When a beloved food triggers overeating
Is there anything more delicious than homemade bread?
Not to me, there's not.
I used to bake a couple of loaves nearly every weekend as part of my family's Sunday Soup Day tradition. I'd make a big pot of nutritious, delicious soup and serve it with hot Italian bread, fresh from my oven. I rarely buttered my bread; when it was still warm, I might dip some of it in my soup, but it tasted great to me just plain. Baking two big loaves ensured there'd be some -- lots -- left over on Monday. As I write in this week's "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy" column, I'd usually gorge on it, dipping it into puddles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Even if the rest of my diet had been perfect, that bread routine alone would have been enough to keep me plenty plump. And eating as much of it as I regularly did also displaced other, more nutritious foods in my daily diet.
When I set about to lose weight via my "Me Minus 10" effort, my advisers Pam Peeke and Brian Wansink gently noted that perhaps bread could play a different, smaller role in my life. Neither suggested I omit it altogether, and both maintained that I should continue to eat the healthful carbohydrates my body needed to fuel its activity.
I haven't baked, or eaten, a batch of Italian bread since last winter. (I have continued to enjoy thin-crust pizza on occasion, but that's not the same. And with pizza, I eat a couple of slices for dinner and then quit; no seconds, no leftovers.)
I miss my bread, and as cold weather sets in, I'd like to resume my family's soupy Sunday evenings. But for now, I'm worried that reintroducing bread to my diet will be my undoing: I'm not yet sure I can enjoy just a bit of bread with my meal and call it a day.
As to whether bread officially counts as a "trigger" food as defined in this article from Weight Watchers, I'm not sure. But something tells me that being alone in the house on a cold winter's day with a big loaf of bread is not a good idea for me right now.
I know I'm not alone in this fear of losing control. Here's an interesting blog entry from a woman describing her relationship with peanut butter.
Do you have a beloved food that you're wary of eating, for fear it will lead you down a dangerous dietary path? What food is that, and how do you manage it?
Jennifer LaRue Huget
| October 5, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Eating disorders, Me Minus 10, Nutrition and Fitness, Obesity
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