Calorie Counter

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Can a "foodie" lose weight and keep it off?

2»

Replies

  • snowflake954snowflake954 Member Posts: 5,532 Member Member Posts: 5,532 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I am busy at the moment so I will come back to this but the expression "flavor is the spice of life" is interesting. But is it true? More to the point, to what degree should it be true?

    People should enjoy their food. I enjoy my food. I enjoy it on a slightly different level at the moment than I have before. Seeking a different kind of pleasures is not wrong. It is like enjoying a candle for the ambience more than the scent. You can enjoy the scent more than the ambience too. Defining what is right or wrong on tastes and preferences is a fools errand.

    My definition of a foodie is not a gluttonous person. It is a person who places a higher degree of importance on the art of food. In what I perceive as an unhealthy attitude I once tried to celebrate with food constantly, or at least way too often. I tried to fill a void with it. As the overindulgence created more fat the void grew. Now my perspective is that food is important for its main purpose but how good is it at being flavorful art? How many meals a week need to be art? How many can just be eating food for energy and nutrition?

    Remember that I said the foodie in me is not gone. He is packed in the suitcase. I eat flavorful enough food but I do not try for art anymore. I do not try for complexity. I do not fix a soup that requires hours just to bring the broth where I want it to be. I have other things to do.

    I see your distinction and it resonates with me. One thing I had to learn was that I couldn't celebrate everything with food (especially since I was using it to "celebrate" things like "Hey, it's the afternoon, time for a stack of cookies"). Food has a smaller place in my life than it did before. In its place, it is still very important to me because I do appreciate the intellectual challenges of cooking, the cultural experience of learning about food, and the social aspects of sharing it with others. But I realized that I need other things to help meet those intellectual, cultural, and social needs as well.

    Nailed me exactly. Celebrating the mundane because I enjoyed good food and because I enjoyed food too much (quantity) it created more and more mundane.

    I will admit freely that because I am still in transition from uber fat guy thinking to active outdoorsy guy thinking I am likely giving my thoughts about food too much of the third degree. I am upset at the place it had in my life and the years I sacrificed at its altar. I am still enough of a snob that I cannot use cream of mushroom soup as an ingredient but hand me a box of stock now because I won't be making it nearly as often anymore.

    Celebrating the mundane means never celebrating. There are only so many places to go and improve before the effort or money spent doesn't return enough to justify the investment. That was something else I had to learn. If I ever want to have a really awesome food experience I had to stop having so many. Spend some time in the rain so I can properly appreciate the sunny days. As I have said here a few times... it you try to having a Thanksgiving feast each meal all year the result is you never ever have a Thanksgiving feast. It is just normal eating.



    Living in Italy and understanding the mentality now, it's far from what you're describing. The word "foodie" bugs me. Everyone here is a foodie--the entire population. They are into good, tasty, and quality food. Food is constantly discussed, at the table, in restaurants, on TV. It is constantly judged. My husband laughs at me because I've become a food snob. I'd rather eat nothing than something that is not delicious. Cappucino, for example, since we have many cafe's in our vicinity. Only 2 or 3 make a creamy, non bitter cappucino. I will not order one at the other places, because it makes me mad that they don't take the time to make something excellent. You learn to do something right. Pizza is another. Very few pizzaria's have excellent pizza. We go to the several that do.

    I cook at home and constantly try to learn and improve. When my family visits from the States they love the food. Food here is eaten with the family, it's part of an experience. I guess that's my point. Food is an experience, and I love cooking it and eating it.

    But the title of your OP was: "Can a foodie lose weight, and keep it off?" I say yes.
  • lorrpblorrpb Member Posts: 11,347 Member Member Posts: 11,347 Member
    Preparing and Eating a wide variety of foods and flavors is different than enjoying large quantities of food. It’s possible to do the former without doing the latter. Many of us struggle with portion control but that’s the name of the game, whether you’re eating McDs or some fancy French cuisine. 🤗
  • chrisjameszayachkowskichrisjameszayachkowski Member Posts: 14 Member Member Posts: 14 Member
    Yes you can love food and still lose weight. It’s all about choices.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.
    edited November 2
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,291 Member Member Posts: 24,291 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »

    Celebrating the mundane means never celebrating.



