Man I just love food.
And I show no bias…nutrient dense or filled with absolute junk, give me all the food. Please tell me I am not the only one?! Now, not being picky is generally applauded as a good thing, but you see, it gets me into a wee bit of trouble in that it is all too easy for me to eat way too much. Anybody out there giving me an “amen”?
The solution is simple really; stop shoveling so much food into my face. Well obviously. But seriously, how do I ACTUALLY do this because I can’t make like Harry Potter and with an “expalliarmus” flourish make it so.
Well, over the years, I have figured out a few tricks that work…a majority of the time…or at least help… because let’s be real, eating is delightful, and I would be a complete liar, liar pants on fire if I said I never overindulged. I mean can anyone really just eat one chocolate chip cookie? And if you can…well move along because this is a waste of your time.
1. Dish your meals in the kitchen, and immediately put any leftover food in containers into the fridge. This prevents a couple of things. I am far less likely to get seconds because it requires effort to get up from the table, take it out of the fridge and potentially reheat it. Laziness often knocks out gluttony in a boxing match believe it or not. It also keeps me from picking at food at dinner. If it is on the table, I will have just a few extra bites, and we all know those add up faster than a calculator.
2. In the same vein, if you are eating at a restaurant, split a meal with someone or have the waiter box up the meal immediately, but only bring the box out when it is time to leave.
3. Use smaller dishes. Surely you have heard this one before, but that is because it works. If you have a small bowl or plate, you literally run out of room. Now, I hear you yelling at me that you can just fill it up again, but see my previous point. Boom!
4. Drink noncaloric beverages. Sometimes, it is just about keeping my mouth and hands busy throughout the day by sipping on water, herbal tea, kombucha, coffee, La Croix. If I do this, I am way less likely to devour a million calories in snacks.
5. Always sit down to eat and do not multitask (even for snacks). Several years ago, I realized that I was eating on the fly a lot and/or multi-tasking while eating. This became problematic because my mind was not registering that I had already eaten because I didn’t actually have the experience. I know I sound a little cuckoo here, but try it. I bet you notice a difference.
6. Stay busy. This one is in regards to eating during the day. If I have more going on, I am far less likely to shove my pie hole 24/7. On days that I am home, I always tell myself that I need to complete at least one task before I can eat. This just gives me a little bit of time to get my wits about me, deciding if I am actually hungry, instead of eating on impulse.
7. Only eat foods that you really like. When you are trying to keep your food intake to a respectable amount, why waste it on things that are just so so? I say make it count! Obviously, I am not saying just eat pizza and ice cream every single day, but if you don’t really like almonds, don’t waste a snack on that.
8. If you have a craving, sometimes it is just better to indulge it. Let me paint a picture for you…have you ever been craving something really bad like chocolate? But you are trying to be sooooo good and stick to healthy eating. So you eat everything else in sight because nothing else is just quite satisfying that sweet tooth. Been there done that? Instead of eating the whole house, just have the piece of chocolate already.
9. Don’t keep trigger foods in the house. What are trigger foods you ask? Just what you would think – the foods that once you start, you just can’t stop. For example, if you set a bag of Cheetos in front of my face, I will eat until my fingers are a permanent shade of orange. Most of the time, these are snack type foods so I always try to buy snacks for my kids that are not things that I absolutely LOOOOVE.
10. Go out for treats. If you have read any of my stuff, you know I am all about the balance. I have treats (yes plural), every single week without fail. But 9 times out of 10, these treats are not something that I have in my house. I will go out for an ice cream cone because when it is done, it is done, and I can’t keep stuffing. There is a bottom to the bucket so to speak.
Welp. There you have it. My Top 10 practical tips that actually help me eat a wee bit less. Are any of these hacks new to you? What other ideas do you have for me?!