Diet and Nutrition
4 Worst-Case Diet ScenariosWhat Would You Do?
By Jude Buglewicz
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
RED ALERT! Dessert cart
coming down the aisle! Another potential diet disaster. In fact, they're
everywhere. You probably know by now that changing your lifestyle to achieve
your weight loss and fitness goals involves much more than stocking your fridge
with fresh fruits and veggies and making time for exercise. The real test comes
when you're faced with temptations that could send you barreling straight down
the "just this once" spiral of diet doom. Be honest nowwhat would you
Scenario 1: The Decadent Dessert
The celebratory dinner was divine. You had the small
house salad (dressing on the side, of course), the grilled salmon with steamed
asparagus, and wild rice. You washed it all down with imported mineral water
and a single glass of dry white wine. But look! Here comes the waiter pushing a
silver cartwith chocolate mousse, apple pie, crème
brûlée, fried bananas in caramel sauce, and carrot cake with half
an inch of cream cheese frosting. What would you do?
- Order whatever you want. You can handle
the extra calorieslook how many you saved by not ordering the fettuccine
Alfredo! It all evens out in the end.
- Berate the thoughtless waiter
mercilessly. Isn't it obvious you're watching your weight? You had grilled fish
and steamed vegetables, for crying out loud! Does he enjoy trying to ruin
people's diets? Threaten to sue for psychological distress.
- Choose the apple pie. It's fruit, and
fruit is good for youall those antioxidants. The bananas are obviously
out because they're fried.
- Go for the carrot cakecarrots
are vegetables and you can never have too many of those. You can always scrape
off the frosting. Or maybe just most of it.
- Order one dessert for the whole
table. Everyone gets a bite and nothing is wasted. Portion control is key to
weight loss success.
- Order whatever you want; eat all of
it; then go home. Set your alarm to get up two hours earlier and do Turbo
JamTM Cardio Party until you drop. No way are those
calories ending up on your thighs!
- Politely refuse all desserts and
suggest that the restaurant offer more healthful options, such as fresh
pineapple chunks with fat-free yogurt and a sprinkling of coconut shavings.
Foods high in processed sugar and saturated fat are just not good for the human
If you picked
"7"what are you? A mutant? No, no, nocongratulations! You're our
hero. But the next best choice is "5." You'll recognize the rest as the deluded
sorry excuses you're too smart to fall for anymore. Except for "2." No sense in
punishing himhe's just doing his job.
Scenario 2: The Catered Social
You're at your cousin's wedding, your
company's annual party, or your class or family reunion, and trays of little
gourmet finger-food delights are floating all around you like islands of
temptation, borne aloft by the friendly and efficient waitstaff. "Would you
care for a wild mushroom and cheese puff?" "Pepperoni pizza?" "Fried shrimp in
coconut batter?" "Mini zucchini quiche?" On and on. Everything smells
delicious. Looks delicious. Probably is delicious. And they haven't even
started with the dessert trays yet. What would you do?
- Try one of everything. Maybe two
since they're so small, and then leave earlywhy torture yourself?
- Eat a filling, healthy meal before
the event. You won't be hungry after that, so your powers of resistance will be
strong. You can try a couple of treats, but that's all you'll really want.
- Fill up on the free liquor. You're
trying to lose weight. You can't have that fancy high-calorie finger food!
- Eat anything and everything. This is
a special occasion, and how often do you get the chance to eat food this high
maintenance? Take advantage of life's golden opportunities. Just do P90X
Plyometrics as soon as you get home.
- Avoid catered food entirely. It's
probably either fried in saturated fat or full of artery-clogging cheese. Maybe
both. Ask for a plate of baby carrots and celery instead. And keep your glass
full of mineral water.
If you didn't
choose "2," you've still got a few things to learn. And if you thought "5" was
the right answer, then maybe you're taking this lifestyle-change thing a bit
too far. In any case, it's important to enjoy time with friends, enjoying
life's pleasuresas long as you don't overindulge and you stay on track
with your exercise regimen.
