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 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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