Recently a friend said to me something about wanting to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Her larger point wasn't so much about the pb&j but more that she likes food, isn't willing to eat rabbit food and more importantly isn't willing to restrict herself unduly to lose a few pounds. Well there is some rabbit-food eating that goes on in my house, and sometimes I do it when I really want something else. But I also eat a lot of foods that are indulgent (more now than when I was losing for sure0 but I eat them. And I eat peanut butter and jelly all the time. I can't restrict myself from all the foods I like either. And one shouldn't have to.
So using peanut butter and jelly as an example, here is how I handle the classic (I don't mean the tone to be overbearing. it's just how i do things):
- I eat it on good bread. Good to me means, whole wheat, fresh, not enriched wheat flour with a bunch of fiber additives, no or very little added sugar.
- I use nut butter with one or two ingredients: the nut and optional salt. No added sugar.
- I use a lower-sugar jelly. I actually compare the labels for this one. As posted earlier sometimes I use fruit slices altogether.
- I'm generally reasonable with the amount of peanut butter and jelly you use, but don't skimp so much that it's not really good.
- I eat it as part of a set number of calories, more or less, that you eat in a day. I don't just add it in as a little extra snack.
- I recognize that a pb&j is enough calories for a full meal in and of itself, but I can eat it so quickly that I'm not full right away...as such....
- If I'm starving I try and eat one with a glass of milk or coffee or a bowl of yogurt and fruit. It is very easy to eat one, not realize that was enough and then eat another one and then end up with a brick in my stomach. I of course learned this the hard way.
Some Weight Watchers advice...A pb&j is a calorie-dense food. WW is very anti calorie-dense foods. I understand why, although now that I'm more in control of my food intake I do eat them. But the reason that WW is against calorie-dense foods is because they are way too easy to overeat. WW tries to direct you to water and fiber-rich foods, so that your stomach gets full before you overeat and then when real fullness sets in you haven't overeaten. This is a pretty good theory in general but, as my friend pointed out, sometimes a sister wants a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! So ultimately you need to be able to control yourself with a reasonable portion size. I tend to eat a regular-sized sandwich but for breakfast, right after I've exercised. If I eat it as my afternoon snack I eat half a sandwich.
OK - that's enough about a sandwich. Must go try to figure out what to do with spaghetti squash.