I used to be one of the lucky ones. I could eat anything without gaining weight, even when I was trying bulk up during my football-playing days.
That all changed when I hit my late 30s. Now, if I don’t pay attention to how much I eat, things start to slide and bulge. Here are some ways I’ve tricked myself into eating less.
Floss Right After Dinner
I am committed to flossing my teeth before bedtime. Flossing helps prevent gum disease, which has been linked to a number of health conditions, including heart disease. Yet, I hate flossing – it’s messy and time consuming. If I floss right after dinner, I won’t eat again that night. I don’t want to have to floss again.
Only Eat Sitting Down
I was once a chronic snacker. I’d lurk about the kitchen pantry and shove handfuls of cereal in my mouth or sample meals as I prepared them. By enforcing a simple rule – “no eating while standing up” – I’ve cut back on all the grazing and cut out countless calories. Plus, when you sit to eat, you’re much more aware of what and how much you’re eating.
Snack on Black Coffee
Instead of having that second cup of coffee early in the morning, I’ll save it and have it as my mid-morning snack. Black coffee has virtually zero calories, and the caffeine in coffee may briefly suppress your hungry. A well-timed cup of coffee helps me hold off eating until my next meal.
Bypass the Bulk
Guests are often appalled by the lack of food in our refrigerator or pantry. We only shop for enough food to cover the week ahead, and we almost never buy bulk food products. It’s probably not the most economical way to shop for groceries – not to mention poor preparation for the zombie apocalypse – but try eating a handful of chips when you have no chips.
Don’t Eat What You Can’t Say
This is a variation on Rule No. 19 from the book “Food Rules, An Eater’s Manual” by Michael Pollen: “If it’s a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.” I read the ingredients of every food item I buy. If it includes anything I have stop and consider how to pronounce, I won’t buy it. (Carrot, yes. Disodium guanylate, huh?) This approach has eliminated many overly processed, packaged foods from my diet. In other words, the stuff I used to be able to eat all day.