13 Things Your Weight-Loss Consultant Won’t Tell You
Here are the experts’ secrets to resisting food temptation in its many guises.
1. Eat The Cake
Just decide how much ahead of time. Passing on your colleague’s cake looks as curmudgeonly as refusing to sing “Happy Birthday.” The socially acceptable way out is to ask for a thin slice, and then eat a small number of bites you’ve decided on beforehand. Or just eat the cake and leave the icing.
2. Kiddie Cones Are Not That Bad
When your best pal wants to go out for ice cream and you can’t shake off 1,360 calories and 89 grams of fat – the going rate for a banana split at Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops – a 3-ounce kid-sized cone weighs in at about 220 calories at the same shop. Frozen yogurt or sorbet may have even less.
3. Beer Isn’t Off-Limits If You Choose Lite – or Right
The most refreshing, easy-to-drink beers are the highly carbonated, lower alcohol “lite” brews. As a rule the darker the beer, the more calories, so if your yen is for craft-beer flavour, stick to the trendy new wheat and white (weiss) beers and avoid higher alcohol ales, even so-called “pale” ones.
4. You Can Do Okay At The Drive-Thru
The big boys have begun to grasp that customers want some reasonable options. Just stay away from anything with the word “crispy”, steer clear of mayo-heavy sauces (use mustard!) and keep dressings no-fat.
5. Starbucks Has Low-Calorie Options
This chain isn’t just about additions that turn a cup of coffee into an ultra-sweet high-calorie dessert. While the tempting, calorie-rich offerings are generally at eye level, look down. Starbucks now offers sensible snacks, but they’re going to make you find them. As for drinks, begin any order with the word “skinny” and you can cut the calorie count by up to a third.
6. Don’t Skip The Sauce; Share
A meal in a top-flight restaurant is all about the sauces and special preparations made by a chef who is closer to an artist than a cook, and you’re not going there to skip them. Instead, order less food, and be confident that the intense flavours will satisfy you.
7. Sharing Is Caring
Appetizers to share, broth soups, and salads are great options when you’re out to eat. If you can’t resist a delectable dessert item, share that, too.
8. Nibble On The Move
If you are shopping and fading from hunger, avoid settling in at the food court. Instead nibble your way through a shopping marathon. Pick up a snack, such as a hot pretzel, a small bag of roasted nuts from a kiosk, or even a chicken taco, and nibble on the move. Portable meals, of course, can still seriously weigh you down; check calorie counts before you go or on your mobile phone.
9. Have A Hot Dog
If the only foods at the picnic are hot dogs, hamburgers, and drenched-in-mayo “salads,” then go ahead and smell the burgers, but eat the hot dog. A dog on a bun with a smear of ketchup will set you back about 250 calories. That’s as many as the burger has in fat alone. Load up your plate with the low-calorie burger fixin’s, like lettuce, tomato and onions, to round out your meal.
10. Remember Water!
Douse your afternoon slump or hunger pangs with water. The energy drop that hits in afternoon is likely a combination of perfectly natural factors: the result of a light lunch, mild dehydration, a momentary lack of iron, or a crash off that coffee you had at the late-morning meeting. Before wandering to the cafeteria or fridge, start your recovery with a tall glass of water, which boosts your blood flow and, as a side benefit, makes you feel full.
11. Think Hummus or Almonds
These are ideal snacks for clearing a cobwebby head, but if your only option is an office vending machine, look for any hint of protein – those orange crackers with peanut butter, at 200 calories, are better than a sugary cookie. Wash it down with a cup of coffee doused in iron-rich cinnamon.
12. Have A Bit of Everything
You can eat less and still make Mamma happy. Food is love, and when Mamma tells you “mangia” and you don’t, she acts like you’re rejecting her, not her pot roast. The answer: Have some of everything pushed at you during the holidays or a weekend visit home, but only a spoonful. That means your plate will be more of a tasting sampler than a full meal. Remember: Just one bite of a dish, preceded by a loud “I can’t resist!” will do your parents good and won’t kill you.
13. Try Another Strategy
Make yourself useful serving people and cleaning up. It gets you away from your plate, but still makes you a vital part of the meal.
SOURCES: Marion Nestle, nutrition professor at New York University; Elizabeth Somer, author of Eat Your Way to Happiness.