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Resisting free food

I generally have really good will power when I shop at the grocery store. I read the nutritional info, estimate how much I"ll eat and determine if I should buy it or not.

But when I am at a conference, or another event with fattening, but free food, I eat it. I know it's partially b/c it's the only food available to me at the time, but I still make bad choices. For instance, yesterday I ate a small piece of cheesecake at a luncheon. I was not hungry and I would never have purchased this from a store, but seeing it available.....I just had to have it.

I'm sure I'm not alone here. I know my group members struggle with resisiting food in the employee lounge.

Any suggestions on how to Just Say NO?


Fri. Jun 2, 6:37pm

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I have the same problem, but I seemed to have solved it by just having a bite or two or a very small amount of the forbidden food. If it is a couple of bites or a piece we always want more, so I just take a couple of bites on my plate and pop a mint or a hard candy in my mouth afterwords and then I've forgotten all about the forbidden food.

Friday, June 02, 2006, 7:10 PM

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To rant..."free" is often the important part to me. When you're on such a tight budget, its sometimes hard to pass up! Often even at the grocery store I sit between two products debating whether to go with the cheaper food or the lower cal food! Anyone else wish the fatty foods were the expensive ones???

As for advice, I sometimes do what the above poster said and pop a piece of gum. Makes your mouth happy and ruins the taste of any food!

Friday, June 02, 2006, 9:52 PM

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Free food

I share the struggle that the original poster describes. I give trainings all the time and there is almost always food out - cookies, pretzels, etc. Even when people do put out fruit, it's the unhealthy stuff that calls to me. I guess everyone is different - I like the suggestion of having a small bite and stopping. Unfortunately, for me, once I start, I cannot stop. I eat several cookies, chips, etc. and do not end up stopping until I feel super full or it becomes too embarrassing to keep taking food.

Sometimes, when I think about free food, I try to think about what it means to consume food just because it is free or right in front of my face. The cheapest and easiest foods? They are frequently the least expensive - think McDonalds. Type II diabetes seems to particularly hit poor communities because some of the unhealthiest food is also the cheapest and most accessible. So . . . when you see free food and think you have to eat it because it makes financial sense, reflect upon your true economic situation and think if you can afford to buy healthier food. Even students who sometimes try to live on free bagels and pizza and pretzels at school events can probably scrape up the money for oatmeal, soup or other non-perfect, but healthier choices on the cheap.


Friday, June 02, 2006, 11:05 PM

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Have you read any thing lately about trans fats? All those free foods, cookies, dougnuts, french fries, etc. are packed full of trans fats and trans fats are REALLY, REALLY bad for you.......I mean like heart attack......clogged artries....95% easier to have heart problems..........go Google trans fats and read up on them..........this is enough motivation to make me stay almost clear of them.

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 11:23 AM

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Eat a meal before you shop.

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 12:51 PM

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Thanks for sharing the problem. I thought that I was only the one who has difficulty resisting free food.

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 3:44 PM

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Give yourself a calorie budget, and guestimate the number of calories in whatever is there. The big chocolate chip cookies are at least 200 calories, and a piece of cheesecake is probably 400 calories. I give myself 500 calories to eat during the workday, including lunch. I know if I eat a cookie for 200 calories, or 2 for 400 calories, that I'm going to be very hungry b/c I won't have enough calories left to spend on a filling lunch, etc. And if the free food is available after lunch, too bad, I've already spent my calories for that time period. I do the same for breakfast and for dinner/night.

(If I have the cookie, I actually do make up for it in denied calories THAT DAY. I never say I'll make up for it later, b/c I know that won't happen. Then it's like I"m punishing myself for being bad, and that makes me not want to do it again!)

Use your calories the way you use your money. You only have a certain number alotted to you, and once they're gone, they're gone!

Saturday, June 03, 2006, 9:28 PM

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These are all really great suggestions. I chew gum, brush my teeth (though not always feesible in a meeting room), put a small two bites on my plate. I will cut a small piece off no matter how gauche it is. I just say to anyone who scoffs, "no one needs to eat that much cake". Funny how others will follow suit. :)

But foremost, I always ask myself, "Is this what I'm committed to?" Or "What am I committed to?" Even when the cake cutter in my hand or the piece is on my plate. Sounds hokey, but those phrases have me reaffirm my goals and how hard I work to maintain my weight loss. When I do have the cake or what-have-you, I'm pissed that I sold myself out.

I also make promises to a co-worker and I shake hands on it. If i have a piece of cake, not only would I be breaking my word to myself, but also to her. She takes these promises seriously cuz she's in the same boat.