    Ooof, this hit me hard. I absolutely agree with this in regard to food (and other things too!). I think we're actually a lot closer than I presumed from your initial post. I still place value in cooking well and cooking things that I enjoy. But am I cooking and eating like it's an *occasion*? No, unless it actually is one.

    edited November 2
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.

  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,291 Member Member Posts: 24,291 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.

    Your post has inspired some thoughts in me, that it's hard to approach this conversation without bring a personal sliding scale of values into it. I'm interested in food for the right reasons, they're interested in food for the wrong reasons (or vice versa). This type of attention to food is pointless frippery, that type of attention to food is practical and life-sustaining. This type of presentation is beautiful and inspiring, that type of presentation of food grubby and unappealing. And so on and so on.

    All of these assessments are very subjective. I could watch someone using tweezers to place garnishes on their food and determine that is an obsessive and unproductive level of foodie snobbery. But what if they're a very visual person who eats with their eyes and that beautiful plate presentation is fulfillment and sustaining to them? It would obviously be worth it to them and it doesn't mean their relationship to food is messed up or less normal than mine.

    I personally consider some of the more "food is fuel" arguments to be a joyless approach, but that's because adopting that approach would be forcing myself to be someone I'm not. For other people, it's a perfectly healthy summary of their attitude towards food. It's not joyless, it's more people recognizing that -- for now -- they're finding joy primarily in other things.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.

    Your post has inspired some thoughts in me, that it's hard to approach this conversation without bring a personal sliding scale of values into it. I'm interested in food for the right reasons, they're interested in food for the wrong reasons (or vice versa). This type of attention to food is pointless frippery, that type of attention to food is practical and life-sustaining. This type of presentation is beautiful and inspiring, that type of presentation of food grubby and unappealing. And so on and so on.

    All of these assessments are very subjective. I could watch someone using tweezers to place garnishes on their food and determine that is an obsessive and unproductive level of foodie snobbery. But what if they're a very visual person who eats with their eyes and that beautiful plate presentation is fulfillment and sustaining to them? It would obviously be worth it to them and it doesn't mean their relationship to food is messed up or less normal than mine.

    I personally consider some of the more "food is fuel" arguments to be a joyless approach, but that's because adopting that approach would be forcing myself to be someone I'm not. For other people, it's a perfectly healthy summary of their attitude towards food. It's not joyless, it's more people recognizing that -- for now -- they're finding joy primarily in other things.

    Absolutely.

    But I'm trying to make the point is that dysfunctional obsession or focus is the issue, i.e., about the state inside one's own head, not mostly about the external behaviors.

    We have the analogous dispute here regularly about calorie counting, weighing (body) daily, using a food scale consistently. It's not the counting, or using the scales, that makes the thing dysfunctional. It's the psychological state around it, that can do that.

    I'm sure I fail, but I try not to argue with others' "joyless approach" (or equivalent), as a strategy for them. If it's working well for them, great. It becomes arguable when it starts to slip into assumed generality.

    I don't think the common definition of "foodie" implies dysfunction, necessarily.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.


    The difference is you seem satisfied. I never was. I chased something that even with all the things I learned I could not achieve. I have people still talking about food I made for them 10+ years ago that even as I served it I believed still could have been better. I was never happy with the results.

    I am not sure it was a full on dysfunction but it certainly was not healthy.

    The closer you get back to utility the more you have reality. It breaks the all or nothing thinking of either eating fast food because you are starving and in a hurry or spending 5 hours making soup. You prepare a lot of your meals closer to utility and that is what I have been saying is the best course for me. Simple food that is appetizing but certainly not art.

    What I see holding some other people back is the same chase even if it is not on the level I was. But it is still some level of satisfaction that they cannot get because it does not exist for them. The worse their days goes the higher their expectation and the greater the disappointment.

  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 463 Member Member Posts: 463 Member
    A foodie should be especially suited to recreate foods in a macro-friendly manner.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member Posts: 24,291 Member Member Posts: 24,291 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.

    Your post has inspired some thoughts in me, that it's hard to approach this conversation without bring a personal sliding scale of values into it. I'm interested in food for the right reasons, they're interested in food for the wrong reasons (or vice versa). This type of attention to food is pointless frippery, that type of attention to food is practical and life-sustaining. This type of presentation is beautiful and inspiring, that type of presentation of food grubby and unappealing. And so on and so on.

