Major Weight Loss Challenge! The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!

I know somebody who lost 185 pounds. Even after she got to goal she still referred to herself as a “fatty*” but she changed her fatty actions.

The first time she went out to eat after losing the weight she wasn’t sure “Fatty” should risk eating at the “ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT BUFFET!

She never went out to eat while losing 180 pounds, not once!

When she got to goal, she looked forward to going out to eat again – and – she was terrified.

This would be like never learning how to ski and your first time on skis you take on a double black diamond. You go to the top of a very tall, steep mountain and try to ski down the most difficult trail.

To make it all the more terrifying her parents and sister all weighed more than 300 pounds and they loved all-you-can-eat buffets. Her first time eating out after losing 185 pounds was a buffet!

People advised her not to go.

Others suggested she implore her family for a change in venue. They encouraged her to “set a good example for her family.”

She didn’t want to do that.

She didn’t want to hurt her family’s feelings by suggesting they eat somewhere else. She wanted to be able to get back with her life and her family and most of all, to integrate her new habits with her day-to-day actions.

She called on some strategies and skills she used to get to goal. She felt confident that they resulted in successful weight loss and if she continued to practice them, they’d result in maintenance too.

1. No more stretchy pants. Stretch pants and elastic waistbands made it easy to eat too much.

2. Never get too hungry. Have a snack of fat free yogurt about an hour before dinner to avoid eating too fast and too much at mealtime.

As an extra measure to maintain control at the buffet, she ate an apple just before she left the house

3. New attitude about food and buffets. No more clean plates. It’s okay to leave food on the plate if it’s more than what’s needed to get satisfactorily full.

Eating until no room for another bite was not “getting money’s worth.” Enjoy meals and company, and eat until comfortably full. Stop way before feeling stuffed.

4. Start meals with a big salad.

Salads that are all vegetables and the dressing is not already added is a good way to start. Skip the toppings and go easy on the salad dressing. Fat-free dressings still have calories and olive oil based dressings help your body absorb and make use of the nutrients in the vegetables more readily,

Salads that are all vegetables and the dressing is not already added is a good way to start. Skip the toppings and go easy on the salad dressing. Fat-free dressings still have calories and olive oil based dressings help your body absorb and make use of the nutrients in the vegetables more readily.

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 5. Be extremely picky about food choices.

  • Don’t bother with stuff you eat routinely or is always readily available.

    The pizza looks good, but a fresh hot pizza from your favorite pizza joint would taste better than this pizza that's been sitting around on a warming table for who knows how long!

    The pizza looks good, but a fresh hot pizza from your favorite pizza joint would taste better than this pizza that’s been sitting around on a warming table for who knows how long!

  • Pick what you want the most right now – leave the rest for “next time.”
  • Use “handy measuring technique” to control portions.
  • Limit or avoid the “shiny” foods. Shiny means added fats and usually a lot of added fat. “If it’s shiny, it sticks to my hiney!”

    The salads made with mayonnaise are obvious. These carrots look like a good choice, but that liquid they're in gets the shine from a lot of oil! This is no low-calorie vegetable dish!

    The salads made with mayonnaise are obvious. The carrots look like a good choice, but that liquid they’re in gets the shine from a lot of oil! This is no low-calorie vegetable dish!

  • If it doesn’t taste good (or good enough for its calories) don’t eat it.

6. Be your own coach.

  • GIve yourself encouraging messages. “I can do this! I’m more than capable to handle this challenge. Anybody can make good choices at a buffet if they want to. I’m as powerful as anybody and more powerful than many!”
  • Give yourself instructions. “Eat slowly; take your time to really taste and enjoy the food. Put your fork down and chew thoroughly. Stay in your seat, you can try the (fill in the blank) another time.

It worked and it’s still working today, more than ten years later! She still has to work on staying positive. It’s necessary to keep self-coaching to stop her mind from going into a negative place when she slips.

Most of us who are maintaining our weight loss must recognize negative thoughts as soon as they start to creep into our heads. We need to challenge them and turn them around into positive self-reinforcement!

It took practice to learn to stay calm because the message that “nobody can lose weight and keep it off” is so pervasive in our society, but she says, “If Nobody can lose weight and keep it off, then my name is Nobody!”

Nobody lost weight – and – kept it off – even while eating at the ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFETS!

* She referred to herself as “Fatty” because she wanted to take away the power that word had over her. She said “Fatty” is my name, not who I am or what makes me be me!”

 

 

 

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.