blog good-better-best Jul 12, 2023

Before I came up with the Good-Better-Best method and the protocols that will be in next week's blog, I would always face parties, vacations, holiday meals, office lunches, going out to dinner, etc., hoping for the best. I also set “hoping for the best” against an impossibly high standard so I never reached my weight loss goals, or if I did, I certainly could not maintain any significant weight loss.

I was never good enough, I never did enough, I never succeeded enough because, after all, enough isn’t perfect. Then in my late 60s I discovered and entered the Land of Good Enough. To my surprise entering and living in the Land of Good Enough opened the gates to the Land of Doing More and Feeling Better.

Here is the roadmap to find the keys to those Lands

There is no such thing as perfect

Good IS good enough!

GBB Restaurant Scenarios

A different angle on GBB

Now on to parties

The Land of Good Enough

There is no such thing as perfect

In this lesson about Good-Better-Best and Protocols I am going to give you some ways to decide on your next-best decision about what food to choose.

Don't aim for perfect

Not only will it never happen, but your pursuit of it will drive you to all sorts of dark places.

Good enough IS good enough!

In my experience, I have found that the search for perfect gets in the way of "good enough" and sometimes even best - which is often perfect for the situation, but not perfect for what we dream of as perfect.

There is no need to seek out the queen's crown.

Instead, I employ a method called, "Good-Better-Best." Podcast # 7 is all about this, and it would be helpful to go back and listen to it in addition to this one.

You already know that

  • You are an intelligent human being. (You are here, aren't you?) and
  • For sure you know that an appetizer of crudités, cheese, olives, and a few crackers is a better choice than chips, puff-pastry delights, pretzels and all sorts of things spread out on French baguettes.

Even if you have planned out what you are going to eat on these occasions, there are ways to be pleased with your assessment about how you handled them.

  • Ask yourself quickly: "How can I minimize the damage?"
  • Answer that, and you are at least in the GOOD category!
  • Using Good-Better-Best, how can you handle eating out?

I am going to give you a few scenarios on how to move the needle just a little bit. Adjust it to any eating style you are following, but I based these suggestions on Low Carb.

GBB restaurant scenarios

When you first sit down:

  • You are famished.
  • Bad news for the breadbasket situation, plus everything will sound good to you.
  • And speaking of breadbaskets, if no one objects, let everyone else take something and then ask that it be removed or move it to where it is out of your reach.
  • Ask for coffee, tea, or a non-cream soup as soon as you sit down.

When it’s time to order

  • Once you have had at least a cup of something, open the menu and take a moment to think about what you might like. Does the restaurant have a specialty? Do you have a hankering for something?
  • Some places offer their menus on-line and you can see what there is before you even walk in, but it's not necessary to decide in advance like that.
  • But, if you have decided in advance what you want, don't even take a menu, just sip your beverage or soup.
  • Be the first one to order.
  • Do not order last. Everything will sound too good and you will make poor choices based on impulses.

Here is the GOOD scenario

  • Order mostly what you want
  • BUT: Stay away from the breadbasket and any bread with the main course such as a hamburger roll or tortilla.
  • Don't order fried appetizers, cream soup or French fries, unless you are holding back on something else.
  • If you must have dessert, either order fruit for yourself, split a dessert with someone, or order what you really, really, REALLY want and have a bite or two, or half at the most.

Here is the BETTER scenario

  • Order a salad for your appetizer, no croutons, and no specialty salads (such as Fall or Asian salads).
  • Order a non-breaded protein such as steak, broiled chicken or fish, or hamburger.
  • If you order a house specialty like Chicken Parmesan ask if they can make it with no breading.
  • If this is not possible (because it is pre-made) but you are dying for it, have it but ask for a small plate on the side and immediately cut off some of the portion and give it away or ask for a takeout container and put it in there at the start of the meal.
  • Ask for a side non-starchy vegetable like broccoli or string beans.
  • Order a starch if you want but watch your portions.
  • If it is pasta or rice you can even ask the server to have the chef measure out a cup or so before having it brought to the table; eat only half the potato.
  • Don't order dessert for yourself; share if you can, but then eat only half of that.
  • Finish your meal with a coffee, tea, or sparkling water with a strawberry in it.

