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Fear Of Food

Why Are So Many Dieters Afraid Of Food?

I see it all the time. Many dieters are terrified of eating. The idea of Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or even a social barbecue, leaves them quivering at the idea of being surrounded by so much temptation. And in many cases, their everyday meals are so small that when I show them my diet-plan and tell them the amount I expect them to eat, they throw up their hands in horror. “I can’t possibly eat all that” they cry.

Question: Why are dieters so afraid of food?

Answer: Because they’ve got things confused.

They think that the more they eat, the higher their calorie intake. In short, less is better.

This is confused thinking. You can eat a huge plateful of food without the slightest danger of gaining weight. By the same token, you can eat a relatively small amount of food and still gain weight.

How is this possible? Because not all foods contain equal amounts of calories. For example:

  • If your meal contains a significant amount of meat-fat (either on or in the meat itself, or in the sauce), chances are it’s going to be high in calories.
  • If you add significant amounts of mayo, butter, or sour cream to your meal, chances are it’s going to contain a lot of calories.

On the other hand:

  • If, as recommended, about half your meal consists of vegetables, chances are it will be moderate in calories, unless you add mayo, butter or sour cream.
  • If, as recommended, about one quarter of your meal consists of boiled rice, pasta or potatoes, and one quarter consists of lean meat, it’s likely to be a relatively low calorie meal.

Let me put all this into one sentence: Dieting isn’t about eating less, it’s about eating differently.

  • Go easy on the meat, especially meat-fat.
  • Go easy on the add-ons, like mayo, butter, sour cream.
  • Pile on the vegetables.
  • Eat a good helping of pasta, potatoes, rice or other grains.
  • Keep a store of lower-calorie snacks for emergencies.
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