Sunday, June 04, 2006, 1:00 PM

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For me, what works best is steering clear entirely. If I open the door to having "just a couple bites," there's really nothing to stop me from just a couple MORE bites - and more - and more! If I just tell myself ahead of time (and it has to be in my mind before I'm confronted face-to-face with the temptations) that I don't need/can't have any of it, then it's easier to deal with. It's all off limits - and that's it, period. And I've found that it gets easier and easier to withstand the temptation because once you've done it once (e.g., sat through an entire meeting without grabbing a donut), you realize that it was indeed possible... and no, I didn't starve! Amazing.
It helps me to get a little uppity about it (inside my own head, that is). "Look at these poor slobs sucking down the treats. I'm glad I'M not like that!!" : )

Sunday, June 04, 2006, 1:50 PM

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Hahaha LOVE the above comment! Its totally okay to say (to yourself, of course) "look at that fatty eating that cake, I am soooo skinny for not eating it" if it helps!!! :)

Sunday, June 04, 2006, 9:46 PM

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I did some investigating and found out that the little "free sample bites" given out at grocery stores tend to be about 50-75 calories PER sample.

With that in mind, it makes me think twice about grabbing the FREE sample--since only a few pieces will equal a meals' worth of food!

Sunday, June 04, 2006, 11:26 PM

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That supposedly free food is costing you plenty! It's costing you the satisfaction of loosing weight and eating healthy. It's untilmately robbing you of your health and your life! That free food isn't free!

I know, it's everywhere! We are vicitms of our own abundance, and we are dying for it.

Monday, June 05, 2006, 6:26 AM

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Sometimes I don't know when free food will appear in the office, but most of the time I have a pretty good idea. I have a meeting every Tuesday morning at 9:00am. I know that there will always be donuts, bagels, muffins, chocolatey marshmallowy granola bars, and tons of cream cheese and jelly. My solution is to eat my breakfast BEFORE the meeting and take a bottle of water in with me. The water gives me something to keep me full while everyone else is munching. Then if someone asks me if I want something, I can easily say, "No thanks, I just ate." It usually works for me. I'm not sure how well it could work for others, but you might give it a try.

Monday, June 05, 2006, 1:12 PM

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this is sooo me!

I get SOOO mad at myself becuase i cannot resist free food! i dont know if its becuase i like to be thrify ( even though i do not need to be its just a bad habit). I do so well with my diet until i see free food! grr

Monday, June 05, 2006, 2:27 PM

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Yeah, maybe it's partly that thrifty thing it got from my depression era-born mother. If it's free, I can't waste it, because that would be wrong to waste.

Maybe you should "charge" youself. Like, OK, that doughnut will be a 5$ donation to the local homeless shelter. That cookie is $3.50. Could you commit to that? Maybe that would stop you.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006, 4:45 AM

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try to equate the free food with free cigarettes of free laxatives-ask yourself if you would indulge in other free things that you would not generally consider putting into your body, decide what about the free item(s) stops your progress to becoming healthier, and think with your head instead of your stomach or wallet. that usually works for me...good luck!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 10:32 AM

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OP here, to the 10:32 poster,I liked your idea of equating unhealthy but free food to free cigarettes. I would not smoke a cigerette if there was a whole package sitting infront of me,but then I hate smoke, but I love unhealthy food.

What has worked for me in the past is being a food snob.I say to myself, are the calories is X item better than what I could have in Y? I may save up my calories to have a nice Godiva chocolate bar rather than nibbling on some stale pastry. But you know, I usually don't get around to having that Godiva bar.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006, 12:19 PM

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Very good idea! I mean if someone brought in a fabulous quality cake - maybe, but the usual office cheap stuff, not worth the calories.

Thursday, June 08, 2006, 3:30 AM

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If someone brings in free food and I think it looks so good that I just have to have some, I'll think about the amount of food brought in, and the amount of people who work on my floor. It's usually like one box of a dozen donuts, and there are well over 100 people on my floor. I tell myself that I don't want to take away from anyone else missing out either, so I figure out what my portion would be if it were divided equally among everyone, and that's all I'm allowed to take. Otherwise, I'm just being selfish!

Thursday, June 08, 2006, 11:03 AM

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this is a topic of discussion once again. there are great comments and coping strategies on this thread!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 10:15 AM

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I just passed up free food at the office

My weigh-in day is Saturday.

I was tempted, but then I thought, "I don't want to blow a potentially great week."

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 10:36 AM

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good for you!

Thursday, March 08, 2007, 11:49 AM

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What timing - If only I would have read this thread 5 minutes earlier maybe I would have said "no".

I'm at work and just finished eating 3 girl scouts cookies that were offered to me from my boss!



Thursday, March 08, 2007, 3:05 PM

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why not ask your employer to provide items that you CAN have? ( I would think that most employers would want to assist in keeping their workers happy and healthy) or, bring your own snack to a meeting. I often can be found with little baggies of snacks I can enjoy (in my purse or leave some in a drawer of my desk). I also bring fruit into work at the beginning of the week - a few apples, bananas, oranges, and leave them in my office for a quick snack.


Friday, March 09, 2007, 8:55 AM

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