View Full Version : What does "once in a while" mean to you?
08-19-2003, 01:05 PM
In an effort to eat better and lose a bit of weight, I have been cutting way, way back on sweets (not to mention limiting bad carbs, etc.). Many times diets or eating plans will say it's okay to indulge once in a while. But what does that mean?
I have a feeling what it means to me is VERY different than what it usually means to the author/doctor/originator of the diet. :D I sort of picture "once in a while" meaning every few months or so to these people. To me, "once in a while" is a lot more often! :o
Before I started to be more diligent, I would eat something sweet after lunch and dinner. Every day. So, once in a while for me at this point could easily mean 3 times a week. :D I am trying to cut that back to once a week or so, to see if I can get my body to stop automatically craving it once I finish lunch or dinner, but it is difficult.
I am also struggling with what to shove to ban/severely restrict and what to not to be too strict about. For instance, I have a mango sorbet in the freezer that is fairly light and healthy. Do I allow myself a bit of this once or twice a week, while banning the less healthy sweet stuff, or do I stick to being stricter on ALL sweets to rid myself of cravings? But I digress....
Anyway, I was very curious to find out what "once in a while" meant to all of you when you are trying to eat a healthful diet. As in "you can have <insert anything that should be eaten in moderation> once in a while". :)
08-19-2003, 01:30 PM
I voted once a week...but I really think its a couple of times a month :o If it was a fixed number (like weekly, daily, whatever) I think the person would say so....and if I could only have it every few months or so...why bother telling me I can eat it :D
To answer your other questions, I have found that once I cut out the carbs/sweets I lost the craving for most of them. I also found that I can be satisfied with a single taste now if I want to limit myself (but I also can still eat the WHOLE thing)
08-19-2003, 01:30 PM
Hi Alysha! :)
I voted several a month...it's between a couple times a month and once a week. And then it's limited. For example if I want something sweet during the week, it's either dessert OR a breakfast sweet. I won't bake cookies and muffins on the same day so to speak :D I do have a "free meal" once a week, but it doesn't always include something sweet. I also try to limit fruit to 2x a day and get more veggies in to make up the fruit/veggie suggested requirement.
08-19-2003, 01:30 PM
Well, in that context, I'd have to say that once in a while for me would be about three times a week. I, too, suffer from the same problem. I love dessert. Even if it's just one cookie or a handful of chocolate chips! I probably have something sweet about twice a day. I bring a lowfat granola bar to work with me so I eat that after lunch. It's either chocolate chunk or smores flavor. Then, after dinner, I'll go for a cookie or some ice cream. If I were to cut back to "once in a while" it'd probably be three times a week. I'm sure that's not what the diet people have in mind, though :D !
08-19-2003, 01:31 PM
I voted every few months (several times/year) option.
I think that is the ideal, but I know how hard it is to consider that occasional if it is something you enjoy...
and I must admit that my ice-cream eating is getting past the occasional :eek: :eek:
08-19-2003, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the input so far! :)
I just wanted to add that my example revolved around sweets, but the question can apply to any indulgences - chips, fried foods, creamy foods - anything that you normally try to limit. My big problem just happens to be sweets. Just wanted to clarify. :)
I guess I'm going for moderation for the really big stuff like ice cream, cake, cookies, etc. but I am allowing myself to satisfy my sweet tooth with healthier options. Just now I just satisfied my sweet tooth with a low-carb roll (by O'So Lo) with a bit of peanut butter on it. It was actually a bit too sweet for me, but it had 7 grams of fiber. High fiber and low sugar is what I am really looking for when I reach for a "good carb" (or in the case of sorbet - fresh fruit).
08-19-2003, 02:32 PM
I voted "once a month". I guess I think of having a more "desserty" dessert about that often, or how often we eat out or whatever, and that is about how often I do those things.
I like something sweet after meals too. I like a peach after my lunch and if I'm not having dessert, I usually have an Altoid or other kind of mint after dinner. It just sort of cleanses my palate.
08-19-2003, 05:29 PM
I know this is a wishy-washy answer, but it depends. :o For the most part, if I have a craving for something, it's not that bad, so if the craving doesn't go away in the next little while, I just have whatever it is. The next little while could be the next few minutes, or the next few days, depending on the availability of whatever I'm craving, whether the craving persists or comes back, etc. I don't think too much about it, and tend to usually just eat what I feel like eating.
For something like a bit of chocolate, or a cookie, to me once in a while is pretty well daily. For something like some fries or a few chips, it's more like weekly. For something like a restaurant dessert -- well, I don't usually have the urge to eat a big, rich dessert like that anymore, so it would be only once every 6 months or more. But that's not self-control; that's just how often I actually really want something like that, so maybe I'm missing the point with that example! :p
If the craving is for something utterly evil, I'll still usually go for it, but will try to not eat TOO much of whatever it is. Basically, when I feel I've had enough of whatever it is, I'll stop and move on.
08-19-2003, 05:50 PM
I voted once a month, but it really does depend. I suspect that most 'diet authors' expect us to *really* limit the truly "bad stuff" (empty calories that just taste good) to the very occasional. I'm currently exploring a combination of South Beach/Atkins, and that's how I'm approaching it. Those carbs that provide nutritional value (fruits and starchy veggies) are on my 'once or twice a week' list -- and I try to vary them throughout the week. The carbs that provide no real nutrition (including most breads, sweets, pasta and rice) I'm trying to limit to once a month or less -- at least for now. I'm still losing, so that approach seems to be working.
08-20-2003, 02:52 AM
I'm like Natasha. It really depends on what you mean. My approach is everything in moderation. I probably have a bit of chocolate every day. I like something sweet after lunch and dinner. Sometimes that could be some grapes or other fruit or sometimes it could be pudding or sometimes it could be a couple M&Ms. Fortunately, I don't have any problem stopping at just a couple. I don't bake much though, because then it's like I have a huge dessert every day until it's gone. I also haven't been ordering dessert at restaurants because it's just too much. I just want a little bite of something sweet. I don't think I have to cut everything out altogether, as long as I'm only eating a little bit. I count everything and journal everything and I'm still losing, so those 6 M&Ms after dinner aren't sabotaging my weight loss.
So I voted a couple times a month, because with big treats, that's what I do. The big treats may be a couple drinks at happy hour on Friday night, or a piece of cake, or french fries, but I don't eat them every day because it's just to hard to make up for them later.
08-20-2003, 03:24 AM
Funny you should post this question. After months of watching every morsel of food that goes into our mouths, this weekend, DH and I indulged in a buffet breakfast.
Now if everyone ate the fresh fruit and cottage cheese offered at buffets, they wouldn't be such gutbusters. We had lots of the stuff we have not been preparing at home. Hash browns, pancakes, etc.
While sipping the last of our coffee, I counted off three months holding up three fingers and said, "Next time we come here will not be before November." We chuckled but I was serious.
It's incredible (not to mention incredibly UNFAIR) how weeks of restricted eating can be undone with little or no effort. When diligence is relaxed for a celebration or event I've always had a hard time not spiraling out of control. I'm finding now that I have the discipline (with age? LOL) to return to the "good fight" after a short hiatus - being one meal.
08-21-2003, 01:32 PM
I also think it depends.
For major indulgences - eating a cream-based dish or a rich dessert - "once in a while" would mean no more than once a year.
For minor infractions - eating white rice or a light dessert - it would mean several times a month.
For something as small as a piece of candy, however, I think "once in a while" could mean several times a week.
I voted several times a month - the middle ground.
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