Have you ever thought about how much food you eat just to be polite or because it came with the rest of the food you ordered? Think about all the times you made yourself finish every bite on your plate so as not to waste good food. The problem with many of these rationalizations is that they can lead to a considerable amount of extra food being eaten that can place considerable strain on your efforts for weight loss.
These few examples can accumulate to a total of over 600 extra calories a day, which is enough to make the average women gain about 5 pounds in a month if she is not consistent with burning it all off.
But, the solution is simple as challenging these mental habits we easily fall into when facing a judgement call in the food department.
If the Food is Free, Might as Well Eat your Heart Out
Marketing techniques capitalize on the penchant people have for samples and freebies. This is why there are complimentary bagels and sliders and free cookies with every ice-cream. But, if you consider that sesame-with-cream-cheese is adding 500 cal. to your intake, you might think twice.
According to studies, when enjoying free food you are less likely to perceive the flavours, which means you aren’t really enjoying it. Furthermore, because you have eaten this portion of food, you are more likely to eat less food for the rest of the day. A lot of people find that going on a keto diet and enjoying keto recipes associated with the diet helps them stay full longer and means they are less inclined to binge
Change your mind: when a free bit of food is placed at your table ask yourself a simple question. “Do you want this tasty snack bad enough to pay for it?” If you weren’t planning on actually spending your cash on a dish there is no point adding it to your calorie account either.
Better Be Polite
THE LOGIC: If I refuse this yummy oversized cookie made by my favourite aunt, she will be awfully offended, so down the hatch!
It could be you neighbour, your boss or your mother who is the great chef and always offering you another sample of their delicious baked delights, each one carries a calorie count of 400. Of course, in many families’ cultures and situations the offering of a cookie is tantamount to saying “I love you”, you just can’t refuse that and expect your friendship to survive.
Change your mind: According to Stokes, the best thing is to accept the cookie with all the appropriate gratitude. Say you will save it for your morning coffee and then you can dispose of it later without hurting any feelings. If the situations is more demanding like and extra serving of homemade lasagna, you may have to be more direct and explain that you are cutting back on extra helpings, but you would love another helping of that veggie platter.
Don’t Waste It!
THE LOGIC: Finish every last bite on the plate, you can’t just throw good food away!
We all remember hearing about the children starving in some distant land while we stared at our unfinished liver and onions. But, just because that mac and cheese on your kid plate is left uneaten, doesn’t mean that you should be saving world hunger one spoonful at a time. It also doesn’t help to commit yourself to finishing off that yogurt ice-cream that you decided you don’t like but have already purchased.
Change your mind: It’s ok to feel guilty about wasting food so long as this leads to better meals and food planning in the future. But if you failed to plan exactly, it’s better to consider the food wasted then try to compensate by eating it all. Rather than dumping those calories into your fat cells, just go ahead and flush it down the toilet and cut out the middle woman. Apply this to that 1.75 qt. of frozen yogurt and you will save yourself a 1,170 cal deposit.
Furthermore, be attentive to how much your kids eat, if you know they aren’t going to eat the entire cup and a half of mac and cheese serve them half that much, they will ask for more if they are still hungry.
It’s a Special Occasion
THE LOGIC: Diet restrictions are in place so that we can splurge at our favourite restaurants.
It always feels natural to consider special occasions a good time to hang loose. This may be true in some cases, but for those who are eating out and having special occasions several times a week, this mentality can pack on the calories. A single piece of buttered bread will pile on 100 calories per slice.
Change your mind: Approach every day with the exact same expectations for yourself and your diet plan. The National Weight Control Registry performed a study on this and found that people who treat every day the same will increase their likelihood of dropping pounds by as much as 150%. The big trick is to never think that this will be your last chance to enjoy this delicious indulgence. There will be other times when you will be able to eat out and try them again. So you can order the appetizer this time and save the delicious dessert for another day.
What a Bargain!
THE LOGIC: The Jumbo size is only 25 cents more? Well, I’d be crazy not to!
This has been called the “Costco Effect” and it’s when an item that had no appeal to you suddenly has value because it offers twice the product at half the cost. But, stop to consider that all that extra soda that only cost a quarter will add some calories to your count –– just 16 oz of soda can contain as much as 182 C. And, don’t kid yourself into thinking that buying more means you will make your supplies last. Studies have found that those who store cookies in their cabinets are 92% more likely to munch on them each day.
You are probably more likely to keep munching away even after the initial appeal has been lost. Even those with the monster-sized buckets of popcorn will continue to snack on the cold stale remnants for days after.
Change your mind: If you give yourself a “Pay less and Weigh Less” attitude you will also cut the calories back considerably. Yes, the value on that extra-large value sized bag of cookies means you get almost 25 free cookies. But the important facts are these, the smaller one costs less and it will add a significantly less calorie count to your efforts.
It’s No Fun Without Food
THE LOGIC: Movies are not the same without all the greasy tasty treats!
Humans have a habit of including food in all out favorite activities. There is candy at the Movie Theater, beers with a BBQ, margaritas on date night, Beer nuts on poker night and a Sunday without doughnuts and coffee is just the day before Monday.
According to a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Orlando, Florida, Tara Gidus, RD, “ this becomes a Pavlovian response, and pretty soon when you are engaging in any of these activities you are no longer even attentive to your hunger and are merely eating because that’s what you do when you are having this kind of fun.”
Change your mind: Gidus emphasizes the importance of disassociating your leisure activities from foods altogether. “Do this by altering your routines,” says Gidus, “If the routine is to crash out in front of the TV with your bag of cookies, try reading a book on the patio.” By switching up your routines you can adopt habits that are more conducive to shedding weight and minimizing calorie intakes. Furthermore, think of the money you will save not buying overpriced foods from a theater concession stand.
I Deserve It
THE LOGIC: I have performed beyond my expectations and if anyone deserves this tasty treat, it’s me!
There is hardly a better way to reward yourself or provide a nurturing touch to soothe a rough day than with the right food. “Delaying the urge to gratification with food is especially difficult,” says Rick Temple, PhD, from the University of South Florida Counseling Center in Tampa. “The problem is that you never see anyone nurturing themselves with healthy celery or broccoli platters”. It was noted that when emotional eating has been triggered by a sight or smell the nutritional value of the food is less often considered.
Change your mind: You absolutely, positively deserve reward for your tremendous efforts, but you can also choose these rewards on their value to your life goals. You deserve that Sundae for sure, but you don’t deserve the extra stress, strain and struggle from extra weight. But, food choices are the most obvious choices when things aren’t planned. So, make a list of ten things you would like that are not edible. Now you can treat yourself and feel truly satisfied that your rewards set you up for greater progress.