When eating right becomes too hard, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve, writes Julie Beun.
You eat ice-cream when you’re stressed. Or you munch on buttery popcorn when you’re bored. It’s not that you don’t know better, it’s just that the devil made you do it.
Or make that 10 diet devils that can turn your clean-as-a-whistle eating habits into instant dieter’s remorse, depending on which little devil is whispering sweet nothings into your ear, says Heather Bauer, a renowned US registered dietitian and author of Bread is the Devil: Win the Weight Loss Battle by Taking Control of Your Diet Demons (St Martin’s Press).
“People are not clueless about what to eat,” she explains, “but most are vulnerable to one or more devils that prompt them to eat too much and too often.”
Here are Bauer’s 10 diet devils:
Whether it’s a birthday party or annual holidays, dieters everywhere feel it’s a chance to ditch the diet, says Bauer. “You have to learn to eat in every situation or you’ll never manage to lose weight.”
Maybe your favourite birthday dinner is lobster bisque and French bread. Go ahead but plan ahead. Exercise in the morning, wear fitted clothes and don’t do a pre-party starve. “It’s just too hard to control yourself when you’re crazy hungry.”
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While most bingers do eat healthy meals, their ceaseless snacking puts on the kilos. As a result, “they’ve lost their sense of hunger and satiety because they’re eating all the time. They’re hardly conscious of what they’re putting in their mouths, but they are orally fixated and they find it comforting to munch regularly throughout the day.”
“Empty your kitchen of all tempting junky nibbling food, the kind that calls to you in the night,” says Bauer. “Don’t trick yourself into buying treats when you’re feeling strong.”
Don’t linger over food it just makes it harder for your body to feel hungry. Chew thoroughly and enjoy your meal without stretching it out.
Dine out devil
“Many busy people eat out a lot,” says Bauer. “You can’t really control how food is prepared we can askfor different this or that, but then everyone at the table knows you’re on a diet. Most people also feel that eating out is a mini-holiday and decide to go for it.”
Go to the bathroom, tell the waiter you don’t want it, or sit on your hands just don’t eat from the bread basket. “When it’s time to order, you’re already ahead of the game,” says Bauer.
Most restaurant food is salted before it hits your table, leaving you vulnerable to extra weight from fluid retention the next day. Ensure you drink eight glasses of water before you go out for dinner so your body can handle the extra sodium.
For more diet tips pick up Good Health’s March issue or subscribe at magshop.co.nz.