Thin tac­tics

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By DR. JOSE PUJALTE JR. Dr. Pujalte is an or­thopaedic sur­geon. E-mail jspu­jalte@ya­hoo.com

“Sweep on, you fat and greasy cit­i­zens.” — Wil­liam Shake­speare (1564-1616), English play­wright and poet As You Like It (1599), Act 2, Sc. 1 A

NGELA Haupt writes in US News & World Re­port (http:// health.us­news.com/) of seven “never heard-of ” diet tips that may be use­ful. Some peo­ple try to lose weight be­fore the hol­i­days, be­fore they just “let go,” so to speak.

• Take/Bring pic­tures of your­self. There are two kinds to con­sider. In a weight loss pro­gram, one is the “Be­fore” pic­ture. If you’re obese or over­weight, take heart. If that’s how you look now, so be it. Af­ter all, you’re work­ing to­wards an “Af­ter” pic­ture that shows you ten, twenty, thirty pounds lighter. An­other kind of pic­ture to carry around and look at, es­pe­cially when tempted to get a tub of ice cream, or a box of dough­nuts, is a pic­ture you’ll call “Best Me.” This is of course a pic­ture of your­self at ei­ther your thinnest or when you were at your best shape. This photo is an in­spi­ra­tion, a tal­is­man if you want.

• Gam­ble on your weight loss. That is, make a bet with friends that you will lose so many pounds in so many num­ber of weeks or months. If you’re a gam­bling per­son, a fi­nan­cial in­cen­tive makes you more mo­ti­vated. • Fight food crav­ing by dis­trac­tion. Ms. Haupt’s orig­i­nal ar­ti­cle talks of get­ting busy with a col­or­ing book when a cookie crav­ing kicks in. That’s keep­ing the hands busy in­stead of reach­ing into a box or bag of food. A more prac­ti­cal dis­trac­tion is to reach for your smart­phone and play a few games. Or text/Tweet friends. Any­thing – to for­get food.

• Brush your teeth. The au­thor of The Flex­i­tar­ian Diet, Dawn Jack­son Blat­ner claims that “a fresh, minty mouth can help quash pre-and post­meal nib­bling.” Aside from that dis­tinc­tive taste, I think that for most peo­ple, brush­ing teeth is a chore and would rather not eat only to brush again af­ter.

• Take pic­tures of your food. If you’re not los­ing weight (or even gain­ing), take pic­tures. These should be your edi­ble ev­i­dence – and thus, res ipsa lo­quitur: large soft­drink, large fries, and a dou­ble-patty burger – and don’t for­get the sin­ful dessert pie ala mode. On the other hand, if you’re feast­ing on grilled white fish with as­para­gus, take pic­tures too! You’re on your way.

• Use spices (and caf­feine). Cap­saicin, black pep­per, gin­ger, mixed spices, green tea, black tea, and cof­fee have all been shown to have ther­mo­genic ef­fects. These will speed up the body’s me­tab­o­lism and aid in weight loss.

• Prac­tice re­fus­ing. Fi­nally, the au­thor sug­gests role-play­ing, which (to me) is a bit much. You’re sup­posed to prac­tice re­fus­ing food. But just how do you that with a slice of choco­late cake – soft, moist, and cov­ered with thick brown ic­ing – in front of you? My take is the “eat this – not that” ap­proach. That is, if you’re se­ri­ous about los­ing weight, you don’t refuse food but choose the health­ier al­ter­na­tive (smaller por­tion, sugar-free, wa­ter for dessert, etc.).

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