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Are You Moderate?

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Old 10-14-2006, 08:21 AM   #1
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Default Are You Moderate?

I was washing windows this week, which gave me lots of time to reflect on the whole weight loss/maintenance thing. And I was thinking about the whole question of 'moderation' ... you know, the conventional wisdom that we need to include all foods in our diets, that no food should be off limits, that it's just a question of portion control, yadda yadda.

And I was thinking about how that does NOT work for me! There are some foods that I simply can't have without going overboard and eating too much, like sweets and desserts. I do so much better when I never take the first bite of a long list of foods because it's all downhill from that first bite. It sets off a vicious cycle of craving and binging.

I'm the person for whom 'one cookie is too many and a dozen aren't enough'.

I guess this goes along with the thread about breaking the rules because I don't ever think I'll be a person of moderation when it comes to food. But I'm curious - what about you guys? Can you eat one cookie and stop? One dessert and not be obsessed with a second piece? Does moderation work for you?
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:19 AM   #2
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I hear ya! I simply cannot go near ice cream. It doesn't fill me up and I can easily eat an entire half gallon in one sitting...and have many times Moderation with ice cream would never work for me at all so I stay away from it completely "most" of the time. The times I do decide to eat it, I just log it into my fitday and try to even it out through the week. It is the one real addiction I have.
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Old 10-14-2006, 11:35 AM   #3
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I'm not moderate at all when it comes to my food. There are many foods that I simply don't eat anymore because I have no control with them. Pizza, chips, pasta, cookies, cake just to name a few. Just a small amount of these isn't enough for me. I'd rather not have any of these at all. Moderation may work for some people, but it's best that I avoid it.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:05 PM   #4
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Well, I'm the odd one out here. I am moderate in what I eat. I have very few "trigger" foods. With Thanksgiving coming up, I know that there will be pies around (we're in charge of baking the pies for our dinner). I love pie. I can eat just one small slice and turn away the following day. There is ice cream in the freezer and I only give into that once every 2 or 3 months. I have crackers in the pantry and can go weeks without popping one in my mouth (I used to pop handfuls). Last night, I had a glass of red wine (usually a trigger) and am very happy to report that I had only 1 1/2 glasses! Usually one glass leads to another and another and another and I realize that the bottle is empty. I still have 3/4 bottle left! I'm very proud of that!

I do have to say that I have no cookies in the house--and I rarely buy them these days. I used to buy packages for DS to take to school, but he's buying school lunch this year, so no need to buy them. When I did buy them, I would eat a package myself every few weeks. I think (but don't know for sure) that if I bought a whole package, it would take weeks for the family (and me) to eat them all. I would probably be able to limit myself to 1 or 2 per day, though. I dislike most chips, so having them around isn't a problem for me. I did buy tortilla chips to have with the chili I made last week, but I didn't eat too many of them for it to have been a problem. I'm making pizza tonight (the kids actually prefer my homemade on whole wheat rather than Dominos!) and since I make it so much healthier, I feel little guilt eating it. But I still don't go overboard.

Now, what am I going to do with the Oreo Cheesecake that is in my freezer (bought from the neighbor kid for a school fundraiser)? Methinks it will stay frozen until my parents arrive for Thanksgiving. Then it will be thawed, we'll all have a slice and my parents will polish it off. They won't get up from the dinner table without dessert first. Ick.!!
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:05 PM   #5
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Great thread!
I have been testing my moderation abilities since day 1. I occasionally buy DH cookies/tortilla chips etc. because he needs a treat now and again.
I try to have just 'one'....sometimes I am successful at stopping - other times I have to get him to hide the remainder, or have him finish them off.

I would love to be able to keep things in the pantry without triggering a binge.

I am proud to say I do have a bag of choclate truffles that have been in the cupboard since last Christmas. They remain unopened....and I know they taste like heaven!!!