    All of these assessments are very subjective. I could watch someone using tweezers to place garnishes on their food and determine that is an obsessive and unproductive level of foodie snobbery. But what if they're a very visual person who eats with their eyes and that beautiful plate presentation is fulfillment and sustaining to them? It would obviously be worth it to them and it doesn't mean their relationship to food is messed up or less normal than mine.

    I personally consider some of the more "food is fuel" arguments to be a joyless approach, but that's because adopting that approach would be forcing myself to be someone I'm not. For other people, it's a perfectly healthy summary of their attitude towards food. It's not joyless, it's more people recognizing that -- for now -- they're finding joy primarily in other things.

    Absolutely.

    But I'm trying to make the point is that dysfunctional obsession or focus is the issue, i.e., about the state inside one's own head, not mostly about the external behaviors.

    We have the analogous dispute here regularly about calorie counting, weighing (body) daily, using a food scale consistently. It's not the counting, or using the scales, that makes the thing dysfunctional. It's the psychological state around it, that can do that.

    I'm sure I fail, but I try not to argue with others' "joyless approach" (or equivalent), as a strategy for them. If it's working well for them, great. It becomes arguable when it starts to slip into assumed generality.

    I don't think the common definition of "foodie" implies dysfunction, necessarily.

    I agree in that I think judging by the external behaviors isn't useful. What is my joyful celebration of food may be someone else's hedonistic gluttony. What is my practical utility may be someone else's joyless slog. The real point is how do these things make you FEEL. Am I baking to cover up an emotional hole or because I get a real joy from creation? There is no universal answer, no template for whether one is a "foodie" or a dysfunctional eater.

    The best analogue is the one that you bring up -- calorie counting and weight monitoring. It isn't the behavior that is "healthy" or "unhealthy," it's the motivation behind it and the emotions it inspires.

    I would feel miserable and deprived prepping identical, practical lunches and dinners each Sunday and packaging them in the fridge for the week to come. But it's clear that others find joy and freedom in that behavior.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,199 Member Member Posts: 38,199 Member
    I don't think being a foodie means you aren't more utilitarian in the mundane of the everyday. I certainly don't expect, nor do I have time or resources for every meal to be a "foodie" event or celebration of something. I get up in the morning and for the most part I just scramble some eggs for breakfast...lunch is usually leftovers or a sandwich or something...dinner is generally freshly prepared, and while I want it to be delicious and of high quality, I'm not necessarily looking for a gourmet experience. Most weeknights dinner is some kind of nicely seasoned or marinated protein along with a grain or starch and a veg. We typically save our greater experimentation and more complex meals for weekends when we have more time and I don't typically go all in on presentation unless we're having guests.

    I am very picky in regards to quality and freshness of what I'm using and am very selective with restaurants. I am big on flavor, but yeah...most weekday stuff isn't fancy or complicated and nothing I would take pictures of...though I do take pictures of a lot of our weekend food experiments.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    It is interesting this thread has not attracted more people who struggle. I know many. People who cannot stop chasing satisfying food experiences even if it does not serve the utility of actually controlling hunger. They often get to a meal that does not meet their expectation and it leaves them wanting more or with a strong desire to up the ante next time.

    I also wonder how many people in this thread spend most of their meals on the utility side of eating and how often they even have time for a meal of culinary art.

    Yeah, we're all gustatory and culinary philistines. SMH.

    I don't personally feel that the gustatory experience varies linearly with the effort investment in preparation. Effort (or attention, technique, art, or whatever) are more important to some foods than others. (Some transportational food experiences are very, very simple.) Wolfman's post, and Snowflake's (probably others) is relevant here. You have every right to feel differently, of course.

    To answer your question: Many of the meals I fix are, in fact, utility meals; but I pay attention to making them enjoyable, generally. There are simple ways to do that. I've also cooked any number of meals - including just at home, no special occasion - where I did worry about presentation and developing flavors, warming/chilling plates, or various other mystical symbols of "culinary art". And sometimes things are rushed, or I'm tired, and it's pure utility/nutrition, acceptable but not even that enjoyable.

