5 Easy Tricks to Eat Less

At its core, shedding pounds comes down to taking in fewer calories than you burn. Sounds simple, right? But for many people, that straight-sounding path to slimness becomes an obstacle course full of thorny detours.

If you just can't seem to get down to your goal weight, try some of these tricks and jump start your weight loss:

1. Serve Up Smaller Plates

Dishes and plates look much more attractive when they're filled with food. That's why restaurant meals are loaded with sides and garnishes. But the more food that's on your plate, the more likely you are to eat too much. The solution? Downsize your dishes. You don't have to serve your entrée on minimalist bread plates, but simply switching from an 11-inch dish to a 9-inch one will enable you to fill it up without overfilling your stomach.

2. Keep an Eye on the Clock

Time and again, studies have shown that people who eat more slowly take in fewer calories than speed eaters. It takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full, so put down the fork between bites. If you're really having trouble, keep a digital clock nearby and set yourself a time goal—say, taking at least 30 minutes to finish a meal.

3. Waste a Little Bit of Food

No matter what your mother told you about starving children, leaving a small amount of food behind is not going to solve the world's hunger problem. What it will do for you, however, is train you not to clean your plate. Even a few bites left behind will help you learn to be satisfied with less. And eating a little bit less each day will eventually add up to lost pounds.

4. Portion Out Snacks

That big bag of pretzels may have been a better value than the individually packaged ones, but it could get you into caloric trouble. Make a deal with yourself to never bring a bag or package to the table or couch. If you want pretzels, fill a small snack bowl with them, securely close the package, and put it away. Do the same for ice cream, cookies, or whatever is your trigger food.

5. Gauge Your Glasses

Serve drinks in glasses that are tall and narrow rather than short and wide. Even if the volume of liquid is the same, the tall, narrow glass will appear to contain more and you'll be satisfied drinking less.




Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Ways to Shave Calories." Web. www.eatright.org/public/content.aspx?id=6849