Special Occasions

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I have several special occasions coming up where I won't have control of the menu. There will also be a lot of "danger" foods which will be probably be calling my name.

How do you handle it? Is it ok to indulge a bit for just that night? Any advice would be appreciated...

Replies

  • nicholeunt
    nicholeunt Posts: 25 Member
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    I think it's ok and even good for you to indulge sometimes. Just try to be conscious of how much you're eating and get back to healthy eating ASAP. We have to be able to find a happy, healthy balance.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 24,944 Member
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    I've handled situations like that by going for a decent run or long bicycle ride during the day. Burn some calories. Make me feel like I've accomplished something. And then I can eat and still remain within my calorie limit. :)
  • taunto_
    taunto_ Posts: 91 Member
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    It depends on you personally and where you think you are mentally about your control over foods. I used to be very aware of what I am doing nutritionally because I had been logging on MFP for years religiously and so that gave me a sort of second nature of stop at a point because I knew I would go over. Or if I was going over, it was intentional because I knew I was gonna be making it up by working out extra or because I ate a bit less yesterday etc.

    But currently, I am not there. So I have to be careful because I know if I give in to the urges, it might be very difficult for me to recover.

    Typically though, I think a few nights out with party foods is ok. I would advise you log the good and the bad and try and recover the calories back but if not, its not a big deal. Just remember to stay persistent and go in there with the mentality that you will have to get back on the program soon.

    Hope this helps
    Stay crunchy.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
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    When I know what will be served, I plan in advance what I will be eating and pre-log it (a guesstimate usually, but I try to keep it under maintenance when possible). When I don't know, I have a rule that once there I will pick the most appealing dishes regardless of calories, limiting myself to one main and one side. If there is something I like that I know is low in calories, I deviate from the rule and have more variety on my plate (for example, I could add charcoal roasted eggplant in addition to my one main and one side). For dessert I either have one serving of the most appealing dessert, or half a serving of two. If too many things look appealing and I'm tempted to eat them all, I have a rule that I get to fill about 3/4 of my plate with whatever choices I want without piling up high plus any ultra low calorie thing I want if applicable, and no seconds.

    These rules are arbitrary, but they give me structure. Create some kind of structure for yourself so you know what to expect once you're there.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,015 Member
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    Absolutely agree with kommodevaran.

    "Several special occasions," in my world means over-a-period-of-many-months. I had to decide what (to me) constitutes an excuse for eating way outside my plan. A cocktail party? Not special. A birthday party? Whose? Mine? Okay that is, "special," but a birthday party for a coworker? Not special. Christmas dinner? Special. Happy Hour or a neighbor's BBQ? Fun, but Not Special.

    I had to come up with strategies for the many social events that do come up in life. Mostly my strategy is, "One small plate of food." I count it as one of my meals, keep it small and move on. No one cares or pays attention to how much I eat or drink. The responsibility is 100% mine.
  • Candyspun
    Candyspun Posts: 370 Member
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    I try to get in plenty of exercise in the week leading up to it, and on the day. I have lower calorie meals on the day, such as a smaller lunch, etc. I also don't tend to snack on those days. I do my very best estimate, knowing that it probably won't be especially accurate. Also, when I'm eating at the event, I try to keep my portion sizes a reasonable size.
  • 777Gemma888
    777Gemma888 Posts: 9,578 Member
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    I'm going to eat today, if I feel up to it. I've already bought calories throughout the week via IF plus my workout distractions.

    One day... Enjoy it!
  • Millicent3015
    Millicent3015 Posts: 374 Member
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    bill9160 wrote: »
    I have several special occasions coming up where I won't have control of the menu. There will also be a lot of "danger" foods which will be probably be calling my name.

    How do you handle it? Is it ok to indulge a bit for just that night? Any advice would be appreciated...

    If you're not going to avoid those foods for the rest of your life, there's no reason not to have some of it. If you can, stay away from your trigger foods and have smaller portions of the others that you like. You could set your rate of loss to .5lb to give you more calories to eat. You could have a small meal at home before going to these occasions so you're less likely to overeat. You could eat fewer calories in the days before and after each occasion. You can get back to your usual eating relatively quickly after these occasions have passed, and if you put on a couple of ounces, you can lose them again. Enjoy yourself, log whatever you can and don't feel guilty about indulging, but remember that you and you alone control what and how much you eat. The food isn't going to jump on you and demand you eat it or else. You decide whether or not to have it.
  • maureenkhilde
    maureenkhilde Posts: 850 Member
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    As someone who is still working on the process of losing lots of weight, opposed to having lost it and maintaining the loss. Remember you are the one who is in total control of what you put in your mouth no matter what the occasion is or where it is. Not a family member, not friends, not where you go to eat. You can say no thank you, to whatever food item you decide not to eat. Does not matter what the Holiday is, or wedding, or Birthday even.

