Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Diet: Abstinence Eating Plan-No second helpings, no clean plate club

Variety of cheeses on serving platter
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For April (I did start April 1, I just didn’t write about it), I decided to not omit a food group but instead to not have second helpings and to not clean my plate or to leave some food on my plate.

Recap: In January, I gave up cheese and lost 4 pounds. Cheese did creep back into my diet. I’m not cheesing overboard but still cheesing. A little cheese is calcium but too much cheese is salt and fat.

In February, I gave up sugar. I didn’t lose any weight which was mind boggling to me. Sugar is like a drug  and came back into the diet on March 1. Whoever said that sugar cravings go away were not speaking for my sugar cravings.

In March, I gave up bread, rolls, and buns. I gained 3 pounds. March was stressful on so many levels (work, illness, legislation) but I didn’t even miss the bread. The only time I was tempted to eat bread was when I went to dinner at JaxKitchen and wanted to use the bread to sop up the spicy chorizo-laced broth after eating melt-in-your-mouth mussels…but I refrained.

On April 3, I made myself an almond butter and apple sandwich on whole wheat. This is my breakfast.

As it gets to be the end of every month, my inquisitive but well-meaning friends ask what I’m giving up.

I was trying to think what my bad eating habits were and decided for April to give up second helpings and/or giving up eating everything on my plate.

April works like this: If I go out to eat, I must leave some food on my plate and I don’t mean the lettuce garni. For instance, last night I went to Delectables and ordered a Greek burger (yummy by the way) with potato salad. I ate the entire burger but only half the bun. So when I go out to eat, I cannot eat everything; I can choose to bring it home and eat it the next day. My refrigerator is already landscaped with styrofoam containers.

Now when I’m at home, I cannot eat second helpings — unless — it’s raw or steamed vegetables. After I make something and help myself to it, I have to put it away before I eat. Once the food is put away, I cannot get up and help myself to more, unless it’s a green vegetable free of oil or butter or sauce.

Another dining scenario is if I’m sharing an appetizer or dessert with a friend at a restaurant and we each take some food off the plate. I cannot take a second helping. Ditto for eating family style at a restaurant, no second helpings.So the people who go out to eat with me will be happier than ever.

I think this will be my greatest challenge yet.

What do you think?

  1. it’s all about the ‘rules’ and “conclusions’ you make up in your head for yourself. I finally convinced myself that I do not like the taste of the bread used to make most sandwiches a few years ago. To this day, I cannot eat many sandwiches because I get that image in my brain of how I do not like the bread!

    We can convince ourselves of almost anything. I believe this is the key to controlled eating.

    At least that’s my theory today …

  2. Excellent challenge–instead of cutting out an ingredient that may actually be important, nutritionally, you’re focusing on a habit that could use refining.

    I find that putting things away after making a plate is an excellent deterrent to extra helpings. We do this on purpose as we immediately put the leftovers of dinner into lunch containers for the next day.

    I think you’ve got this one in the bag!

  3. Using your logic in a loose interpretation, if you order appetizers, should not be ordering an entree as it is your “second helping”.

    I no longer order appetizers because I choose my “first helping” to be my main meal instead. Why? Appetizers are usually heavy in calories and fat and fill you up such that you don’t enjoy your real meal. The real meal should be balanced with veggies, starch and meat. I am convinced that this is the key to having your cravings stop. I can honestly say that I don’t have sugar cravings.

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