I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I can’t cut back on what I eat. That’s because I love to eat. I love ALL kinds of food.” They say it in that tone of voice that seems to accuse me that the only way I’ve been able to maintain a normal weight is that I DON’T like food…which isn’t true. I do enjoy eating. In fact, I eat chocolate every single day of my life!
It wasn’t always this way. In fact, if you didn’t know, I used to have a serious weight issue – and eating disorders. If I overcame it, so can you. You can read my story here (under “why I became a dietitian).
Normal-Weight People who Love to Eat
So how do people who love to eat maintain a normal healthy weight? There are a lot of reasons:
- They do more aerobic exercise …to burn more calories, just so they can eat more. It’s like working overtime to get more money to buy more of what you want.
- They lift weights…because that builds muscles. More muscles, increased metabolism, so you can eat more calories
- They’ve strengthened their “willpower” by using some of the tips I mentioned in a previous video to they don’t get overly hungry. That overly-hungry state tends to increase cravings significantly.
In addition, it helps to learn to be more selective about the foods we eat. It’s really not much different than the way we are selective with how we spend our time or money.
How Do You “Spend” Your Calories?
Can you afford to buy everything you want? I’m gonna guess that the answer is NO. So, we look at price tags before we buy. Why? To see if we think it’s worth the cost of the item. We spend it on the things that are the most important to us. Some of us drive fancy cars and then live in simple homes. Some of us spend lots of money on clothing, others spend it all on vacations. There’s no one right way to spend our money. It’s based on our priorities.
I like to think of food in the same way. I’m going to assume that most of us do NOT burn as many calories as we wish we did. In other words, we want to eat MORE than what our body can really handle. Right? So we don’t feel deprived, it helps to be a bit more discerning – and not waste any calories on foods we just don’t absolutely love!!
Eat Your Pleasers, Skip Your Teasers
For that reason, I refer to this as “Eat your pleasers, skip your teasers.” Once you can discern which foods are your absolute favs (your pleasers) – and give yourself permission to have them on a regular basis, then it’s easy to avoid what I call “teasers”. Teasers are the foods that you eat because they’re around, but it’s just not as good as your pleasers. These are different for each of us. My teasers are the chips in a Mexican restaurant, the candy on someone’s desk, or most of the desserts that others order when we dine out…and suggest that I try. Rarely are they as good as they look.
Discover Your Favorites (Pleasers)?
What are your pleasers? If you think you love all foods, ask yourself what do you crave the most? Sweets? Salty? Crunchy? Fried? Liquid calories? Then once you have the category down, work on narrowing down what kinds of foods within that category are your favorite. For example, I love ice cream, but if they don’t have chocolate chip, well, then forget it. I love French fries, but I only eat them when they’re hot and crispy – not cold and soggy.
As I mentioned, I eat chocolate every single day – about 4 Dove chocolates. Not big bars of fancy chocolate…because I know myself I’d probably eat way more of a big bar. And, those four Dove chocolates really satisfy my need for chocolate. It’s really quite easy to say no to the teasers, when you give yourself permission to have your favorites (pleasers). I’m gonna save my calories for when I can enjoy my favorites. I want you to tell yourself that you deserve the very best and wait for that!