From Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs
Four Tips for Regular People:
- Get small plates. I use my sons’ Nemo and dinosaur plates.
- Practice Chewdaism. Hard-core chewers recommend as many as fifty chews per mouthful. I strive for fifteen or twenty.
- Turn off the TV. Studies show that we eat up to 71 percent more when we’re watching TV.
- Put the fork down in between bites.
Six Tips for the Obsessed:
- Bring your own tiny fork wherever you go. Or better yet, chopsticks.
- Repackage your pantry food (e.g., cookies, dried fruit, candy) into small Ziploc bags, so a portion is barely larger than the dime bags that pot dealers used back in the innocent eighties.
- Write a hundred-dollar check to the KKK. Or any other equally noxious group. Then make a deal with yourself or your friend: if you eat another Ho Ho, you will have to spend that check off.
- Look at yourself. Research shows we eat less when we eat in front of a mirror.
- Respect your elder. Digitally age a photo of yourself (you can try HourFace.com). Keep it in your wallet so that you’ll remember to eat for your future self.
- Consume an apple, a bowl of soup with cayenne pepper, two glasses of water, and a handful of nuts. They have all been shown to suppress the appetite. Some more details below, starting with the one I found most effective, and ending with the one I found least effective.
- Apple: A Penn State study showed that those who ate an apple fifteen minutes before lunch consumed 187 fewer calories than those who had applesauce.
- Nuts: Or beans. Or pretty much any protein makes you feel full longer than carbs. Which is why I force eggs on my kids in the morning.
- Water: A Virginia Tech study found that drinking two eight ounce glasses of water before a meal helped obese people lose weight.
- Cayenne pepper: Spicy foods might help us lose weight, partly by curbing our urge for sugary, salty, and fatty foods. A Purdue University study showed cayenne pepper lowered appetite.
- Soup: Another Penn State study recommended a small bowl of clear soup, such as bouillon, before a meal. The soup eaters consumed 134 fewer calories.