We all have those friends who seem to eat whatever they want without gaining weight. What is it with those people?! And how can we become one of them?
Simple, really. Because there’s no magic involved. Thin people either eat less or burn more. Genes have very little to do with it. In general, if you were to follow around a thin person for a week, you would see why she stays thin. She’s either at the gym for hours, eating tiny portions, or indulging only once in awhile.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it too.
Here are a few strategies that will allow you to eat the food you love without gaining weight:
1. Don’t keep treats in the house. Love ice cream? Head to your favorite ice cream shop once in awhile instead of keeping it in your freezer. Buying one serving at a time – away from the house – prevents you from eating ice cream too much or too frequently.
2. Make “junk food” yourself. Michael Pollan says it best in his book Food Rules:
Rule #39: Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
“There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. The French fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes — and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them — chances are good it won’t be every day.”
3. Find closer-to-nature treats you enjoy. Cheese instead of Cheetos, dark chocolate instead of a Snickers bar, dried dates instead of chewy candy. These more natural indulgences may not have fewer calories, but at least they are real food, and what’s in them is no mystery. And when you choose real food, you’ll avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and poor quality ingredients that were made in a lab, not a kitchen.
4. Eat treats around others. Who wants their friends to see them eat six donuts in one sitting? Not me, and probably not you either! So, choose to eat donuts – or whatever foods you’re more likely to overindulge in – only around other people. Doing what others do might help you be more restrained in your portion size.
5. Put treats in small bowls. One scoop of ice cream looks so puny in a cereal bowl that you’re bound to be left wanting more. But in a tiny prep bowl, a scoop looks pretty generous! Use smaller bowls, plates, and even spoons when eating a treat, so that your eyes help to trick your mouth.
Following these tips won’t burn calories from your waistline, but it will help keep your treat intake under control.