When I record my hours at my day job, if I indicate that I was working with a specific person on my caseload rather than general administrative duties, a set of goals linked to that individual will automatically pop up on the screen, giving me the option to note if any progress was made.
Lately I’ve noticed something similar happening on my interior view screen when I look ahead to the day’s eating challenges.
On Friday, for instance, recalling that we had an awards banquet to go to triggered a pop-up reminder of a food log entry I’ve labeled the Awards Banquet Template. In the past, it’s not only helped me conserve calories during the day but restrain myself at the targeted meal.
I call these preplanned daily menus “templates” because I try to replicate each meal or snack from that day as closely as possible, knowing it was not only successful in terms of controlling my eating but contains foods that were both appealing and filling.
Because it was a Friday, a couple of other templates linked to that day of the week also popped up.
One I call the SCD Post-Garage Sale Party at Rachel’s Template. That’s a mouthful, but in actuality it’s so simple I have it memorized: Five 70-calorie chicken sausages for breakfast, a 15-ounce can of refried beans with carrots and celery for lunch, and a couple of glasses of red wine with crunchy veggies from the hors d’oevre table for dinner.
This is from August 2014, when I was having decent success on Tim Ferriss’ Slow Carb Diet (SCD). This template isn’t necessarily typical of that diet, but it’s extra light dinner helped me close out a solid week of weight loss. Its appeal lies in its simplicity and the near guarantee I’ll be down a couple of pounds the following day.
However, part of the reason I was trying that diet was because I wasn’t able to run due to an injury. Most of the time, that’s not going to provide enough energy for me when I’ve got a Saturday morning race or a decent-sized run planned.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is my Baseball Sectional Template from May 2016, when I had four bags of 94 percent fat free microwave popcorn and half a carton of Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom ice cream (fat free, no sugar added). Even with an egg white Subway sub and a celebratory McDonald’s soft-serve cone after the game, I still made my retro Weight Watchers points quota for the day.
Though my Ice Cream Diet Template didn’t originally take place on a Friday — it occurred on the hottest day I can recall during my lifetime, when the temperature hit 106 in July 2012 — it’s one of my most fun templates and on some level, even at age 53, I still associate Fridays with Fun.
This past Friday, I went with the Awards Banquet Template (see below)— only to fail miserably, because I hadn’t taken into account that the softball banquet it’s based on occurred on a Tuesday, when I was busy at the office and managed to stay fairly distracted between mealtimes. Because I was off Friday and working at home, juggling a bunch of projects I was trying to catch up on, I was plagued with a nagging sense of anxiety that translated into the munchies.
Live and learn, right? So now I’m going to write myself up a Friday Awards Banquet Template, which will have me eating as much as I want of only one type of filling-but-low-cal food during a stay-at-home day prior to a banquet … probably a staple from my 2010 Weight Loss campaign, boiled egg white sandwiches on high fiber, 35-calorie Healthy Goodness bread. (As I recall, those were only 1 Weight Watchers point on the system that was in use at the time.)
The Original Awards Banquet Template:
Breakfast: banana and ½ cup oatmeal with 1T peanut butter..
Lunch: Baby carrots, 1 ounce almonds, banana.
Snack on way home from work: 1 more ounce of almonds and more carrots, if desired.
Awards banquet: plain burger (no bun), small serving of pasta salad, larger serving of tossed salad, one cookie from the dessert table.