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Old 10-14-2006, 12:47 PM   #6
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I can handle moderation in very controlled situations - like splitting a chocolate dessert in a restaurant with 2 friends. It's a social situation, so I can't eat too fast, I can't eat more than my share and when it's finished, it's finished (unlike a big bag of Oreos eaten in private). I can also get a single scoop of ice cream in a cup (although I don't do this very often) from an ice cream place and take it with me. I couldn't have a big container of ice cream at home!


Otherwise, no. I can't handle moderation at all. If I eat one cookie, I want 10. I couldn't eat one chip or one pretzel or one french fry. I can't keep trigger foods in the house (ice cream, cold cereal, cookies). I have to be careful with foods like trail mix, which I could easily binge on.

I still hate buffet situations or the times at work they send us off to a big meeting with a huge table in the back loaded with delicious snacky foods. I survive buffets by making very strict rules "One plate, no return visits."

Trust me, I wish I could belong to the moderation crowd. I would love to be able to have one "fun size" snicker bar and stop. I would love to be able to open a box of Cheez-its and take 1 serving and stop. I would love to be able to eat a single square of cheese or a single scoop of ice cream out of the container. I haven't had candy (except for small squares of excellent dark chocolate) since July 2004, I don't trust myself!

I have to admit, I am doing much better than I ever thought I would. I have dried cranberries in the house (1/4 cup for salads) and I don't touch them except for salads. I have peanut butter in the house, but I get some every morning on toast, so I'm not tempted to go after it with a spoon. I have a container of cashews (add a few to stir fries) and I don't get into it.

I just know where my danger zones are (cookies, cold cereal, packaged baked goods, brownies, scones, chips, ice cream, french fries) and avoid them completely in "unsafe" situations. Unsafe being - sitting home alone.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
Can you eat one cookie and stop? One dessert and not be obsessed with a second piece? Does moderation work for you?

No. Way.

I have never been able to limit my intake of sweets or "bad carbs", although even now I'll fool myself into thinking I can. I always regret it, because I end up either bingeing or just feeling horrible overall because of the junk in my system.

Now, to print out this answer and keep it where I can see it when PMS cravings hit!
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:54 PM   #8
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I have to work very very hard at moderation. But I find it VERY dependent on the food.

Some foods I can only get in a controlled situation--like Glory's example with the cake. I also like the vending machine for this reason. Since some foods only come in single-serving containers as far as I'm concerned (ice cream, pb cups, certain chips), I can occasionally get a single candy bar, or smallish pack of chips and enjoy it.

Other foods I'm only moderately obsessive about and I can either buy a pack of single serve items (most 100 cal packs, "diet" fudge bars, granola bars) or immediately divide it up into single serve ziplocks when I get home (some chips, snack crackers). Once in a while I'll overdo these, but not so often.

Some things I like but just do OK with for some reason, anything with mint (including chocolate and ice cream), dark chocolate kisses, most cold cereal, peanut butter, and I can trust myself with it in the house.

Some things I put into the doesn't matter category. I've been known to eat an entire bunch of grapes or a head of cauliflower or giant bowl of air popped popcorn. It is hard to do a lot of damage with that.

And there are things that other people love that I have to work to eat a lot of, especially anything with a lot of meat.

Plus, I am not afraid to throw food away (in my own home) if I'm having an issue with it. I figure it is better to use the trash can than to be the trash can. Either way that food isn't doing anybody any good.

I know my issues, control my environment for the most part and do pretty well. The hardest part for me is at work, where people bring in Costco-sized tubs of chocolate and licorice and you-name-it, and I really have a hard time with that. 90% of my off-plan eating is at work, even though I spend less than half my waking day there. I have rules which I routinely violate there--the 15 minute rule (wait at least 15 minutes and then worry about it), the 3 things rule (figure out 3 things to do other than eating that, and do one of them), and the NO WORK FOOD rule (only eat what I bring or buy). These do tend to work when I use them.

