First of all, let me explain the title. This post is not about eating too many bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. 😛 If you’ve ever attended a Weight Watchers meeting, you’ve likely heard of this acronym – it stands for Bites, Licks and Tastes…and this kind of BLTs can really get in the way of weight loss, especially for me. I’m going to talk about that today, but first let me rewind to Monday and the yummy dinner I made. Every year for their birthdays, I give my sister and brother-in-law each a gourmet dinner which they can cash in at any time through the year (subject to availability). Since Monday was a holiday, I prepared them a belated Valentine’s Day dinner…here’s a quick run-down of the menu (and let me tell you, I had LOTS of BLTS while making it)!
Started with a pomegranate/berry/mango smoothie
Rosemary chips with a Parmesan cream sauce
The dessert (and isn’t it SO cute?) was chocolate mascarpone cheesecake pots topped with whipped cream and chocolate ganache, garnished with a heart-shaped brownie cake pop, heart-shaped shortbread cookies and fresh berries.
The entire menu was a big hit. 🙂 Now back to the BLTs (I thought it would be good to combine the menu run-down with this post, as tasting was a big part of preparing). Those BLTs can take on many forms: free food samples, a couple of bites off of a friend’s plate, licking the bowl (this is a HUGE one for me), tasting as you cook, eating those tiny little candies that “don’t count” (for me right now, this is the HUGE bowl of cinnamon hearts in my mom’s office)….you get the idea. None of those things is inherently “bad,” but let me tell you, they can add up really quickly. I think they probably slowed down my weight loss, and are probably a large part of why I’m feeling a bit chubbier than I’d like these days.
If you cook and bake as much as I do, you spend a lot of time around food. That means there are lots of opportunities for sampling. Even if I don’t *technically* eat what I prepare, chances are good that I’ve tasted it (often more than once). So what to do? A big part of the Weight Watchers approach is writing down what you eat…and believe it or not, I still do this on most days. It really helps keep you accountable. But, the catch is, most of the time those BLTs don’t make it on paper. So it’s what I’m “not” eating that is undermining my diet.
In the past, I’ve tried to make room for my tasting. For example, on the old WW system, I’m supposed to eat between 22 and 26 points a day. On a day when I was doing a lot of tasting, I would just automatically write off 2 or 3 points for tastes. Or if I went to Costco and had lots of samples, I’d factor that in too. But I’ll be honest, I haven’t been doing that as much lately. I did on Monday, but there’s no way of knowing just how accurate that number is (in reality, it’s probably too low 😦 ).
So I’d really like to cut down on my BLT-ing. I need strategies though…it’s so hard for me to turn down food! Here are some ideas I have, but if you have any, PLEASE leave them in the comments section – I need all of the help I can get!
- When baking/cooking, I can try and make sure I scrape out the bowls really well and then rinse them in soapy water right away so there’s nothing to lick
- I need to throw stuff out immediately too (like if I just have a tiny bit of extra frosting) so I don’t mindlessly lick it up!
- I can try chewing gum while baking (although this has NOT worked for me in the past)
- I need to be honest with myself, and if I’ve overdone it on the tasting, own up to it and eat less that day
- I could try to bake less…but that’s not really realistic for me, as I love doing it so much
- I can avoid in-store samples unless they’re something I really want to try (like on the weekend, I had a chocolate milk sample…not really worth it!)
Now I’m curious. I know I like to bake/cook more than most people. For those of you who don’t spend as much time as me in the kitchen, do you relate to my BLT struggle? Does it look different for you (ie tasting someone else’s food, eating lots of samples)? I wanted to write this post so the blog can help hold me accountable, and also to emphasize what I’ve already said: I’m not perfect, and I struggle each and every day in my relationship with food. I hope that by sharing my struggles and imperfections, you find you can relate and hopefully I (and you) will also have some victories to share!