New Tricks for Eating Better and Less
Smart Food Strategies
Follow Wansink's advice by using these simple tricks.How to Reach Your Goal Weight Without Even Trying
"If you cut 100 to 200 calories a day, you'll lose 10 to 20 pounds a year. The great thing about this fact is that 100 to 200 calories is what I call the mindless margin. We found that people don't even notice if they eat that much less. They feel just as full. So one very easy way to cut those calories is to always serve yourself 20 percent less than you normally would. Generally, that's four or five fewer bites dished onto your plate."The Simple Trick for Eating More Veggies
"The more variety there is, the more we eat. This is true at salad bars, so it makes sense that at home, you'll eat more salad if you toss in more healthy, low-calorie things. Likewise, you'll probably eat more vegetables if you serve a medley of them, and not just, say, a plate of broccoli. Another trick is to keep the salad and vegetables on the table but leave the meat and starches on the stove. The more convenient a food is, the more we'll eat it; and the more hassle it is to get it, the less we'll eat."The Best Thing You Can Do for Yourself Today
"Think about your dieting weaknesses or danger zones, and come up with three food trade-offs or policies. For example, if ice cream is your downfall, make a pact with yourself that every time you eat a bowl, you have to walk two miles, or however far you would walk for a bowl. Or if you're not so great about eating fruit, don't allow yourself to eat anything until you've had one piece of fruit. The key is not to say, "I'll never eat ice cream again." Or, "I can eat only an apple for breakfast." For a diet to work, you've got to customize it to your eating tendencies. You've also got to be reasonable, which is why I suggest only three food trade-offs and policies. They're not too burdensome, and if you slip up with one, you've still followed two, which together add up to that 200-fewer-calories goal."Chew on This
"At the lab, we're surrounded by food all the time, and it's a fact that the more you think of a food, the more likely it is you'll eat it, and the more of it you'll eat. Our secret way to prevent constant snacking: Chew strong mint gum -- we like Dentyne Ice or Wrigley's Xtra. It's so overpowering that all other foods lose their appeal because nothing goes well with that flavor."
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November 2006.
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