Maggie Morris still eats a little birthday cake now and then. And she doesn't shy away from restaurants, because she loves to eat out. She just makes sure to allow for it in her eating plan.
Morris says she knows that to deprive herself of any treats or other high-fat foods would just make her want them more.
"To say I would never have cake again would be a very dangerous thing," she says. "The minute I say that to myself, the opposition starts up. 'Oh, yes I am. I'm going to have one.' If I know I'm going to a birthday party and there's going to be cake there, I decide ahead of time if I'm going to have a piece of cake or not. I don't have other (treats) that day. If I get there and it's a kind of cake I don't like, then I don't have it."
If she does eat some cake, "I have half a slice."
To allow for a splurge at night, she might cut back on her calories earlier in the day, or exercise a little more that day. "It's a lot of psychological preparation. If I do things on impulse, that's when I'm more likely to overeat."
When she goes out to restaurants, she often asks the server to bag half the dinner before it's brought to the table, so she can take it home for another meal the next day. She also takes care when ordering. She'll order grilled fish with no oil or butter. "You stay away from the fried foods and heavy sauces."
She also orders vegetables without butter or sauces. Her taste buds now prefer unadorned veggies. "I used to put globs of mayonnaise on stuff, globs of butter. Now I'll eat fresh vegetables with no butter on them, just steamed. And they're delicious. But it takes a while. It takes maybe one to three months to really begin to notice that."