I went WAY over my calorie budget yesterday because I fell into one of the traps that gets me quite often, and is way more common over the Holidays. My husband made these delicious bars for an event we were hosting last night and I got home early from work. Instead of just leaving the stupid things in the fridge, I took the pan out to let them "thaw" a bit so that they would be easier to cut when the time came. Now, I knew that I would have one of these things, they fit into the "eat what you love" rule, AND they fit nicely into my calorie budget for the day. I made sure to wake up early and get enough exercise and ate nice and light for the entire day (note that I did NOT starve myself, I ate, I just made sure that my meals were nice and very low cal) So by three in the afternoon, I had carefully freed up the calories so that I could enjoy, within reason, a bar and the meal last night (we ordered out - Mexican food).
Back to the thawing pan of yummy bars. I knew that I would eat a bar after dinner, so I was looking forward to that, but I noticed that my husband had cut a small piece out right after he baked them to make sure that they had set up correctly. Well, they were lopsided, so I shaved off just a bit to even it out and popped it in to my mouth. Mmmmm...delicious. And I shaved off another very small piece. Not many calories there, no problem. And I shaved off another small piece. And another....by the time I was done, I had eaten the equivalent of about 2 and a half bars...at nearly 250 calories a piece. So much for all of my efforts during the rest of the day - my day was SHOT. I didn't give up, you should never give up, even when your day is shot. You can always mitigate the damage. I watched myself for the rest of the evening. I did eat dinner, but I was careful not to overdo anything else. I still went WAY over for the day. Epic Fail.
This has happened to me before - it was happening with Cheerios of all things. I like to walk into the kitchen and grab a handful of these. I love Cheerios, and they are a nice low calorie snack for when I get the munchies - nice in moderation, that is. I was eating WAY too many. I wasn't gaining weight, but I wasn't losing it like I wanted to either, and couldn't figure out why - until I stepped back and looked at what I was eating and honestly re-evaluated all of my habits. Those Cheerios were creeping in. I fixed this by measuring out a cup into a ziplock bag. If I want to munch on them - that is my limit - and no more. It worked. I'm taking a different approach with the bars. We are going to another event today. The bars will come with us to the event, I'm certain they will be gone by the end. If they are not, I'm sure there will be someone who would love to take them home. And then no more taking them out of the fridge early. I'm fine with them in the house - they just need to stay in the fridge - out of sight and out of mind.
So, the silver lining lesson here is to avoid the bits and pieces pitfall, especially over the holidays when there are lots of bits and pieces around. If you must munch and /or have the irresistible urge to snack, find something acceptable: fruit, veggies, or another healthy snack. Allow yourself to have a specified amount and measure that out - so that if you have to snack you have something (and it should be something you love) to snack on - but you'll know when you've had enough - when to stop.