Scenario 3: The Fattening Gift
This occurs most frequently around
Valentine's Day and other major holidays. Someone sends or presents you with a
basket of Cadbury Creme Eggs, or a rum cake, or one of those giant tins of
caramel corn. A friend sent me a big box of smiley face sugar cookies last year
on my birthday. These people mean well, and this is how they express their
love. You don't want to be ungrateful or throw the thing back in their face.
So what would you do?
- Throw the thing back in their face.
They know good and well you're watching what you eat and they're making it
their business to ruin your life. With "friends" like these, who needs enemies?
- Thank them graciously and say you'll
"save it for later." Then immediately cram it down the garbage disposal. All of
it. Destroy all diet dangers swiftly and utterly. It's the only way.
- Food is a terrible thing to waste,
and really tasty, fattening food is no exception. Bring your gift to work or
school and offer it to your pals. That way, the calories will be dispersed
among a larger number of people, causing less dietary harm.
- Have a chocolate egg, or a sliver of
cake. Or a handful of caramel corn. A cookie. Then put the rest in the freezer
(well, maybe not the caramel corn). And have a bit more a few days
lateror once or twice a week, after you've worked out and eaten a healthy
dinner. Think about how dear your friend or loved one is to youbut value
yourself just as much by keeping the portion small.
I hope you picked
"4," though "3," the regifting option, is also okay, and you get kudos for
sharing to boot. And while "2" sounds the safestit'll help preserve your
daily calorie goal, that's for sureit's a bit extreme. Fattening treats
really aren't as dangerous as Sentox nerve gas and you don't have to channel
Jack Bauer to deal with them. Meanwhile, teach by example and send your
candy-giving friends Beachbody workout programs as giftsor other exercise
and fitness-related products.
Scenario 4: The Movie Concession
You're on a date or out with friends seeing the latest
blockbuster from Hollywood. You're headed to your seat, but your companion
wants some popcorn or extra-cheese nachos or a box of Goobers or something to
munch on. With a Coke. Your defenses are downyou're relaxed and having
fun. What would you do?
- This is exactly why you should just stay home and
rent DVDs. You don't have any junk food in your cabinets anymore and you only
eat air-popped corn, so why put up with loud talkers who'll just ruin the movie
and people with big hats who sit in front of you at the last second, even
though you draped your sweater over the chair to make it look like someone was
- Wink slyly to your friend and point
to your knapsack, then sail right by the concession stand. Once in your seat,
break out the bottles of organic juice and the bag of seedless grapes you
bought just before you met up.
- The movie lasts only two hours. You
can surely refrain from eating or drinking that long. You're here to see a
film, not have a picnic. You can always go out for a cup of tea or a frozen
fruit bar afterwards.
- Order a small popcorn, no butter, and
a diet soda. It's not perfect, but when in Rome . . .
- Stop going to those gigantic movie
complexes. Expand your horizons and improve your cinematic taste by frequenting
art house theaters that offer quality independent films along with healthier
munchies and herbal teas.
- Express outrage at the exorbitant
prices of the junk behind the counter. Demand that theater chains take
responsibility for their part in America's obesity epidemic. Implicate all who
are complicit in this gluttonous conspiracythe clerks behind the counter
selling the junk, the people buying it and perpetuating the demand, the
managers ordering it, and of course the manufacturers. Storm out of the place
and start a movement calling for a national boycott of movie theaters until
they offer healthy snacks and decent beverages.
If you answered
"6," who are you, Steve Edwards? Just kidding. (But please read Steve's latest
Food on the Planet article to find out why you should stay far, far away
from soda pop.) Your best bet is "3." Try giving all your attention to the
movie for a change. You don't need to distract your taste buds at the same
time. Use going to the movies as an opportunity to train yourself not to eat
mindlessly. But if the idea of movies without munchies is absolutely
inconceivable, then "2" and "5" are your best options.