Tricks and Tips

  1. Write down EVERYTHING that you put in your mouth.  There are a couple reasons for doing this.  Number one: You probably don't even realize how many calories you are eating during the day.  If you set a caloric goal, then write down everything you put in your mouth, you will have a much greater awareness of the quality and quantity of food you consume.  Number two: Many times when I go into the pantry and grab a handful of crackers, chips, almonds...I think to myself.  "Do I really want to weigh / measure these out, calculate the calories, then grab my food journal, find a pen (we have to hide them from my 2 year old niece now) JUST to write down "3 potato chips 30 calories"? Usually I realize I am not hungry enough to go through the trouble and drink a bottle of water instead.
  2. Plan ahead…if you write down what you plan on eating and when you plan on eating it beforehand, you will be less likely to impulse eat.  This is especially true for dining out.  Do your research on that particular restaurant and find out what you can eat that is healthy before you go.
  3. Drink water (8 8oz glasses a day people. You know the drill) Many times I will eat something only to find out I was just thirsty.  It is important to understand and learn to recognize the difference between hunger and thirst.  As a matter of fact, drink a glass of water before each meal.
  4. Take up a hobby.  If your hands are busy painting, knitting, playing ping pong or pool, guess what they WON'T be busy doing....
  5. Eat a salad or healthy soup before dinner 
  6. Eat your protein and vegetables first
  7. Always keep a healthy pre-portioned snack in your car/purse
  8. Don’t eat when you aren't hungry because you’re afraid you might be hungry later.  I am so guilty of this when I am out doing running around with others.  Please refer back to Point 7.  If you forget Point 7, there are always places you can go while you are out to grab a healthy snack.  Protein bar, almonds, or fruit at the gas station.  Your family and friends will understand :-)
  9. Eat with chopsticks. It will force you to eat slower
  10. Don’t drink with your meals (no, not even water) studies show you will remain fuller longer if you do so
  11. Eat on small plates: this one really works for me.  If you eat on a big plate you will feel as if you need to fill it up.  The smaller the plate, the smaller the portions.  I don't even use my "dinner plates" anymore.
  12. Another plate option is to eat on one of those plastic 3-compartment plate thingies and fill the biggest section with veggies and the 2 smaller with your meat and a fruit or a healthy carb
  13.       Learn to say no to feeders - it's hard when there is someone in your circle that feels they need to express their love by stuffing your face.  Maybe you feel guilty for saying no.  Guilty that you will hurt that person's feelings or that the food will go to waste, but you don't need to worry about food going to need to worry about food going to your waist.  What you need to do is get a little angry.  Obviously no one else in the family/circle of friends feels guilty for saying no, that's why you're always the one stuck with the extra plates! You are NOT the family garbage can.  Say it with me..."I am NOT the family garbage can." Now make me believe it "I AM NOT THE FAMILY GARBAGE CAN!" Good.  On to point 14... 
  14. Have a few go to meals that are quick and easy. Everything is going swimmingly with your new lifestyle change and then BAM! You are out at work/school/doing running around all day, you get home starving.  You open the freezer, you see the frozen pizza, you preheat the oven, throw in the frozen pizza, pull out the pizza, eat the entire pizza, then hate yourself in the morning.  You might be all gung ho now about fresh, unprocessed, unpasteurized, all natural goodness, but do yourself a favor and throw a semi-healthy frozen meal in your fridge...JUST for safe keeping ;-)
  15.       Go to bed at a decent hour.  The more hours in the day you are awake, the more food your body will require.  I know that I can't go to bed starving.  I usually eat dinner at 7 pm and am in bed by 10 pm...right before my body says "hey...isn't it time for a snack?"
  16.       Don't tell people you "can't have" something.  It will make you feel like you are depriving yourself and eventually you will want to rebel against yourself.  Tell people you "don't eat that" or "aren't going to eat that" or "no thank you" if they ask why PLEASE don't say "I am on a diet" a diet implies something short term and it's such a vague answer.  Tell them why! "I don't eat pizza, but thank you" "Why not? Come on you can have one slice" "I have been eating so well and feeling so much's just not worth it.  Plus, grease makes me sick."  It's funny, but if you blame it on a health condition, people will normally leave you alone.  Oddly enough, because overeating IS a health condition.  Stomach, heartburn, headache, fluid retention, I hate to tell you to lie, but some people just can't take "no" for an answer.
  17. Highlight foods and recipes you try that really fill you up in your food journal

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