    What others stated is very true, I think the Key is to have a plan of what you will do before the occasion. Maybe some exercise, maybe have saved up some calories for that day. Maybe drink quite a bit of water so you are not real hungry and really want lots to eat. Do not let others guilt you into eating at an event, people will try.


  • mountainmare
    mountainmare Posts: 294 Member
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    I just had my birthday--my husband makes me a fabulous cake (chocolate with whipped cream) . I enjoyed the cake for three days..gained two pounds and lost it again in a couple of days...and am back on track and down a pound in one week.
    I did plan by bookmarking my eating around THE CAKE, and walking a bit more. I am old--and not going to live the rest of my life avoiding or stressing over special occasions. Try to come up with a plan that will work in the long term.
  • Bill9160
    Bill9160 Posts: 8,600 Member
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    I want to thank everyone for their replies. There were a number of good ideas and insightful thoughts. I have never liked the idea of "banking" calories or using "negative" calories but will have to rethink my stance on that.
  • Charlene____
    Charlene____ Posts: 110 Member
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    There are certain occasions that I don’t worry about calories. Those are Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, NYE, the week I spend skiing, and my Birthday. I try to be more active those weeks but enjoy all the goods those occasions offer. Limiting those to a few days per year and getting back on the horse is where I think most people, including me, struggle.
  • dangerousdashie
    dangerousdashie Posts: 119 Member
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    If I can’t find out the menu beforehand, I just eat before and only get tea and seltzer at the party, or if appropriate (and sometimes even if slightly inappropriate) bring my own food. Personally, it’s just not worth the stress of calculating everything while I’m at the party. I find it stressful to estimate calories on the fly. I also have allergies and food restrictions that triple that stress. And generally the food at special occasions is not as good as my own cooking. So it’s stress over something that’s not worth it. If I can find the menu beforehand and plan what to have, then I’ll do that but only if I’m at maintenance or bulking or it’s a very special occasion with food I’m actually excited about. I also carry a portable scale with me to get better estimates.

    Being strict about it is less stressful for me. But you may feel that indulging is a good break from the stress of calorie tracking that does little damage so do what works for you.
  • countcurt
    countcurt Posts: 593 Member
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    If I can’t find out the menu beforehand, I just eat before and only get tea and seltzer at the party, or if appropriate (and sometimes even if slightly inappropriate) bring my own food. Personally, it’s just not worth the stress of calculating everything while I’m at the party. I find it stressful to estimate calories on the fly. I also have allergies and food restrictions that triple that stress. And generally the food at special occasions is not as good as my own cooking. So it’s stress over something that’s not worth it. If I can find the menu beforehand and plan what to have, then I’ll do that but only if I’m at maintenance or bulking or it’s a very special occasion with food I’m actually excited about. I also carry a portable scale with me to get better estimates.

    Being strict about it is less stressful for me. But you may feel that indulging is a good break from the stress of calorie tracking that does little damage so do what works for you.

    That's impressive. Sad, but impressive.


    With respect to the original question, I figured out about ten years ago just how many 'special occasions' there are during the year. They never seem to end. I think we have all been acculturated to believe that we must indulge on food at each of them. You just have to pick and choose.
  • Evelyn_Gorfram
    Evelyn_Gorfram Posts: 706 Member
    edited September 2018
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    bill9160 wrote: »
    I have several special occasions coming up where I won't have control of the menu. There will also be a lot of "danger" foods which will be probably be calling my name.
    How do you handle it? Is it ok to indulge a bit for just that night? Any advice would be appreciated...
    What I do is:

    - Budget extra calories for that day, either by banking calories, or just saying that I'm going to eat at maintenance that day. (It tends not to work for me to say that, for just this one day, I'm just going to eat whatever: it turns out that I can eat a lot of "whatever.") Of course, this depends both on how well I've been meeting my weight loss goals, and how many special occasions I'll be attending in the near future.

    - Once I'm there, I choose carefully what foods I'm going to eat, mostly foregoing the more calorie-dense foods.

    - If there's some special food that I really want to eat, or someone else really wants me to try; I take a level serving-spoonful/generous tablespoonful and log it as 200-300 calories (unless I don't finish it).

    Leaving food on my plate is a great strategy, but it takes a special art for me to do it. Something I don't like that much I can just stir around and "mess up" and then ignore. If some delicious thing I've decided not to finish is calling out to me for "one more bite," and I can't get rid of the plate right away, I'll stir it into the stuff I didn't like or oversalt/pepper it.

    Sometimes, there's a social obligation to actually eat the food. Your own birthday cake, some people's wedding cakes, Aunt Edna's ambrosia salad that she made just for you, etc. Generally you don't have to eat all of it though, and you can ditch your plate or "accidentally" oversalt it after one or two bites. ... Or else just eat the food and log the calories.