A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Two-Bite Rule

I have noticed that a lot of my dear blogging friends have some of the same food issues that I do. My two major ones, and the ones that have been the hardest to overcome, are fast food and mega buffets. I've pretty much got the fast food thing beat (I think). Since I started my blog in June, I have been to 3 different fast food chains.......once to Taco Bell, two or three times to Krystal's, and several times to Subway. I have counted my calories each time, and stayed within my limits eating at these places. Yes, the sodium is still an issue....but I have SERIOUSLY curbed the frequency that I eat at these places. SERIOUSLY.

Mega buffets are a whole other beast. Under this category, we can include any and all functions/parties/reunions/pot lucks, etc. where there is a large, delectable spread of calorie laden, absolutely deliciously tempting foods. As you know from last Friday's post, they freak me the hell out. I'm sure the reason must be obvious to all of you reading. It's really very simple. I have a very long, very bad history with these things, and I still don't trust myself.

I am TRYING to remember that I've changed my habits, am eating TONS more healthier foods now, whole foods, and WAY less processed foods. But as soon as I'm presented with these situations (i.e., breakfast at Golden Corral with Dwayne last Saturday), my brain just locks up. I immediately revert back to what I've ALWAYS done in my mind, and what I've always done is downright shameful. If a large roast beef sandwich, large curly fries and a 22 oz Coke at Arby's is 1330 calories....then I've probably put away 2500 calories IN ONE SITTING at a buffet. And I don't mean on a super starving, haven't eaten all day, kind of day......I mean on any given day. I can't believe I'm actually writing this down....how embarassing. But hey...the truth hurts.

Thanks to Jack's post last Friday, I did pretty good. I might not have eaten only 500 calories like Sean suggested, but it darn sure wasn't 2500. I had one plate, there was no piling, and half of the plate was fruit...watermelon, peaches, strawberries and cantaloupe. I'm getting better.

I also had a family reunion to go to a couple of weeks ago, and that's where I employed the Two-Bite rule. There were so many things I wanted to try, but knew I was only going to eat one plate, so instead of getting a whole spoon of everything I wanted, I only got a little...two bites worth. I learned this technique from a lady who was in one of my previous Weight Watchers classes.

She was new to the class, and within a couple of weeks of joining, was faced with a mega buffet that she couldn't avoid. She told us that she decided the best two bites of anything we eat are the first and the last....so why bother with all the extra calories in the middle? Total epiphany for me. The heavens opened up and I'm certain I heard angels singing. This way, you still get to have what others around you are having. You don't have to smell the scrumptiousness and not get to sample it. You don't have to feel deprived. Just grab a couple of bites and make them the best-tasting two bites of anything you've ever had.

It worked for me at the family reunion, and I'm sure it will work for you too. As far as places like Golden Corral for me....I'm still working on it...I'm still working on me. I don't think I'm going to panic the next time I get lassoed into going. As Jack said, a buffet doesn't have to be a death sentence. I'm glad he said that to me, because that's exactly how I was looking at it. I was headed to the gallows. All was lost. I'm so glad I was wrong. I have to say that these mental changes are the hardest part. But practice makes perfect....actually, a teacher once told me that perfect practice makes perfect. I like that better.

I'll keep working on me, and you keep working on you, and we'll get there together. The changes are happening, maybe slowly for people like me, but they ARE happening. Freedom is coming. I can see it in the distance, and every day that we choose to make the better choices, is a day closer to what we're fighting for. If you can't see it yet, look through my eyes. It's there...looming in the distance, just waiting for us to catch up. The victory is for the taking...and each of us WILL claim it. Onward, my friends.....onward. :)


  1. Good post. I think when it comes to this kind of success it is about rewriting a lot of patterns the brain has engrained into it. If you're used to piling up food and stuffing yourself until you feel sick, then it's gonna be really hard not to do that at first when you're faced with the same situations. But every time you work toward not doing that, toward doing what is healthy and reasonable, you're rewriting what your brain has known and it will become easier.

  2. That is such a simple rule isn't it?

    I have a friend in work who has a similar rule. When there are biscuits, cakes or sweets being shared out, (believe me there are always goodies around in work) she will have half, no matter what it is she will cut it in half, even a square of chocolate!!

    She has a fab figure and is totally fit...I hate her...just kidding:0)

  3. I have so much anxiety in those situations, too. I'm already stressed about eating in Vegas, and that's 2 months away! Parties are always hard, I feel like I have license to eat whatever I want...let loose. Ahhhh, but those care free days are over. I will have to learn to enjoy parties for the people and not the food.

  4. Wonderful post, and great idea about the two bites. It's kinda like I tell my kids when they are preparing a music piece - "The judges really pay attention to the beginning, and the ending." The middle - not so much!

  5. I've heard of the two-bite rule before, not sure I've ever tried it. I think that will be the perfect solution when I'm faced with an event. Right now what I do is eat NOTHING because I am too afraid. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Like this post girl! :) I can't even go to the Golden Corral. Nope. Not me... :)

  7. Wow, this is terrific! You really show how you're able to handle a buffet without going overboard. I think the 2 bite rule is great because you can taste the good stuff, but not overdo it!

  8. Thank you for this post. I'm actually being faced with this situation tomorrow (Friday). Our office is having a big BBQ/potluck and I've been struggling with being able to be there with all of the food...

  9. Ugh, buffets are so hard for me too! When I first faced one I thought it might actually be a good thing since I could choose all the healthy foods I wanted. HAHAHA. Yeah, that did not happen. :-) But I love the two bite idea!! Setting limits while still allowing for indulgence. I will remember that one.

  10. Great idea with the two-bites...saves other people's feelings (who cooked the food) and yourself from feeling deprived!

  11. Great post and love the 2 bite rule!

  12. Hi Tammy,
    Good post.
    I love the tip about the 2 bites. It's so true.
    I don't usually have a problem with buffets, my 'in one sitting' eating isn't too bad. It's just I could eat the entire day...Especially sweet stuff at night. Why? Why do I want food so much in the night?? That's my current battle. I could easily put an entire day's worth of calories into one hour at night. Bah!!

  13. Hey Tammy !!! You sound great! It's always amazing when things get into focus again. I LOVE the "two bite" thing. The important thing is you CAN still live, and enjoy things you like - just remind yourself that TWO bites taste EXACTLY the same as 20..... just fewer calories! That is a great way to look at things. I know how busy you must be with the move coming up. That is the worst time - The last time we moved I lived out of boxes for almost a year. Finally - I decided - if I got by so many months without a particular thing, I must not need it that bad, and probably shouldnt have bothered packing it! :D
    I hope things came together ok for your roomate. Lets hope his girlfriend is helping you carry the load. My thoughts are with you with your upcoming weigh in day. Mine is Monday - and I always have just a little anxiety beforehand. Don't forget about all the research on stress and it's effects on retaining fat etc. I think it's the whole "cortisol" thing - not sure - but I am trying not to angst out before my weigh in day. I have been trying hard not to land on a "platau" - those can be inspriation killers :-/