Out to dinner last week I had the opportunity to put mindful eating into practice in the restaurant setting.
I enjoyed each crunchy bite of salad combined with a tasty piece of seasoned shrimp, savoring the taste and textures as I munched and chatted. By the bottom of the bowl my taste buds had grown bored, but I felt comfortably full.
Then it came time for the waiter to ask if we wanted dessert… It was a free meal and I still had a few dollars on my card and said “those salted caramel pretzel bites sound pretty good. Sure, what the heck!” When dessert arrived I was aware of how full I felt and asked the waiter to bring a box because no way was I going to finish those sugar-coated pretzel bites. Funny story, after my dinner partner and I parted ways I proceeded to devour not only the rest of the pretzel bites but also the brownie that he left behind. Oh, did I mention that there was ice cream too?
Okay, now that I’ve got you all thinking about these delicious foods on a Monday morning I will explain the lesson behind this experience, hoping it will help you avoid a similar situation.
At dinner I decided to “be good” and get a salad with shrimp when I actually wanted sweet potato fries and a beer. I set myself up for failure or more precisely for dissatisfaction, which led me to what I call the dieters reward trap. This is the belief: “that because you’ve been so good you should have a tiny treat because really, what’s the harm?” Well if you’re like me and find when you start eating sweets that your brain won’t let you stop until it’s ALL gone then the harm is a few hundred empty calories and maybe an upset tummy.
Food for thought:
Have you ever experienced something like this?
I’m not saying you should never eat a brownie and ice cream because I believe there’s room for treats in anyone’s diet.
My hope is you can be spared from making a similar mistake and just get what you want while still aiming for balance. (i.e. a baked potato instead of fries if that will fulfill your craving).