    Sure, I think it's absolutely possible to over-focus on food/eating, to center one's life on it in a way that's unbalanced and dysfunctional.

    The idea that people who are saying one can both be a foodie and manage weight are all about "utility meals" and not "culinary art" . . . seems kinda like suggesting someone who isn't nymphomaniac/satyromaniac doesn't really enjoy sex. The obsession, or focus to the point of dysfunction or lack of life balance, is a separate thing from healthy, balanced enjoyment (of anything).

    To put it more simply, it's possible for someone to have devoted an unbalanced amount of focus to food and eating to their detriment, but for others still to be good, attentive, or skilled at food preparation and its enjoyment in a healthy, balanced way.

    Or, we're redefining "foodie" as a psychological dysfunction.
    I once spent a lot of time worrying about presentation and developing flavors. I warmed or chilled plates. I lit the candles. But honestly even when I try to savor the flavor it still never lasted that long. It was all the things I did to get to to the food that built up the anticipation and excitement. The food was great but it instantly went from taste experience to memory. Did I ever get out of it what I put into it? Or could I have been spending all that time doing something... you know... outside?

    I currently live in a mindset of "Food is future poop." I want things that taste good but whether I eat a bowl of yogurt that I like for utility above flavor or a ribeye I personally aged for nearly a month it ends up as bodily waste.

    My foodie-ness will have an outlet this month because it is Thanksgiving. I will do all the steps like brining the turkey even if it is a PITA. I won't be brining my poultry on normal days though.

    Your post has inspired some thoughts in me, that it's hard to approach this conversation without bring a personal sliding scale of values into it. I'm interested in food for the right reasons, they're interested in food for the wrong reasons (or vice versa). This type of attention to food is pointless frippery, that type of attention to food is practical and life-sustaining. This type of presentation is beautiful and inspiring, that type of presentation of food grubby and unappealing. And so on and so on.

    All of these assessments are very subjective. I could watch someone using tweezers to place garnishes on their food and determine that is an obsessive and unproductive level of foodie snobbery. But what if they're a very visual person who eats with their eyes and that beautiful plate presentation is fulfillment and sustaining to them? It would obviously be worth it to them and it doesn't mean their relationship to food is messed up or less normal than mine.

    I personally consider some of the more "food is fuel" arguments to be a joyless approach, but that's because adopting that approach would be forcing myself to be someone I'm not. For other people, it's a perfectly healthy summary of their attitude towards food. It's not joyless, it's more people recognizing that -- for now -- they're finding joy primarily in other things.

    Absolutely.

    But I'm trying to make the point is that dysfunctional obsession or focus is the issue, i.e., about the state inside one's own head, not mostly about the external behaviors.

    We have the analogous dispute here regularly about calorie counting, weighing (body) daily, using a food scale consistently. It's not the counting, or using the scales, that makes the thing dysfunctional. It's the psychological state around it, that can do that.

    I'm sure I fail, but I try not to argue with others' "joyless approach" (or equivalent), as a strategy for them. If it's working well for them, great. It becomes arguable when it starts to slip into assumed generality.

    I don't think the common definition of "foodie" implies dysfunction, necessarily.

    I agree in that I think judging by the external behaviors isn't useful. What is my joyful celebration of food may be someone else's hedonistic gluttony. What is my practical utility may be someone else's joyless slog. The real point is how do these things make you FEEL. Am I baking to cover up an emotional hole or because I get a real joy from creation? There is no universal answer, no template for whether one is a "foodie" or a dysfunctional eater.

    The best analogue is the one that you bring up -- calorie counting and weight monitoring. It isn't the behavior that is "healthy" or "unhealthy," it's the motivation behind it and the emotions it inspires.

    I would feel miserable and deprived prepping identical, practical lunches and dinners each Sunday and packaging them in the fridge for the week to come. But it's clear that others find joy and freedom in that behavior.

    AMEN.

    I can do it SOME. I can make a pot of vegetarian chili for instance and have that 3 or 4 times. There are things that require it like beans. I usually make multiple servings of lentils even though they can be cooked on demand. Certain root vegetables like turnips get cooked on the weekend when I want them. I have exceptions but I would really suffer if it was a fulltime practice. I think I would flip out if I had endless leftovers.

