034 Falling Into The Trap Of Binge Eating Overseas

  • Overseas Travel Presents Opportunities Of Over-eating

I arrived in Kobe, Japan on Friday morning for an annual education Conference. As a food lover, the temptations to overdo the eating and drinking were everywhere. The local delicacies, the hotel breakfast and the networking dinner at the Conference were readily available.

  • Hard Not To Over-Eat

My tendency to eat in excess was manifested from the first meal after arrival. It was meant to be a simple fare of Japanese curry to accommodate the dietary requirement of an Indian colleague Y. However, the dictum of “eating simple” apparently slipped my mind when I chose one of the most voluminous items on the menu — The Triple Flavours of Beef (ビーフ三味)a Japanese curry rice accompanied with beef cutlet, grilled short ribs and beef sauce.

(Picture above: Lunch at Coco Ichibanya Curry House, a popular chain restaurant of Japanese curry.)

Sleep-deprived by the overnight flight, I felt no remorse over my less than healthy choice of food. Feeling sluggish after the heavy lunch was precisely what I needed. I fell into sleep almost immediately the moment I hit the hotel bed after check-in.

  • Hard To Say No To Delicious And Affordable Food

Kobe beef was top on my list of must-eats in this trip. On the first evening, I contemplated going to Steak Land, a wildly popular steak place known for delicious and somewhat pricy (About ¥3500 or S$44) Kobe beef in Sannomiya. But I had to give it a miss because a colleague A who was joining me for dinner was not a beef-eater.

As a consolation prize, I found a restaurant “The Chicken Nobles” (鳥貴族) that received raving reviews for its wide variety of chicken dishes, with everything priced at only ¥321 (S$4).

The signature dish was yakitori, skewed chicken flavourfully grilled with teriyaki sauce. Other yakitoris included chicken hearts and skins, which I avoided.

Even so, you would still be spoilt for choices. There were chicken wings, grilled pork and sour cream fried chicken and so on.

And there were non-meat options such as tofu, edamame, ramen noodles and mushroom rice.

I enjoyed the dinner so much that I brought a bigger group of friends and associates to the same restaurant the next day.

  • Hard To Say No When It’s Delicious And Free

It’s often said that there is no free lunch in this world. But the truth is hotel breakfasts are mostly provided for during work travel. Luckily, Japanese breakfasts are healthy treats.

That was not all. The networking dinner for Conference participants had all the all-time-favourites of Japanese cuisine such as sushi and tempura, among other food and drinks.

All these food were consumed in just two days. And as if it was not enough, some of us decided to have a taste of ice-cream in the cold winter. It was sinfully splendid.

As I thought about the food I ate, I became alarmed at the extent of over indulgence. But what surprised me most is how easily I had slipped into the trap of binge eating, despite all the past efforts to be health conscious.

There is still one more day before I depart tomorrow night. Looking at my bloated tummy, I know I have to banish all thoughts of Kobe beef tomorrow. Better be wise.

William W.K. Tan

4 March 2018, Sunday

Written in Kobe, Japan.

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