Meal Starters that Help You Slim Down

Smart, healthy ways to kick start your meals.

7 years younger meal starters

Practice mindful eating
Before mealtime, take a minute to really consider what you’re putting on your plate and why. As you eat, be sure to savor every bite so that you get the most out of it and don’t accidentally eat past the point of satiety.

Follow the command: “Sit!”
You expect your pet dog to follow the rules at treat time, and so should you. “It sounds so simple, but if you’re going to eat, commit to sit,” says Susan Albers, Psy.D., a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic and author of 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food. Eating only when you are seated allows you to appreciate what you are chewing, making it likelier you’ll consume less.

Start with soup
Soup does more than help you warm up on a cold day. It helps you eat less. Studies at Pennsylvania State University have found that people who start with soup eat less of their entrees, for a calorie savings of an amazing 10 percent. It’s a great strategy when dining out. However, be careful how you order, as soup can be deceptively high in calories. Think clear or brothy soups, like miso or Manhattan clam chowder, not cream of broccoli, or New England clam chowder. Stay away from milk- and cream-based soups, as well as any soups with the word “cheese” in any way associated with them.

Eat your veggies first
Evidence suggests that if you eat the lower-calorie items on your plate first, it will help take the edge off your hunger and you’ll be less likely to overeat. So start with your veggies and then move on to more caloric foods like meat.

 

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