While I don’t follow a strict diet (because, well, I’m not very good at it, which is probably also why I rarely write about food), I have some rules I try to follow. These are, roughly speaking:
1. Ideally, no snacks between meals.
2. If you must have a snack in the evening, have a bit of lowfat cheese, or fruit, rather than a biscuit or a piece of toast. (If you are not hungry for fruit… you’re probably, well, not hungry.)
3. Do not eat something just because it’s there.
4. One helping of anything is enough (with the exception of vegetables).
Mostly, what I eat is fairly healthy. I’m a vegetarian, so I have to be slightly careful about the ratio of protein to carbohydrate, and the amount of cheese I consume, but I don’t normally eat any fast food or even many ready meals. And although I don’t cut out treats completely, some of my eating habits have changed for the better. A few weeks ago, I was in a coffee shop and thought “I’m going to the gym and I won’t have dinner until later; I could have a cake now.” But when I looked at them, I just didn’t really want any. This would not have happened a year ago.
Since the D. B. moved up, we’ve both been bringing a sandwich from home, rather than buying one at lunchtime. Lunch used to be my Achilles heel, in that I would sometimes find my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so to speak. If I was really hungry, I’d buy something extra as well as a sandwich and fruit, eat it all too quickly, and then realise I was overfull. (This is a good reason to sit down and eat slowly.)
There wasn’t a good reason why I didn’t bring in my lunch before – mostly I just didn’t remember to. But it does save money (which, as we know, the D. B. is keen on) and if I don’t go into food shops, I’m not tempted by other things. Or at least that’s the theory.
Since Monday, the no-snacking principle has gone completely out of the window.
The worst case of this was undoubtedly yesterday, when there was a function at work in the late afternoon. Had it been at lunchtime, I’d probably have been OK. But as it was, I ate quite a few crisps and things, more or less because they were there, and free. As a result I felt dehydrated (probably the unaccustomed salt) and wasn’t really hungry for tea.
I’d feel better if I knew why I’m doing this. Nothing is wrong; I’m not under particular stress. I will let myself off for Wednesday (piece of pizza, Galaxy ice cream) in that I was grabbing something I could eat fast between work and going out to the Neil Gaiman booksigning, and given that I was going to be standing up for an unknown period, I wanted to have eaten something. But the rest of it? I think I’ve just lost concentration somehow.
Today there have been biscuits (free) and chocolate. Well, there we are. What I need to do now is focus, remember why I’m doing this, and remember that food is fuel. Sugar is not good fuel, and it won’t make me feel better for eating it.
Finally: I don’t know how this works, and I'm sure it's totally unscientific, but it’s weirdly accurate.
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