1. My simple mantra: One-ingredient foods. This doesn’t mean only eating one food at time; rather, bringing together in your kitchen foods that were whole when you bought them. Have some fruit with plain yogurt and a few nuts; have some fresh or frozen veggies with butter. Get away from the packaged, factory-made foods that have a long list of ingredients, most of them chemical. Especially avoid any manufactured food labeled “low fat” or “fat free”! The fats are often replaced with low quality starches or cheap extenders. Also, distrust most labels that say “lite,” “no sugar added,” or even “sugar free.” Some manufacturers slip in other high-calorie sweeteners like corn syrup, and still label the food sugar free. For example, consider this list of ingredients from “Cool Whip Lite”:
WATER, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL, SODIUM CASEINATE, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, XANTHAN AND GUAR GUMS, POLYSORBATE 60, SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, SODIUM POLYPHOSPHATES, BETA CAROTENE (COLOR).
2. Learn the difference between hunger and boredom. This tends to especially hit in the evening. Or in the afternoon, for stay-at-home moms and retirees. Find something to do that engages your interests, whether a good book, a conversation with a supportive friend, or a simple hobby. If TV and snacking are inseparable for you, you may need to find a replacement for TV. Or at least a replacement snack. Ask your personal trainer for ideas. That’s what we’re here for!
3. Learn the difference between hunger and thirst. We sometimes pick up signals from our body, but interpret them wrong. The next time you think you’re hungry, try having a glass of cold water (infused, if you like), or a low-caffeine, unsweetened tea or coffee. Then find something to do that will engage your mind elsewhere for 10 or 15 minutes. You may find the “hunger” disappears!