Opposite Diet

Guest post by Leslie Landis
Author of The Art of Overeating: A Bellyful of Laughs About Our Food-phobic Culture

1. 'Leave no leftovers in restaurant.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - Ask the waiter to divide whatever you have ordered in half and put one of those halves in a doggie bag before you are served. That way there will be leftovers for dinner the next day. Most people think they will take home whatever is left over, but then usually finish everything. People don't have to worry about not having enough to eat because most restaurants provide humongous portions.

2. 'Never share.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - Always share. Whenever possible, split a meal with your dinner companion. It is worth the 'split' charge and will save your waist and money.

3. 'Order from every category on a menu.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - Keep in mind that restaurants have all those categories (and have added even more) - the bread, the starter, the appetizer, the 1st course, the 2nd course, etc. - to get you to order (and eat) more. Keep it to 3 dishes - an appetizer or salad, a main course (with no sides) and a dessert where you can ask to leave off the extra scoop or whipped cream. Another good tactic is order an appetizer for your main course. Again, most restaurants serve large appetizer portions.

4. 'Save the environment and eat everything you order.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - You will help save the environment if you order and eat just what you need. All the excess food has a carbon footprint. 

5. 'Always clean your plate.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - In spite of what you were told when you growing up, you don't have to clean your plate. That's where a dog comes in handy.

6. 'Anytime is a good time to eat.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - Have 3 set times to eat during the day. This will train your stomach to feel hunger at those times. Eating only when you are hungry and eating just enough to feel satisfied is the goal. It is okay to have small snacks in between.

7. 'Food is love.' 'Emotional eating.' 'Reward yourself.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - All these topics use the idea of food as a substitute for love, as a salve for unhappiness and as a reward for difficulties. Instead, make a list of other things that give you joy and pleasure. Then do those things instead. The list is endless and personal - going to a movie, getting together with friends or family, helping others, playing with your children, petting your cat, throwing the ball for your dog.

8. 'Avoid the produce department in the supermarket.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - The first place you want to go in the supermarket is the produce area. That is where to spend a lot of time and a large share of your budget. Then you will have less time and money for the less healthy and more fattening foods. And always make a list of what you need to buy so you don't end up going through every aisle where temptation might get you.

9. 'Hide food for future nibbles.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - This idea applies more to women. Men don't seem to mind eating gargantuan amounts of food in front of others, but women are more likely to overeat when no one is looking. So it is best to eat with others as much as possible. When that is not possible, create an imaginary friend - even out of cardboard - to sit opposite you. Who would want George Clooney to see them pig out!

10. 'You can't be addicted to food.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - Actually, you can. Don't be a victim of the food industry's air brushed food ads and the restaurants with their huge portions. Keep in mind that we need to eat and it is great to enjoy eating - in the amounts your body needs. 

11. 'In case there is no tomorrow, eat everything you can today.' OPPOSITE ADVICE - If you eat everything you can today, there may be no tomorrow for you!