How to fully enjoy/prepare for a meal/celebration?

I’ve always had a hard time cheating or eating a meal off my “plan”. I love counting and tracking my daily intake. I’ve dropped 20lbs recently and will hit my goal of 25lbs in a few weeks. (1lb week). I find myself get very anxious when having to eat a meal that I have no idea the cals/macros and it just makes me feel so off for the day. No idea what to count for the rest of the day, and usually end up going under. I usually end up feeling weak or guilty, as if I’m totally derailing my progress.

On the other end, I have a bad habit of having one “bad” meal or treat and going into an all out binge. For example (1) donut can quickly turn into (2) and next thing I know I’ve eating a whole dozen and recklessly eating the rest of the day/week. The wrong mentality of “damage is done” might as well go all out haha. So this is why I’ve kinda stayed away from cheats, and try to just fit everything in CICO.

Usually at the end of the year, last (2) weeks of December I’m off and turn it into all meals out (not sure this year due to pandemic) but really just use the time to spend with family and friends over lots of meals and never feel guilty. I then start over in January, and usually want to by that point. It will be lots of binges and some days with just normal chain meals but not counted (subway, chipotle, panera, etc).

Anyways long story short...

I have a bday coming up soon and will go out to dinner and have cake afterwords. Most likely to stay safe we will be ordering food and have a cake from Publix (grocery store) and ice cream. Even though I know on occasions like birthdays and holidays etc it’s perfectly fine to just enjoy life, but I still think In the back of my head that I’m blowing my progress and slowing down my goal.

Let’s say I know I’m going to go out and have a big meal/entree, appetizer and dessert (cake slice)...is there a way to plan for it? I think if I know I’m not sabotaging my entire week, I’ll enjoy the meal more. Ideally I’d get something and count it, but my family wants to get certain things and I don’t want to be too annoying or OCD (yes I know I am).

Is there a way to prepare? Small breakfast and lunch?

I’m doing 1,650 cal a day for 1lb loss a week.

Would 250 cal breakfast and 250 cal lunch be good? Then just eat whatever and move on?

I know it’s silly and pointless to worry about but would love to find a way to enjoy a celebration with zero concerns knowing I can eat whatever and still make progress that week/month.

I already see myself selfishly recommending boring healthy places I can count. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤨

Thanks.

Replies

  • rcollins5
    rcollins5 Posts: 1 Member
    I work out my calories weekly and so this allows for treats at the weekend, it takes away the guilt and the risk of binging, as long as I stay in my weekly goal I still lose weight, I weigh each Friday so any water weight I have gained from alcohol or carbs has gone by the time I weigh the next Friday x
  • snowflake954
    snowflake954 Posts: 7,496 Member
    One thing you can do is split your meal in half, eyeballing, eat your cake for dessert, and ask for a box to take your leftovers home. You can tell your family that your birthday meal is so good that you want to enjoy it tomorrow too. Be happy in their presence and enjoy everything.

    If ordering food, it's even easier to put aside for the following day, or portion leftovers for the freezer.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    resiIient wrote: »
    *snip* Let’s say I know I’m going to go out and have a big meal/entree, appetizer and dessert (cake slice)...is there a way to plan for it? I think if I know I’m not sabotaging my entire week, I’ll enjoy the meal more. Ideally I’d get something and count it, but my family wants to get certain things and I don’t want to be too annoying or OCD (yes I know I am).

    Is there a way to prepare? Small breakfast and lunch?

    Wear beltless pants that stretch? 🤷🏿‍♀️

    As a recent birthday celebrant, I put in a bit more exercise than usual earlier in the day (walked further than my average) to "account" for the cake, the chips, the brownie, the...anyhooo

    But this accounting approach is barely necessary with a healthy/ier relationship to food and exercise.

    Kudos on being so close to your goal! You seem to have it together yet perhaps be more gentle with yourself when it comes to the thoughts you ascribe to how and when you eat or exercise?

    And happy birthday!!
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    The plan you need is the one you can live with while you are finishing up your weight loss and well into the future as you maintain your weight.

    I am perfectly comfortable sacrificing some of my deficit for celebrations. I am perfectly comfortable with a small regain on vacations. I know that is how I want to live my life and I am fully prepared to resume a deficit as needed to deal with my decisions.

    I have, at least, mostly conquered my all or nothing thinking. I had a lot more weight to lose than you did so it has taken a significant amount of time. A lot of life has happened and it has required me to be flexible.

    I have also analyzed my progress in a spreadsheet. I can see that the brief encounters with more food are mostly meaningless. I didn't get as heavy as I was by being in a surplus a few days. I got there by being in a surplus far too many days.
  • KarenSmith2018
    KarenSmith2018 Posts: 294 Member
    You worry about slowing down your progress towards your goal but unless you have a competition to make weight for or surgery that requires a certain weight loss whether you achieve it this week or next is largely irrelevant. There will always be times to celebrate with food and delicious food should be enjoyed as well as the time with friends and family. You can't get the time back. Also once you hit your goal maintenance is not so dissimilar and you have to be mindful of what you eat.

