Being a travel writer, it would make sense that I have a passion for Travel Channel shows—and I'm particularly fond of the foodie shows. Too many times my husband and I have watched them, only to be inspired to visit featured restaurants for their famous dishes.
I just returned from a road trip to New York City, and one of our stops was Pittsburgh, home to Primanti Bros. The restaurant was featured on Man v. Food for its famous eat-in-one-hand trucker sandwich made of bread, meat, cheese, tomato, coleslaw, and fries. We had to try it.
Walking into the restaurant, I was a little nervous. It was late at night, and I was very hungry (it had been hours since we ate due to a flat tire on the highway). Both my husband and I ordered the classic Pitts-Burgher Cheesesteak, while the children ordered kid-friendly sandwiches.
My stomach growled as the oversized sandwich arrived and I thought: Am I going to blow my hard work on one sandwich?
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Then I remembered the three-bite rule: When you really want to indulge, limit yourself to three bites. Why? The first bite is as good as you think it's going to be, flavorful and delicious. The second bite is also good but not as good as the first bite. By the third bite, the food isn't going to taste any better, so you might as well stop.
While most people use this trick for dessert, it can be used for any food. When I tried this with my sandwich, I didn't even need all three bites! After bite two, I pulled off the bread and fries and ate the remaining meat, tomato, and coleslaw. I left feeling satisfied and proud that I didn't cave and eat the entire thing. I also could say I tried this beast of a sandwich and still stayed on track.
A few days later, my family was passing through Philadelphia. We all know what this city is known for: Philly cheesesteaks. We grabbed four cheesesteaks from Pat's for the family, and as I sat with the children, my husband ran over to Geno's to grab a cheesesteak for comparison's sake.
This time there was no three-bite rule. I ate half of the Pat’s cheesesteak and a few bites from Geno's. I was full. But I didn't have any regrets. As my husband rightfully pointed out, I still need to enjoy myself from time to time but know when enough is enough. Moderation is the name of the weight-loss game.
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A little while later, my family stood at the base of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps (a.k.a. the Rocky Steps). The kids took off up the stairs without me, and as I ran up after them, I felt good—really good. When I arrived at the top, I noticed I wasn't out of breath. It was then that I realized a year ago there was no way I could have done that without huffing and puffing. Change can happen. Just a step, and three bites, at a time.