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Old 10-14-2006, 02:01 PM   #9
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Anne, I have been meaning to tell you this for the longest, but you just have the GREATEST smile! Every time I see your avatar I can't help but smile myself.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #10
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I have to say that I am moderate. There are no "off limits" foods for me, though I do measure and count out the calories of everything I eat.

The only semi "trigger" food I have would be any kind of chips. To limit my intake, I stick to those great 100 calorie packs, or in their absence, carefully count out a single serving and put the bag away.

My basic philosophy is that there are no good foods or bad foods, its all in the amount that you eat. The "calories in, calories out" formula works well for me. Too much of anything is not good.

My two cents.

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Old 10-14-2006, 07:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callystia View Post
Anne, I have been meaning to tell you this for the longest, but you just have the GREATEST smile! Every time I see your avatar I can't help but smile myself.
Thanks Callystia! The avatar just happens to be the single best picture ever taken of me. I'm usually quite grumpy, moan a lot, and use a lot of unattractive language, but keep smiling anyway. It helps.

Anne
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Old 10-14-2006, 07:41 PM   #12
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Hm... I think nowadays I can say I can eat most things in moderation. When I lost weight originally (10 years ago) I couldn't have any of the "forbidden" foods in moderation. I just couldn't. Especially chocolate. But I've worked on it because I thought I couldn't live in a bubble. There'd be times when I would have to face temptation and function like a "normal" person. So I started slowly. I knew chocolate was my number 1 trigger food, but I also knew I couldn't live without it so I started buying big bars of it and bringing it home (something along the lines of the Overcoming Overeating philosophy) and I have to say it worked. It did work. I VERY rarely binge on chocolate these days. In my first years of maintenance I'd go through endless binge-diet cycles. Nowadays I'm much more in control. But things aren't perfect, and I'm 10 pounds above goal (and desperately trying to lose them with no success, but that's another rant for another post)... so I'd say I can be moderate only 80% of the time or so... or I wouldn't have gained.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:49 AM   #13
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A big NO from me. The lad is in big trouble for buying those fig newtons
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Old 10-15-2006, 12:28 PM   #14
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I do pretty well with buffets. I can go and have the baked chicken, brocolli and a salad with diet coke or unsweetened tea and feel satisfied. I never was one to want to "pig out" in public. I'd do that more at home. I can have a nice dinner with my DH and us share a piece of dessert and leave some of it on the plate. What I can't do is have open cookies, candy, cake or such on the counter at home. It beckons me until it's gone. When DH brings these home, I am OK as long as I put them away and don't have to see them out. What I try to always do is when faced with food that could be hard for me to resist is fill up on salad first. We have went for pizza only once in 15 months and I had a salad first and restricted myself to 2 slices. We used to order pizza every Tuesday and I would eat half of a lg. one, plus breadsticks with ranch dressing and a large moutain dew. Since starting this lifestyle change, I know I've had some chips twice and they were fat-free pringles while at the lake. Even though I try to keep my carbs low, if it's possible, I also keep my fat grams down. I think peanut butter is probably my biggest weakness. I don't use bread with it, I just eat a spoonful of it when I have a sweets craving.
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:47 PM   #15
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Moderation is getting easier with some things, sometimes ...

My trigger foods seem to change... I don't get triggered with cookies anymore, although I cannot just eat one, it's gotta be 3, years ago it used to be 15+... Same with granola bars I cannot just eat one it's just gotta be 3, silly I know, and still too many in my book, at atleast 90 calories a pop, it's just way too many empty calories... Whereas a few years ago it was the whole box.

I just remembered a trigger I had a few weeks ago that I thought I had gotten over, muffin batter, I made oatmeal muffins for the kids and ate most of the batter before they made it to the oven... I hadn't baked in an extremely long time, and will not bake again for just as long...

I think intuitive eating and moderation go hand in hand, I cannot do either one, unfortunately...
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