Healthier in 2011: Part 2 – Using Mind Games to Eat Better

Mindful eating is a great concept. There is even a center devoted to it. It involves thinking purposefully about what you ingest and why. However, when you are busy, it is easy to slip into old patterns.

Sometimes, having a few tricks under your sleeve can help. Some of these are like mind games. But the more often you do it, it will become habit.

  • Eat on a smaller plate. I use my salad plate as a dinner plate.


  • Make food very hard to get. For example, if you want a second serving, you should have to go back up to the kitchen to get it.


  • Take a sip of water after every bite.


  • Talk more if you are with a group. It will slow down the pace.


  • When eating out, tell the waiter to box half of the dish prior to bringing out the meal.  Economical. It will be tomorrow’s lunch.


  • Order a kids-sized meal whenever possible. (This is generally cheaper, too. If there is a toy involved, I hide it and save it to pacify a little one later).


  • Redefine dessert (a little fruit will do just fine) and do not make it a necessary part of dinner. If we do this regularly in our families, our children will grow up to expect it.


  • When presented with a meal, look at the vegetables as the main course, then the meat, then the carbohydrates. Note that this is the reverse of what we normally do.  


  • At a buffet, do a variation of #5: serve yourself vegetables first and save the richer and carbohydrate-laden foods for last.


  • Stash healthy snacks at work so that you are not tempted by the snack machine. Unsalted almonds, yogurt, peanut butter on a slice of bread, dried fruit with just a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips.


  • Avoid saying “I can’t eat” this or that food unless you have an allergy to it or it interacts with a medication you are taking. Deprivation feeds longing and future binging.


  • If you are inclined to have juice, water it down with 50% water.  (Saving money again)


  •  When making a carb-laden dish (like pasta) load it with veggies and lean protein. You’ll eat less carbs per serving that way.


  • Don’t tell yourself or anyone else that you are “on a diet,” which implies there is a beginning and an end. Remove the word from your brain.  

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