With catchy phrases and easy-to-understand tips, author Michael Pollan takes the guesswork out of what you should and shouldn’t be eating. His latest book, Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, provides 64 rules, with three main principles: “eat food, mostly plants, not too much.” Some of the rules speak for themselves; others require brief explanations. Here are six of our favorite tricks to trim your waistline, excerpted from the book.
Rule 18: Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.
Rule 21: It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles).
Rule 24: Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals]. This Chinese proverb offers a good summary of traditional wisdom regarding the relative healthfulness of different kinds of food, though it inexplicably leaves out the very healthful and entirely legless fish.
Rule 35: Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature. In nature, sugars almost always come packaged with fiber, which slows their absorption and gives you a sense of satiety before you’ve ingested too many calories. That’s why you’re always better off eating the fruit rather than drinking its juice. (In general, calories taken in liquid form are more fattening because they don’t make us feel full. Humans are one of the very few mammals that obtain calories from liquids after weaning.) So don’t drink your sweets, and remember: There is no such thing as a healthy soda.
Rule 52: Buy smaller plates and glasses. The bigger the portion, the more we will eat – upward of 30 percent more. Food marketers know this, so they supersize our portions as a way to get us to buy more. But we don’t have to supersize portions at home, and we shouldn’t. One researcher found that simply switching from a 12-inch to a 10-inch dinner plate caused people to reduce their consumption by 22 percent.
Rule 54: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. Eating a big meal late in the day sounds unhealthy, though in fact the science isn’t conclusive. Some research suggests that eating close to bedtime elevates triglyceride levels in the blood, a marker for heart disease that is also implicated in weight gain. Also, the more physically active you are after a meal, the more of the energy in that meal your muscles will burn before your body stores it as fat. But some researchers believe a calorie is a calorie, no matter what time of day it is consumed. Even if this is true, however, front-loading your eating in the early part of the day will probably result in fewer total calories consumed, since people are generally less hungry in the morning.
More about front loading your calories coming this week……….