A fiber- and vitamin-rich orange or apple will satisfy your sweet desire and growling gut. Salty desires are satisfied by vegetables. Maintain easy access to these foods. Bring small carrots or celery and nut butter to work.
Dr. Ward says many people eat while working, watching TV, or running errands, so they don't taste food. Instead of eating hundreds of calories without realizing it, “focus on your meal and the people sharing it with you,” she advises.
If you race through meals like there's a prize for the first clean plate, you're probably eating too many calories. Dr. Ward advises chewing slowly and thoroughly because your brain registers fullness after 20 minutes.
Cook with chile peppers and other seasonings. Capsaicin, a naturally occurring chemical in peppers, may boost metabolism and fill you up. Add spice to marinades, breakfast eggs, homemade soups, and salad dressings.
Dr. Ward says fancy coffee drinks, sodas, fruit juices, beer, and cocktails sneakily trigger weight gain from empty calories. They go down quickly and lack fiber and protein, so you'll likely eat as much—or more if alcohol reduces your inhibitions.
Dr. Ward advises drinking two glasses of water 20–30 minutes before eating to feel full quickly. «Do this three times a day—before breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and reduce 225 to 270 calories from your diet.»
A Penn State University study indicated that those who started their meals with broth-based soup ate 20% fewer calories. Choose a light soup like white bean and kale or miso with mushrooms and green onions to cut calories and fat.
Go to the restroom to brush and floss before watching TV or family time after dinner. “This will help you from snacking mindlessly before bedtime,” explains Dr. Ward. Dessert may be less tempting with polished choppers and minty breath.