I have either developed or collected these diet rules over the last 10 years — and I have road-tested each and every one for reliability.
- If you break a food item, all the calories fall out. By extension, a broken food item is guilt-free. Shaking a piece of the broken food item ensures that every last calorie has fallen out of it. When I open a packet of biscuits, I always eat the broken ones first because they don’t count. [Now just make sure that hubby doesn’t see you attacking the packet with a hammer or rolling pin before you open it…]
- Sharing a plate of food ensures that the calories stick to the communal plate. Just be aware that, if someone takes a food item from your plate, the calories live with you.
- Eating food while it’s warm means there are less calories. This is particularly true of cake and biscuits, when they are hot and fresh from the oven. Mmm, mmm, mmmmmmmm.
- Standing up while eating assists the calories to slide away via your shoes. Standing up also uses more calories than sitting down, so you are actually in calorie-deficit (ie. weight loss mode) when you do this.
- If you have food with a high calorie section/side, ensure that the side with all the badness is out of view. This rule comes courtesy of my gorgeous friend, M. For example, the popular McVitie’s Digestives also come in a chocolate-coated version. Eat with the chocolate side down (and don’t be tempted to look at it throughout the eating process) and the biscuit will be chocolate-free!
Believe it or not, I actually do live by these…
…and I also pay attention to a few more scientifically grounded rules:
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Or you will end up with a trolley-load of high calorie foods that will only make you feel bad (and your hips big) later on.
- Everything in moderation. Most foods are ok in small amounts, and some should be eaten every day (like vegies!). Basically, if you want to eat something junky, do. Eat it when you first think of it and you will most likely only need a little to satisfy your want. If you ignore it, chances are that you will dwell on it and it will become a craving — then you will have a bingefest on your hands. Not pretty.
- Eat the rainbow. Eat foods of different colours and you will get all your nutrients. There is a reason that beta carotene is orange and chlorophyll is green: different nutrients are attached. Certain nutrients are absorbed better when ingested with others (eg. iron with vitamin C; vitamin D with calcium).
- Feel good about your food and calories won’t matter so much. I don’t count calories. Some days you will eat more, some you will eat less. So long as you exercise regularly and you have a diet that is high in fruit & veg / low in concentrated, sugary, fatty calories, then you’re on the right track.
I am also keen to hear about what works for others, even if it’s just justification for that second piece of mudcake. What diet rules do you hold to?