Pizza Test Day 1

December 11, 2007

My first Pizza Test day was Monday.

Before I tell you how I did, I suppose I should review why I’m doing this pizza test, what I’m expecting to learn, and the basic rules.

I am seeing a nutritionist (not just a dietitian but a full-fledged doctor in this country). She appears to be something of an expert on behavioral approaches to food, and is really guiding me in that way. I call her Dr Hope. She prescribed this Pizza Test for me 2 weeks ago, but due to stomach flu I had to put it off one week. The idea is to be confronted with your taboo foods, and I suspect I’ll learn to de-mystify them, and realize I need to pay attention to my hunger with even favorite foods. And that the pleasure of a food is probably related to not having too much of it.

The rules :

  • The meal is the pizza. That means no side salad, no side veggies. No dessert.
  • Pay attention to your hunger
  • Pay attention to your pleasure
  • Pay attention to your satisfaction
  • Try to stop before it’s all gone (Here in Europe pizzas are individual size – about 12 inches in diameter. You can eat a whole one but it’s a good amount of food. I usually eat the whole thing…. If you were doing this in the States you’d either have an x-tra small or maybe half a medium for the same baseline.)

For today’s Pizza Test, I chose Paysanne (country style) with ham, sauteed onions and egg

Rather than tell you how I did, let me start by showing you :
BEFORE : Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
AFTER : Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My Report :

  • The meal is the pizza : ok, I ate pizza only. I would have liked a fruit for dessert.
  • Pay attention to your hunger : I was very hungry. A 5 on a 6 point scale.
  • Pay attention to your pleasure : I found the eggy parts very good (egg is relatively common on pizza in Europe. If you like sunny-side up fried eggs you’d like it, otherwise it’s not for you). I’d give it a 2 of 3 on the pleasure scale.
  • Pay attention to your satisfaction : I was pretty satisfied pretty early, and that surprised me, because I usually eat more than this being less hungry.
  • Try to stop before it’s all gone : No problem on this. In fact, see that little piece cut apart? I was going to eat that but I stopped, I decided I didn’t need it.
  • Any other comments? Yes. I ate this pizza on a proper plate and with a knife and fork instead of my hands. I think that made a big difference, because it slowed me down and made it more civilized. When I had pizza a week ago I ate it in slices with my hands. And I ate a lot more, and faster.

I also was very aware that I’ll be having pizza for several days now. Knowing I’ll be having more and more was plenty to put me off overdoing it. In fact, an hour or so later, I felt uncomfortably full, so maybe I did overdo it. But in the real world there are precious few foods that we can never have again – you can always have more of something another time, the world won’t end if you don’t eat 3 slices of Aunt Darla’s Heavenly Cheesecake this holiday season. She’ll still make it next year. And you can find a decent recipe anywhere if the craving strikes again.

The other thing that I think helped me was having one pizza all to myself. No sharing. My DH wasn’t even home when I ate. I could eat what I want without feeling the need to “defend my turf” and eat “my share”.

Finally, before the Pizza Test I decided to try, for the first time, a Walk Away the Pounds DVD. I did 20 minutes, just over 1 mile. But moving my butt a little was enough to curb my desire to stuff myself afterwards. I didn’t exercise for that reason, but it did help (I did it to try to find a way to exercise despite crummy weather, and I think the DVD will be a good option for me this winter).

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