my diet and telling myself I can have anything I want if I want it tends to be enough to not make me decide to have it (this goes more smoothly after the first month when biologically induced sugar cravings are no longer an issue). If I'm full and want something sweet, I usually just have something small and eat it slow - like half a peanut butter cup (though I actually never ate them). This works quite well. If you ate a meal and said you could have one small portion, you might be less likely to dive in late at night. Of course, each person is different and my approach may not work for you.

This issue comes up a lot - I just want to say for me, I can't take 2-3 bites and then stop. 2-3 bites makes me desperately want to eat more and more and more, it's like a spark in a dry forest. Certain foods have this effect on me more than others, my "trigger" foods are - cold cereal, chips, crackers, baked goods, donuts, cookies.

One single bite of a cupcake with frosting - my mouth fills with saliva and I want to eat the cupcake as fast as possible. And then, I want another cupcake, I usually get a very hollow, empty, needy feeling after eating empty carbs. A strange hunger that feels impossible to sate. So, I tend to avoid those kinds of foods - I don't like how it makes me feel.

Some foods don't have this effect on me. For example, last night I had 1/5 of a dark chocolate/sea salt candy bar. It was great and I had no problem stopping with a small piece of the bar (there are still 3/5 pieces left).

I'm all for people discovering what makes them tick. If you're a 2-3 bite person, that's great. If you find out that a little bit of an offplan food triggers you to eat more than you want, that's very powerful knowledge and a tool in your toolbelt.

Tomato
10-30-2009, 12:04 PM
Areia,

I applaud you for saying that throwing stuff out is not an option and that you hate wasting resources. I am a firm believer in both of the above concepts and I cringe when I see how readily people suggest to dispose of food into a garbage bin.

Yes, I know it's hard to resist the "the call of the wild" (as I call it) and leave those leftovers alone. Figure out a strategy that would work best for you. If you are sick at home, pack the leftovers for the husband to take them to his workplace. Share with neighbours. Freeze what you can. Have only a small portion of the stuff that is not so good for you (unless it triggers a craving Glory described).

I can promise you that over time, it will get easier to resist and leave those things where they are, but it may not be this month, maybe not next month, but you will get there eventually.

I sit at work with donuts of every single flavour just a reach away. I planned to bake healthy muffins for coworkers as a Halloween treat, but I, too, have a cold and had to spend last night in bed. Fortunately, I already had a batch of about 19 muffins that I had made the previous weekend (frozen in the freezers). So on my way to work this morning, I bought two dozen donuts and about 50 timbits and there are still plenty of leftovers sitting less than 10 feet away. I am completely ignoring them. I did have 2 muffins but they are much smaller than regular muffins and very healthy with no sugar in them and hardly any flower and contain protein (the recipe is from the Body For Life mailing list). So no big deal.
The donuts will be sitting here until somebody picks up the last one. They don't bother me because I know it won't be me.

Trudiha
10-30-2009, 12:06 PM
I am not a 2/3 bite kind of a person, fortunately, neither are my dogs.

rockinrobin
10-30-2009, 12:13 PM
Unfortunately me eating some food (not throwing it away) that I don't need doesn't help starving people. I'd rather throw it in the trash can then BE the trash can.

IMO it is way more wasteful to eat foods that are bad for your health or when not hungry. *MY* health, that would be the health of my childrens mom, is of the utmost of importance to me and THAT is what I have control over. If I have difficulty resisting certain foods that are sitting in my home, I feel the best decision is to get rid of it. I must set myself up for success. MUST. I am/was/am a compulsive overeater which has deadly consequences. I will take whatever steps necessary to ensure that I don't fall back into bad habits. That is my priority. It has to be.

Oh and ditto, ditto and more ditto to what Glory said. "Sampling goodies" would be the very worst thing for me. Certain foods send me into a feeding frenzy. A horrible feeling of I can't shovel it in my mouth fast enough. There is no satiation point for me. That feeling only occurs upon having that first bite. My solution - avoid that first bite. Took me years to figure that one out - keep it simple stupid (duh Robin :dizzy:).

midwife
10-30-2009, 12:42 PM
Areia, I hear what you are saying about waste. Food does use resources and we are so forunate to have access to it. It is wasteful to throw it away. But I look at it in that it is also wasteful if I eat what I don't need. Either way, the food is not being used appropriately. In my body, however, it creates harm. Socking away cream cheese frosting calories on my behind would be wasteful too....my body doesn't need it.

Does anyone else remember the movie Labyrinth? At one point, the girl comes across someone who lives in a junkyard and carries around all of this stuff. This person starts loading the girl up with stuff and junk too until she is physically impaired by what she is carrying.

That's how I try to view leftovers/junk food. Do I want to carry it in/on my body? Strain my heart, arteries? There's so much evidence showing how some foods increase the risk of cancers, illnesses, etc. The waste of my health is a far greater waste.

Areia
10-30-2009, 02:02 PM
I agree with the posters saying that eating leftovers just to avoid wasting them is a bad idea. I saw my grandmother doing plenty of that, even with foods she didn't like, and I don't think it makes sense. Instead, as some you said, I make sure to have good strategies in place to avoid ending up with tub of frosting in the fridge - they just broke down because I was too sick to organize.

By now, a few days into feeling better, the remaining leftovers have been distributed to others. The pretzels are divided into sensible portions. The errant frosting has been combined with the leftover cake and frozen into cakeballs to be taken to a friend's party next weekend, where they can help build someone else's hips. (I suppose I could defrost them and tempt myself, but at that point it's easier to just eat one of my healthy snacks).

So no, I'm still not throwing anything out. I don't expect anyone else to live by my rules, but I know that I have better ways of avoiding temptation than throwing food away.

weebleswobble
10-30-2009, 02:27 PM
It's very nice that you hosted a party for other people, but it's unfortunate that the leftovers remained in your home. Our whole household has covenanted to eat healthily. My husband has the ability to "cheat" when my daughter and I can't see him (he's "skinny" but flabby vegetarian) so we are not tempted or undercut by his cheating. If other people eat in our home, they eat what we eat, period, because it is our home. It's really no different than being a no-smoking house or a no-alcohol house. We happen to be a house where we eat food for nourishment, not entertainment or comfort. There are establishments that serve all kinds of food where all our needs can be met, so we meet people there. Likewise, if we go to someone else's house, we don't expect that our needs will necessarily be met there.

I understand that you don't want to waste the food, but why shoot yourself in the foot keeping it in your fridge? Call PADS, put a note out on Craigslist, take the food to work. Frosting (even one little lick) isn't a food you can eat on any diet that I know of, so why are you keeping it in your fridge for one minute longer than you have to? That's just torture! Make your home your safe haven, your sanctuary, your refuge. When you open your fridge, it should be filled with wonderful, wholesome options, not pitfalls and stumbling blocks.