    Oh and if you want to talk about only eating for utility, watch me choke down some reheated chicken breast. I can get it down but it is just about the ultimate in joyless eating for me.

  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I don't think being a foodie means you aren't more utilitarian in the mundane of the everyday. I certainly don't expect, nor do I have time or resources for every meal to be a "foodie" event or celebration of something. I get up in the morning and for the most part I just scramble some eggs for breakfast...lunch is usually leftovers or a sandwich or something...dinner is generally freshly prepared, and while I want it to be delicious and of high quality, I'm not necessarily looking for a gourmet experience. Most weeknights dinner is some kind of nicely seasoned or marinated protein along with a grain or starch and a veg. We typically save our greater experimentation and more complex meals for weekends when we have more time and I don't typically go all in on presentation unless we're having guests.

    I am very picky in regards to quality and freshness of what I'm using and am very selective with restaurants. I am big on flavor, but yeah...most weekday stuff isn't fancy or complicated and nothing I would take pictures of...though I do take pictures of a lot of our weekend food experiments.

    This to me is a good balance. It is treating food for what it truly is most of the time and accepting that "food experiences" are a want not a need. My community of foodies, which has developed over a very long time, have been more like me. Heated arguments have happened over small issues of technique. It was never really casual. It placed food on a pedestal that it does not deserve to be on.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 5,900 Member Member Posts: 5,900 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I don't think being a foodie means you aren't more utilitarian in the mundane of the everyday. I certainly don't expect, nor do I have time or resources for every meal to be a "foodie" event or celebration of something. I get up in the morning and for the most part I just scramble some eggs for breakfast...lunch is usually leftovers or a sandwich or something...dinner is generally freshly prepared, and while I want it to be delicious and of high quality, I'm not necessarily looking for a gourmet experience. Most weeknights dinner is some kind of nicely seasoned or marinated protein along with a grain or starch and a veg. We typically save our greater experimentation and more complex meals for weekends when we have more time and I don't typically go all in on presentation unless we're having guests.

    I am very picky in regards to quality and freshness of what I'm using and am very selective with restaurants. I am big on flavor, but yeah...most weekday stuff isn't fancy or complicated and nothing I would take pictures of...though I do take pictures of a lot of our weekend food experiments.

    This resonates for me. I'm kind of a foodie -- I like to cook, to try new dishes, to try new restaurants or interesting ethnic ones. Before coronavirus, going out to dinner at least one a week to some really good place was a significant part of my social life.

    What happened when I decided to lose weight is that my everyday meals were more simple -- not less tasty, and in fact I channeled my thoughts about food into how to recreate a particular taste in a calorie-friendly way -- but I didn't need lots of cals at every meal and in fact usually had the same thing for breakfast daily, a small number of revolving lunches, and then dinner would vary between meat/fish and various veg, cooked well (if I needed fewer cals), meat/fish, various veg, and a small starch portion, or something fancier. I got really into trying different kinds of interesting ice creams and gelatos for when I did have dessert, and mixing flavors (but keeping it around 200 or a bit more cals most days).

    Restaurants I still allowed myself to eat what I wanted, but with a bit more attention to likely cals and portion size. I wouldn't routinely get dessert as I had in the past, but only if there was some special reason why.

    I never ate stuff that just appeared in the office breakroom, as I had in the past.

    I ended up enjoying what I did eat more than when I ate more thoughtlessly a lot of the time or felt like I had to make every restaurant meal a huge production. (And since I usually would go to the theater or symphony after dinner, I found I felt better and could enjoy myself more when not routinely overeating as much as I had been.)

    So for me being a foodie can be consistent with eating a reasonable amount of cals, and probably makes it easier than for someone with less knowledge about foods or cooking.
  • spinnerdellspinnerdell Member Posts: 186 Member Member Posts: 186 Member
    Food has always been a major interest for me. I love reading about it, thinking about it, and talking about it. The history, politics, and philosophy of food are endlessly fascinating to me. The pleasure of seeking out and executing the "best" version of a recipe consumes a fair amount of my time and energy.

    I was able to maintain a healthy weight for about three years by moderating my portions, but the gluttony and obsession that underpin my relationship with food are giving me a real struggle lately. Finding that balance isn't easy for me.
Sign In or Register to comment.