These recommendations come from Roy Barker, who copyrighted them in 2005. (Commentary – in italics is mine!) Roy has an in-depth and long established background with the vitamins, minerals and health industry and has researched and experimented with many diets over a thirty-year period. He is also the author of “Safe and Easy Weight Loss”, an e-book based on the Mediterranean Diet often used by those with heart conditions and those interested in a quick and safe way to shed weight.
- Never leave home "starving." Always have a light snack before eating dinner in a restaurant, such as a piece of fruit, a glass of juice or a carrot. (Restaurants invariably serve meals that are much too large. Make it a habit of leaving a third or half of your meal uneaten – and request a “doggy bag”)
- Don't go food shopping on an empty stomach! You'll be tempted to buy everything in sight. (Actually, you will only be tempted to buy the very foods you shouldn’t – potato chips, etc. That is, high calorie, high fat, and high salt foods.)
- Don't be tempted by treats. Store them out of view, off counter-tops and as out-of-reach as possible. (Preferably, in a neighbor’s garage!)
- Don't eat in front of the TV. Watching the boob tube – instead of watching your plate – lulls you into overeating. Also avoid being tempted by food and snack commercials. (Yet another good use of TiVo or DVR – skipping these tempting commercials.)
- Think before you drink. Alcohol adds lots of calories, but no nutrients. Also, it weakens your willpower to avoid the wrong food choices. Hangovers can cause wicked cravings for fatty or high carbohydrate foods that can sabotage any attempt at weight loss. (These, of course, are just the dietary reasons to think before you drink. There are many others.)
- Take time to taste your food. Don't gobble food down! (Remember your mother’s admonition – chew your food! Doing so will cut down on your post-meal gas too.) Rushing through your meals doesn't give your brain the time that it needs to signal your body that you are full.
- Prepare a shopping list (with menu ideas in mind) and stick to the list. Avoid being tempted by bargains that grocery stores place on the outer aisles and at the back and the front of the store. The healthiest foods are usually in the long narrow aisles. (Remember, food marketers have been doing this for a long time. They know how to try and convince you to buy what they want you to buy. Be disciplined so you can buy what YOU want to buy.)
- If you must use oil, try a flavorful one like olive or sesame oil. Now remember, a little goes a long way! Make just a spritz of oil go even further by buying a Misto. A Misto is an aerosol can that you can fill with a good fat such as olive or canola oil.
- If you cook in large quantities for your family, store leftovers in individual serving size containers. This is a way to practice portion control for yourself so you don't eat too much at one sitting. (Remember, “calories per serving” is only useful if you stick to a serving size – which most of us invariably do not.)
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day. A beverage before mealtime will also help you feel full faster and longer. Water also helps your body digest food, which is especially important now that you're eating a fiber rich diet. (It is hard to overstate the benefits of good, clean water.)
- When you choose to eat "fast food," choose wisely: skip fried foods; avoid large portions; and opt for a small hamburger.
- When cooking, broil, bake, roast, boil or stir-fry and let the fat drain. A George Foreman grill is an excellent investment for those who want to eat meat and avoid eating the fat drippings too!
- Instead of eating any product directly out of the box, pour a reasonable portion onto a plate or bowl, and put the box away. This also prevents mindless snacking.
- Freeze leftovers immediately so you can't raid the refrigerator later.
- Watch portion size by dishing out meals and bringing plates to the table. Don't set "bottomless" bowls and platters where they'll tempt you to reach for more, unless it's a salad or a bowl of vegetables. You can never get enough of those greens.
As you get your portion sizes and habits under control by using Roy’s suggestions, you can begin to concentrate more on what you eat rather than just how much you eat. In addition to outsized portions, our diet is too often filled with fats and salts which, while appealing to our ancient dietary desires, do a great deal to diminish our wellness and good health.
Publisher & author: Roy Barker. Roy has an in-depth and long established background with the vitamins, minerals and health industry and has researched and experimented with many diets over a thirty year period. Roy is also the author of Safe and Easy Weightloss, an e-book based on the Mediterranean Diet and often used by those with heart conditions and those who seek a quick and safe way to shed weight. It can be viewed athttp://www.safe-and-easy-weightloss.com. Further articles and related sites can be found at http://www.weightloss-diet-health-vitamins.com