BEST scenario

  • Order an appetizer salad, and dress with Blue cheese or Ranch (if you like them and they are available) or just some fresh lemon and olive oil.
  • Do not order "light" anything. It usually refers to fat content and not sugar content.
  • Order a grilled protein. Stay away from things like steak tips which have probably been marinating in a sugar-laden marinade.
  • Steak, prime-rib, roast chicken or salmon (or other fish) are perfect choices.
  • Ask for a side non-starchy vegetable like broccoli or string beans.
  • Don't order dessert. If a friend will let you have a "bite" enjoy. Better yet, don't even have that bite!
  • Finish your meal with a coffee, tea, or sparkling water with a strawberry in it.

Also best

  • When I am not in control of what goes on my plate (like at a restaurant that serves 12-16 ounce steaks), I will ask for a container BEFORE I even start my meal and take off half from the start.
  • It eliminates picking at the food until it is all gone when you meant to eat only half.
  • You can always take some out of the container if you are still hungry.
  • This is a great way to approach "BEST" even if you have indulged in some food that you normally would not have.

A different angle on GBB

  • I propose that there are no good foods and bad foods, only foods that will get you to your goal or take you further away from it. Anything can fit depending upon your goal(s).
  • Goal #1 -When eating out with friends and family it's about being with everyone, so savor that experience.
  • Goal #2 - Is the food itself a special experience? Are there specialties of the house or some food you love and have been hankering for? Savor that food.
  • Goal #3 - You want to feel better when you are finished than when you started. Savor the feeling of not being stuffed.
  • Goal #4 - Don't beat yourself up for any food choices you have made. Savor what you are having, get rid of the beat up, and move on. You are not good or bad. The food choices are not good or bad. No guilt Is necessary.
  • If all your goals have been met, you have made the best choices.

Now on to parties

  • If it is an appetizer-type party, choose well.
  • By this I mean, forgo a lot of the fried and heavily breaded items, like fried shrimp or mini-egg rolls. Instead, have some cheese and dip with crudités, meatballs, olives, maybe one or two fried items that you really love, and a few crackers if you must.
  • If it is a dinner party, and it is a buffet, fill your main plate with salad and a protein selection.
  • If you must have a dessert, pick one thing, and leave half.
  • If you take your food and there is a place to sit, take your ONE plate, sit away from the table, and do not get up for more.
  • If it is a "passed-food" party with no plates, sort of keep score in your head, and take 5 or 6 items and call it a day.
  • Keep a seltzer water or diet soda in your hand or ask for hot coffee or tea.
  • A friend told me once that she has a rule of never eating while standing up. PERIOD.
  • That takes care of a stand-up, milling-around party.
  • Keep a beverage in your hand.
  • If it is a sit-down party, when you make your plate leave off any carb-laden or fried choices.
  • Skip dessert.

The Land of Good Enough

  • Let's say you love eclairs with your coffee once in a while.
  • I don't encourage good-food vs. bad-food lists. Put it in the GOOD column, but maybe add, "Once a month if I really want it." We are looking for next-best decisions.
  • We are trying to figure out how to get off the perfection path, that we never reach anyway (at least not for very long) and get comfortable with the "Land of Good Enough."
  • Once you are firmly in that land, move on to the "Land of Better Decisions."
  • As often as possible, visit the "Land of Best For Me and My Goals."
  • Life is on a continuum my folks. Embrace it.

Make conscious decisions. Don't eat in a fog or be totally unaware of what you are consuming. As long as you don’t wake up in a stupor wondering why you are so stuffed or wondering why your blood sugar might be high, then at least you are aware of what you did and can make a better decision next time.

Remember, that first step into the Land of Good Enough will pave the way to the Land of Doing More and Feeling Better.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, Good-Better-Best, and I hope it will help you navigate your journey. Don't forget to subscribe to the mailing list (below) so that you don't miss the next one!

My course, Keto and Low Carb Success is built on nutritional wisdom and the most important elements of finding your normal through help with urges, feeling your best, setting smart goals, learning about your next best decisions, etc. There are so many more topics like these in this course. Please check the link below. I have very special gifts and pricing for the summer of 2023.

Now, let me remind you. If you’ve ever got a question you’d like to ask me or share a topic idea that you would like me to cover in a future blog, don’t be a stranger! I always look forward to hearing from readers like you. You are welcome to email me directly… [email protected].

All Free Resources

Learn more about this with my book and course:

Book Conquer Cravings with Keto 

Course Keto and Low Carb Success

Tips for Keeping a Food Journal - Part 1

Join Our Newsletter!

Stay up to date on the latest blogs!