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Diets don’t work, but these two strategies do

Stashed in: Awesome, Nutrition!, Vegetables!

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Fill up on salads.

I've found that if you cook DELICIOUS vegetables, people love them and will eat more veggies than they probably even should -- you don't want to see the Panda the morning after he has cauliflower and kale for dinner! The problem is that people don't know how to cook vegetables, and they're often some kind of afterthought... but also, there is this weird demand that veggies be served only in the most healthy way possible! I like steamed broccoli and baby lettuce with just a hint of lemon juice dressing as much as the next person... but home cooks often go too far with this line of thinking. If a little butter or bacon makes me eat twice as many vegetables and half as much of something else, I feel like I came out on top of that deal.

Good point! I love vegetable stews, soups and ratatouilles - they can be quite tasty with the addition of a little evil.

And I think the evidence is that filling up on soup actually helps you lose more weight than salads... something about warm food being more satisfying than cold.

Good point about the soup. Geege what's a little evil?

Bacon. Cheese. Scotch.

Those aren't evil! They're necessary. :)

So they're necessary evils.

I like the strategy of putting up obstacles to tempting food, too.

And I like getting the diet mindset out of peoples' heads.

Earlier this week, long time eating researcher Traci Mann and I discussed the unbecoming truth about diets. The takeaway is that they don't actually work. Over the course of her more than 20 years studying how people eat, Traci has found that willpower doesn't work quite like we imagine it will, and our bodies are predisposed to maintain a weight that often doesn't fit the ideal mold we aspire to achieve.

So is the point to just satisfy your cravings to eat more with eating more of other foods, or is it about eating less of other foods... or both?

Eat more healthful filling veggies first and you'll want less of everything else afterwards.

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