Food Coach

7 ways to cut back without counting calories

Monday, July 25, 2011

As a nation, we seem to be obsessed with dieting, yet many don't seem to be losing much weight. Let's take the focus off fat and calorie counting. Instead, put some attention into the way we serve and enjoy our food.

When you think about gaining weight, it's often the small stuff - that candy at work or that extra glass of wine on the weekend. Well how about taking a look at seven sensational ways to cut back without counting calories or fat grams?

"They help you eat almost 20 percent less calories and your stomach doesn't notice," said nutritionist JJ Virgin.

Virgin said diets might start as a challenge but often turn into a chore. So try a few techniques that could become healthy habits. For example, be the last person at the table to start eating and the last one to finish.

"So what you want to do is eat with slow pokes...and you want to be the slowest poke," said Virgin.

This gives the brain a signal from the stomach that it is full. So you'll likely stop even if there's food on your plate.

And this might sound silly, but chew your food. Chew it well.

"Put your fork down. Put it down. It's not glued to your hand. So if you think every time you take a bite, put your fork down, that helps a lot," said Virgin.

And clear that palate before you go again.

"Pay attention to yourself. I didn't chew, I put more in my mouth and I hadn't even swallowed yet. It's like 'OK, chew, swallow, fork down,'" Virgin said.

You can also get playful with slowing down the pace by using chop sticks. It takes longer to eat with sticks than a fork.

Also, buffets show researchers the more variety we have, the more we eat. Reducing choices can easily reduce you.

When eating at home with family, portion protein, starches and other foods on the plate so that the only thing served family style is produce.

"Don't put extra salmon on the table, because you will think, 'Oh but it's healthy.' That's that halo effect - too much healthy food isn't healthy," said Virgin.

But if you are indulging in decadence, leave the empties on the table for a bit of recall.

"It's really important to be mindful of how much you are consuming. So leave the chicken bones on the table, leave the wine bottle on the table, so you go, 'Oh no, I am not having any more of that. I already had that much,'" said Virgin.

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food, health, diet, food coach, lori corbin
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