8 Tips for Eating Less

On The Importance of Portion Control

With extra time on our hands, we often fill that space with excess food and drink. The ability to control portion size is an important component of keeping body weight within a healthy, energetic range. The reality is, especially as we get older, we can never ‘out workout’ a bad nutrition plan. All the walks around your block will never fully offset that cream laden pasta, 5 slices of pizza, or high calorie alcoholic drink.

It is not coincidental that the obesity rate in US adult men has tripled since 1975 along with portion sizes at restaurants. Since there is a lag time between how quickly you can put food in your mouth and how long it takes for your stomach to realize it is full, most people happily consume these obscenely large portions, only upon standing up do they realize they have overeaten.

8 TIPS FOR EATING LESS

  • Drink Water Before and During Meal. This will keep your stomach full and minimize any unintended over eating.

  • Eat Frequently. Sounds counter intuitive, huh? A technique for eating less is to eat more? I am saying eat more frequently as a means to eat less overall (specifically to keep you from unintentionally over eating). You tend to overeat when you are hungry, thus don’t get hungry. If it is 2 pm and you are not having dinner until six, put something in your mouth – a piece of fruit, some nuts, a protein bar, whatever. Eating a couple hundred calories at two will cause you to eat 400 – 500 fewer calories at dinner (you will be less inclined to wolf down the white bread they put in front of you before the meal). Your mom was wrong when she told you not to spoil your appetite. You actually do want to spoil your appetite, especially a ravenous one.

  • Cut Food Into Small Bites. This may sound stupid, but try it. It takes a minute to do and doesn’t cost you a penny. Yet in taking that minute to cut up your food, you won’t rush to wolf it down. Also, the amount of food looks more substantial. Another practical benefit is that you literally will have more mouthfuls meaning it will take you longer to eat, meaning your mind has a decent chance of catching up with your stomach.

  • Eat Slower. Most of the techniques in this section have this effect – or at least objective – of eating slower.

  • Brush Your Teeth Mid-Meal. Seems stupid? Stupid is eating more than your body needs. Put a mint in your mouth if you don’t have access to a bathroom/toothbrush. This signals to your brain that the meal is over. How many times have you brushed your teeth and then wanted to eat afterwards? My point exactly.

  • Stand Up Mid Meal. This gives your stomach time to catch up, and will also give you a more accurate gauge of how full you are. For some reason you are more conscious of how much you’ve eaten when you stand up versus sitting. If you need some excuse, say you need to go to the bathroom. When you sit back down to your meal you are likely to consume less of it.

  • Buy Half Sandwiches/Half Portions. If they only sell whole versions, have them cut it in half for you. Toss half of it (feed it to the birds), save it for tomorrow if you have the discipline, or better yet give half to a homeless person. You will soon be a lean philanthropist. Win win.

  • Give the Person You Are with (Share) Some of Your Meal. When your food arrives, cut off a section and give it to the person you are with. Even if they say they don’t want any, still put in on their plate and say “I’ll leave it there in case you change your mind later.” When they try to reciprocate, kindly refuse. This will both score you relationship points, and save you calories. You won’t enjoy your meal any less. If you are having dessert, share it with whomever you are dining.

I’m not saying all these things will work for you, but try a few of them and see what sticks (like the fat to your body for the ones you don’t even bother trying).

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