How to Eat Less

Eating less doesn’t have to mean starving yourself or relying on “willpower” to shed pounds.

It’s not eating enough that makes you gain weight, it’s eating more than you need—and often wantthat adds those extra pounds.

Knowing why you overeat and how to avoid this will help you maintain your weight, and make dieting even easier.

Eat More Often
If you skip breakfast, you’ll be “starved” by the time lunch rolls around. If you have breakfast and a mid-morning snack, you’ll have eaten twice by lunch. Think you’ll pig out when you’ve already eaten twice that day? Have a sensible lunch, then eat a mid-afternoon snack whether you’re hungry or not. If you’re not hungry, you’ll eat a small snack, like a handful of nuts, piece of fruit or cup or granola bar.

By the time dinner rolls around, you’ll have eaten four times that day\think you’ll overeat? Have your dessert 90 minutes or longer after dinner. You’ll eat six times during the day, and more likely eat fewer calories than if you just at a fast-food lunch and big dinner.

Eat Slower
It takes your brain approximately 15 minutes or more to get the message that your stomach is full. If you wolf down your food, you’ll still think you’re hungry after you are full. People who eat slower tend to eat fewer calories. Eating in courses will help.

Eat in Courses
“Don’t spoil your dinner!” Why not? Have an appetizer as you’re setting the table and preparing to set out your food. Eat a cup of soup before dinner each night. Have a small salad. By the time you get to the main course, you’ll not only forget about needing seconds, your first portion may be smaller than usual.

Plan Snacks
Eat snacks at the same time each day, whether you are hungry or not. Don’t look for snack ideas when you’re hungry. Prepare snacks in advance. Keep a can of nuts on your kitchen counter or a packet in your desk at work. Keep fresh, sliced veggies in the fridge, and have a few pieces with hummus, salsa or peanut butter. Take low-fat cookies, baked chips or other snacks out of big boxes and put them into smaller sandwich bags. This will help you control calories.

Cook Ahead
If you cook when you’re hungry, you may do so much “tasting” that you eat all of the calories you need for that meal. If you follow that with a plate of what you cooked, you’re in trouble. Make large batches of soups, chilis, stews and other favorites in the evening after dinner, let cool, then freeze individual portions. When it’s time to eat, you won’t “taste-test” as you cook and may save hundreds of calories you don’t need . . . equal to 1/2 lb. each week, or 26 lbs. each year!