    Learn to trust your body and the process. Enjog a little of what you love and don't feel guilty.
  • B_Plus_Effort
    B_Plus_Effort Posts: 311 Member
    consider a compromise, if you really want a burger and fries, try a burger and a salad, or an actual hamburger and fries instead of a cheese burger and fries

    most places use American "cheese" which is not a cheese at all, so stay away from this corn based imposter

    also go out to lunch (smaller portions) rather than dinner for your cheat meal, you eat less, and you pay less, win win

    hope that helps
  • B_Plus_Effort
    B_Plus_Effort Posts: 311 Member
    oh, love your profile pic, epic!
  • skelterhelter
    skelterhelter Posts: 788 Member
    If it's vacation or a birthday, I just take the hit and enjoy myself in reason. However, if I just feel like being a fatty on the weekend, I have a lighter breakfast that morning, get my walk in, go out for a bomb lunch, and then skip dinner entirely. Usually I'm too full to eat much anyway, so the damage isn't too bad.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,845 Member
    This will be a two-branch reply, so bear with me.

    Personally, because I'm fundamentally a hedonist at heart (and palate), I take my birthday and certain holidays as days to eat freely, to enjoyment. When I was losing weight, I did my best to estimate the calories, and put them in MFP.

    Now in year 5 of maintenance, I've learned that the impact of a RARE over-maintenance day (even way-over-maintenance day) is not a big deal**. Usually, it has less impact (on the scale) than I'd expect from the raw calorie estimate, once the misleading, immediate, inevitable multi-pound water weight drops off the scale. Usually, I'm back at or pretty close to my starting weight within a week, though the timing for water weight shedding varies by person.

    HOWEVER, if you feel compelled to compensate, there are some moderate things you can do. Some have been suggested above. Certainly, eating lightly at other meals on the day, taking some of the serving home, ordering something you enjoy but not unnecessarily piling on every last caloric option available, etc. - those are options. Don't pick someplace boring and easy: On your birthday, especially, enjoy what you eat.

    If you feel less hungry the next day (but NOT if you don't), you can eat a bit more lightly the next day. (If you feel normal, not less hungry, eat your normal amount. Don't set up a binge/restrict cycle.)

    If you feel like it, bank a VERY SMALL number of additional calories daily in the days before the event, for no more than maybe a week. I'm talking like 100-150 calories daily, not hundreds and hundreds. Pay attention to your energy level, if you do this, don't tank it.

    If you enjoy it, add some active PLAY into your big day (not some miserable punitive intense workout, as subjectively seen). I'm talking play with the kids, take a hike in a beautiful place if the weather's nice, get in some frisbee or bowling or a round of golf or a bike ride if you enjoy that sort of thing. Something FUN.

    That's it, at most, IMO.

    Again: What I personally would do, and *recommend*, would be simply to enjoy your day, order what you want, enjoy the heck out of it in whatever portion size seems good (without intentionally converting it into a free-for-all), skip any kind of guilt/fear or other emotional melodrama, then go back to your normal routine the next day.

    I have a birthday (#65!) coming up this next week, too. Despite solo life in the pandemic, I plan to enjoy and celebrate it, including some special food indulgences.

    Happy birthday in advance!

    ** Just for amusement value, a personal case study: https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10603949/big-overfeed-ruins-everything-nope
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 9,432 Member
    If it's vacation or a birthday, I just take the hit and enjoy myself in reason. However, if I just feel like being a fatty on the weekend, I have a lighter breakfast that morning, get my walk in, go out for a bomb lunch, and then skip dinner entirely. Usually I'm too full to eat much anyway, so the damage isn't too bad.

    Choosing to have a special meal doesn't mean you're "being a fatty."
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    Congrats on your loss and dedication! After so much diligent logging, you surely have a solid idea of what portion sizes work for you. Rely on that experience to manage unplanned situations. My default for eating out is no bread or 1 piece. Lots of salad and veggies, little high calorie choices like pasta, potatoes, high fat preparations, 1 glass wine, and small or shared dessert. Whatever you’re presented with, portion control is your friend. Worst case is you’ll lose a little less this week. With only 5 lbs to go it’s recommended that you target 1/2 lb per week.
  • skelterhelter
    skelterhelter Posts: 788 Member
    If it's vacation or a birthday, I just take the hit and enjoy myself in reason. However, if I just feel like being a fatty on the weekend, I have a lighter breakfast that morning, get my walk in, go out for a bomb lunch, and then skip dinner entirely. Usually I'm too full to eat much anyway, so the damage isn't too bad.

    Choosing to have a special meal doesn't mean you're "being a fatty."

    I was just being silly lol. I don't mean that, of course.
  • TribeHokie
    TribeHokie Posts: 711 Member
    I do something that will probably get hate but it works for me and allows me to enjoy myself so whatever.

    If i know i have a big special dinner coming I skip breakfast, have a 200ish calorie lunch, maybe some watery veggies for snack if I am starving. I also might do an extra 5k steps over my daily goal. this gives me 1k-1.2k calories for the big meal so I can just enjoy myself. i dont attempt to track the meal at all, just try not to go unreasonably overboard. If I still feel the next day like it was more than I anticipated I might reduce calories for the day by a couple hundred or do 5k extra steps again. but then i just let it go and move on.

    i do agree the key is to find a way to allow yourself to be okay with it because we still gotta live and enjoy life. but sometimes that is easier said than done.
  • dmkoenig
    dmkoenig Posts: 299 Member
    When in doubt, make it yourself. There are a lot of lower calorie, lower sugar options than the store-bought cakes. Use carrot cake as the basic cake and make a glaze instead of glo[[ing on massive amounts of icing. Or just put a thin layer on it. Regardless, you are able to make the decision up front on how crazy to go with it, rather than accept that you will be blowing up your diet for a day...which is not the end of the world by any means, but when you have motivation and momentum in achieving your weight loss goals, there are healthier options and still have a great celebration. Happy birthday!