In my weight loss journey, I’ve done a lot of talking with our food editor, Ginna Parsons.
She’s lost plenty of weight and has given me lots of tips.
I thought I’d pass on the three that have really hit home with me.
The First – Freeze your grapes.
I know, this isn’t revolutionary. But I told Ginna, I was eating too many grapes, a fruit that is super high in sugar. I love grapes, but I noticed even more than that, I loved the motion of eating grapes (YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT – it’s like eating chips, where your hand goes from bag to mouth, mouth to bag, over and over. That repetitive motion is addicting!).
Ginna suggested I freeze the grapes, that way they’ll take longer to eat and I won’t eat as many of them at a setting.
This obviously doesn’t work for every food, but think about how you can change up your foods so that they’re more difficult to eat.
For example – I’ve been craving snickerdoodle or molasses cookies (I’ll go into this more in a minute), but I just say to myself, if I’m going to have a cookie I’ll bake my own and make them sugarless. Trust me, I can be lazy when I want to be, and a lot of times knowing I’ll have to go through the trouble of baking sugarless cookies from scratch is enough to stop me from craving them. Ginna also suggested hiding your food, if possible. Wrap it up in several different bags or boxes, hide it on a top shelf or put it in your trunk (if it's the kind of food that can be stored that way) – that way, you won't feel compelled to go through all that trouble of getting it back out to eat it.
The Second – If you want a food you know is bad for you, go have one serving of it at a restaurant.
Don’t take it home with you, where you can go back to it again and again.
She suggested this to me when I told her about a food I’d been craving.
I’ve been refined sugarless for the last two months, but I told Ginna, I’ve been craving the last bit of sweet food that was really delicious: a molasses cookie from The Bakery in Tupelo (I’m sorry if I just made you crave those, but really, they are super-duper yummy). She told me, go ahead, go have one – just don’t take a half dozen home with you (something I would have done if I were not trying to lose weight).
That way, I’m nipping my craving in the bud, and I won’t have a box of cookies at home to tempt me.
I actually haven’t done this yet. It’s weird – I used to have the biggest sweet tooth, and I always thought I “had” to have something sweet at least once a day. Now, after going off of refined sugar, I don’t really crave sweets that often. If I do, I have a piece of fruit or maybe a piece of sugarfree candy.
The third, which is sort of related to the second – You only TRULY enjoy the first three bites of anything you eat. After those first three bites, you’re only eating it because it’s there (mindless eating).
Now, I’ve been bad – I had some fried rice, and I have to say, I TRULY ENJOYED EVERY SINGLE BITE OF THAT. Sorry for the all caps, but seriously, that was some good fried rice. But!! I have had this happen to me, where I think I’m enjoying something, but really I’m not, and I’ll realize it if I stop to think. We do that a lot, you know – eating without really thinking about how good or bad something tastes.
We just eat it because it’s there.
Unless, you know, it’s fried rice, or whatever dish is your kryptonite.