Cooking without eating

November 30, 2008 at 11:52 pm 2 comments

The latest issue of Cooking Light just arrived in my mailbox, and the holiday recipes look mouthwatering!

I have been overtaken by a nearly irresistible urge to bake the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies featured in this issue, but I have forced myself to resist.  Why?  Well, I’m afraid I’ll eat up all the cookies before they have a chance to cool down.  And, even if I managed not to do that, saving them ’til I can unload them at work the next morning, I’m afraid I’ll go crazy with the leftover ingredients: peanut butter, mini chocolate chips and more.

Ugh!  I want to learn to be a better cook, but my willpower during the process is decidedly lacking.  With my struggles lately to stay on course – not to mention the inherent challenges of the season – I just can’t afford to take the risk of overeating, not even for the lofty goal of further developing my Sassy Chef skills.

However, if your motivational mojo is stronger than mine and you want to give it a go, here are some tips, courtesy of, to keep you from chowing down too much while you’re creating that culinary masterpiece.

  • Brush your teeth right before to discourage mindless nibbling while cooking or baking. “You won’t be as tempted to sample foods when your breath tastes like peppermint”.
  • Eat a small snack, like a cup of yogurt, 20 minutes before you start cooking. This will send a signal to your brain that you’re already satisfied.
  • Make deals with yourself. “Recently I baked cookies with my nieces.  If we ate one scoop of dough, we allowed ourselves two baked cookies. If we ate two scoops of dough, we were allowed only one baked cookie.”
  • Wear bleaching strips on your teeth. “You won’t want or be able to nibble when your teeth are otherwise occupied”.

Thinking that a bite can’t really do that much damage?  Don’t be fooled.  Check out these stats:

  • Having two spoonfuls of chocolate-chip cookie dough: 64 calories, 3 grams of fat
  • Eating leftover pie scraps: 81 calories, 5 grams of fat
  • Licking whipped cream off the beaters: 52 calories, 5 grams of fat
  • Picking just one slice of cheese from the platter: 113 calories, 9 grams of fat
  • Grabbing a handful of mixed nuts from the bowl: 168 calories, 15 grams of fat

What I want to know is: what is like to be one of those people who doesn’t overeat during cooking?  Who can actually leave a bag of chocolate chips in the fridge for days without even giving it a second glance?  My friend Judi can do it.  I house-sit for her on occasion, and she always has peanut butter in the cupboard and chocolate chips in the fridge.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that she’s not a small gal; she struggles with her weight, too.  But, obviously, she’s not bingeing on cookie ingredients. 

I know there are people who can cook without making it their second lunch or their first dinner.  I’m just not one of them, unless I have a very specific purpose or timetable.  I can make stuff to bring to a party as long as I do it immediately prior to the party.  I can make stuff for a party I’m hosting, again, as long I do it right before.  Or, if I don’t really like what I’m making, I won’t munch on it.  It’s touch and go with the Yum Yum Brownie Muffins.  I like them but am usually able to avoid noshing, although I will sometimes eat the dough equivalent of one muffin when I’m preparing them for my BF.  And, very occasionally, I will eat one of them after they’re cooked.  For some reason, though, they aren’t a huge draw for me. 

It’s frustrating.  I truly want to be a better cook, and I want to make use of my down time, creating something wonderful that can be popped out of the freezer later and shared with loved ones.  It saddens me that my personality type or neuroses or whatever keep me from doing that.  I guess that it’s more important for me to know myself – and respect my weaknesses – than it is to berate myself for my flaws.  I am what I am.  Sometimes, though, I wish I wasn’t.


Entry filed under: clean eating, coping strategies, diet recommendations, tips & techniques.

Happy Thanksgiving! Back to the pole

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Juliet  |  December 1, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Thanks for the tips! I like the ones about the small bites… they really do add up!

  • 2. Weight Loss  |  December 1, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Keep up the good work. 117 lbs is awesome


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