Stimulated now? Are those salivary glands active? Can you feel the need to run out and get a big old hunk of milk chocolate happy?
Yeah, me too. In fact, I lingered too long searching on Google Images to find chocolate pictures to show you. My big breasted temptation is a triple tempered chocolate concoction that has been blended and creamed until gooey perfection. I admit it. I had a 25 minute drool fest.
The fact is that we are influenced greatly by the visual cues we get when it comes to food. Have you ever noticed the fast food commercials that drone on and on when it is almost dinner time? What about that Taco Bell owns the TV stations after 10pm because they are open late for a fifthmeal? Or have you ever thought about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are spent for food plating on magazine covers? Each morsel is placed “just so” in the hopes of selling their rag and you putting that same dish on your hips. If you think that you are above visual stimulation when it comes to food, I dare you to watch just one cake show on Food Network. Go ahead, I triple dog dare ya.
My personal favorite is Ace of Cakes. Sure, there may be some cake artists out there who are technically perfect, but I love the idea that power tools were used in the making of my confections and that they are filled with character and were surrounded by movie and kung foo references while they were made. Not to mention that Mary Alice is too cool for school. That girl cracks me up! In fact, when I hit goal and have a huge party, I often dream about having them make my big butt logo girl as a cake for the occasion, except that she is holding a silver platter of fresh cut veggies for me to eat instead of pigging out on the cake. OK, who am I kidding? I would never pass up Charm City Cake, especially if it was made for me. I suppose a carrot cake wouldn’t be so bad…the only saving grace for me is that they are in Baltimore, and I am way outside their delivery area. But you have to admit, that would make an awesome “I lost 100 pounds celebration” cake, wouldn’t it?
Sorry, I digress. But there is something about seeing cake that makes my tummy feel all gooey inside. Also in the make me gooey category are fries covered in cheese and bacon, and any hunk of meat that is smothered in grilled onions. (Oh, a must add to the list is the Wisconsin Buttery Burger at Steak N Shake. DO NOT ORDER THIS BURGER. It is divine beyond words, and you will never want to eat another burger ever again. I’m just trying to save you a week on the treadmill.)
Did you ever sing the song in Sunday School… “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see?” I have to tell you, there is no better diet philosophy we could hang on to. Our eyes like to lie to us. They focus on the calorie laden plate, and ignore the cottage cheese. On our thighs. In fact, our eyes are fantastic at making us see illusions. And I thought I would bring a few of them out in the open so we can bring the truth to light.
Illusion #1. What is on your plate is a serving size.
Heaven help me, this is the toughest lesson to learn. I keep thinking that somehow, the restaurant will magically give me only what I need on my plate. These servings are not for us striving for weight loss. A good rule of thumb is that your veggie portion should be bigger than your meat portion. Always try to eat the veggies first. And order a box to come with your main course. Sure, it looks tacky, but who cares? Thunder thighs in skinny leg jeans looks more tacky. Trust me. Don’t make me show you a picture of my first attempt at skinny leg jeans. It’s not pretty. I’m not suggesting that you bring a food scale to your favorite diner, but if you faithfully start using proper portions at home and get a feel for the amounts you should be eating, you won’t be deceived when you are out and about on the town.
Illusion #2. Those food commercials have no effect on you.
Lies, lies, lies! I have no craving for a half pound burrito until I see the commercial. And I don’t even like the Bell anymore! I never think about dipping my fruit in chocolate until I see an ad for those edible bouquets. And it is ludicrous to imagine that anything you purchase while still seated in your car with the window rolled down is healthy. I don’t care if you are ordering a salad. By the time you put on the croutons, dressing, cheese, nuts and frilly add-ins, etc., you might as well get out of your car and walk home to burn it off. But we are convinced by the genius spin of the high paid marketing departments that we can make healthy options at fast food joints. Let me be clear- we can make HEALTHIER options, but you are still doing better to bite the bullet and eat at home where you won’t be tempted by french fries that jumped ship in the bottom of the bag. As for those commercials? It would behoove you to get up and stretch your legs during the commercial breaks. Maybe go in another room and drink 8 ounces of water, or try to jog in place until the show comes back on. Anything but sit there and be influenced by those fast food commercials!
Illusion #3. If it says Low Fat, Fat Free, Reduced Fat, Reduced Calorie, High Protein, High Fiber, or any other diet buzz words, it MUST be good for you and you can eat all you want of it.
This is a really tough one to decipher. There are many benefits of going with some reduced whatever products. You can do well with shaving off calories and grams of fat from your diet. However, that is only if you keep with the recommended serving size. How many of you have consumed more than just one 100 calorie pack in a sitting? (Charlie is sheepishly raising her hand) By doing this, we defeat the purpose of the pack. In fact, we would have saved money by just buying the Oreos, because 20 servings of regular Oreos are the same price as 6 servings of the wafer thin imitations. Now, let’s look at salad dressings. Reduced fat dressings- at least the ones in my fridge- still can contain up to 8 grams of fat per tablespoon. Scary, isn’t it? If you have to have the taste of ranch, even the reduced fat kind, put it on the side. Then dip your fork in the dressing and get a bit on the tines of your fork before attacking the lettuce. It’s amazing how little you use this way! We are a nation of excess, and we have got to retrain our eyes to really look at labels before we dig in. Label reading is key.
I hope that you all will take a second look at what your eyes are taking in and the illusions we have talked about here. My goal is to give you keys to make changes that can last you a life time, not just while you are “on a diet.”
And keep those entries coming in for the Sentsy Giveaway! I love seeing everyone get involved and looking at how different your tastes are. It makes me wonder what your homes look like. Personally, I love they symphony warmer, and the white do it yourself one with the skull rub ons. Cause I’m rock and roll like that. You have till Thursday night to get your entries in!!!