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Diet Tricks Of The Not-Even Internet Famous

Diet Tricks Of The Not-Even Internet Famous

This is a personal finance blog, not a weight loss blog: I’m aware of this. But dieting has been a big part of my life of late, and if you haven’t noticed, the topics of weight loss and finances tend to go hand-in-hand elsewhere in the blogosphere. Besides, if Dooce can be a consultant to a TV network that features information on improving your home and garden, and Momversation can be a finalist for an award in blogging, then I can fucking post a weight loss tip list. Get off my back, topic police: I’m cranky and hungry. Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the things I use to try to keep myself on diets when I’m really hungry and I think I’m going to fail. I was hoping people would add their own suggestions in the comments, or perhaps just chime in if you think I am insane. Because no matter what, it’s got to be better than what they’re selling on Lap Band Alley or sending your money to Lose It Or Lose It.


In terms of calories-to-fullness-feeling, popcorn gives you a lot of bang for your buck. I don’t usually start out the day by eating a bag of popcorn (though I wouldn’t put it past myself, either), but at the end of the day, when I feel like I’m going to starve to death, sometimes I’ll pop in a bag of Orville Reddenbacher’s Smart Pop Kettle Korn microwave popcorn. The small bag is only 100 calories, and the larger one is like 250. Either one will keep you from eating a whole pack of Oreos, and they also are easier than trying to fall asleep on an empty stomach. Win-win.


I use strawberries in a similar way to popcorn: a cup of strawberries has like 50 calories. You can pretty much go nuts with the strawberries for dessert and not have to worry about it. When they’re sour, just throw a packet of equal on top and call it a day.


wasabi makes you not hungry

When you’re worried about eating something that is tempting, go ahead and squirt out some wasabi and eat it. End of the craving, and no need to use your neti pot for several days, either.

Hot Chilies, Or Hot Chili Sauce Of Any Kind

I prefer wasabi for the burning of the taste buds/elimination of appetite, but anything made of hot chilies will serve the same purpose. Be careful when using hot stuff to quell your appetite, though: too much will make you feel nauseous. Also, you might want to take some Pepcid just in case.

Anyone got any more tips? Or better ones? I’m dying over here.

Comments (26)

  1. Jan 27, 2010

    Grapefruit without the spoon. In the time it takes to peel that thing and claw out the little bit of meaty fruit it provides, you have long forgotten ever being hungry. And now your hands are all sticky and so is the kitchen table, so cleaning up the mess is another distraction. Grapefruit’s good though, especially with a little Splenda on top.

  2. Jan 27, 2010

    I think I’ll try the Wasabi tip. I just gained 18 pounds with a migraine medication and I need halp!

  3. Jan 27, 2010

    I haven’t done this in years, since I work in an office where it isn’t always practical, but if you aren’t truly hungry but just feeling snacky, try brushing your teeth. It’s distracting, refreshes your mouth, and makes anything you try to eat afterward taste like crap. Win, win, win. Oh, and it’s good for your teeth. Win.

  4. Jan 27, 2010

    This is a good tip — anything that is hard to eat is good for diets because it helps you eat slowly and your body can catch up, there is some hormone or something that gets released that quells your appetite, but it lags behind your eating so a lot of times if you eat too fast it doesn’t do you any good. I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s something I heard Dr. Oz say so it’s got to be right.

    Now, grapefruit, I don’t know — I never got into grapefruit. But I think maybe if I used more Splenda I’d like it. I don’t think I’ve even tried it since I was a kid!

  5. Jan 27, 2010

    Oh, Laurin, that sucks! I hope the medicine is working, though, I’m guessing you don’t mind the weight gain so much for a migraine medicine that really works.

  6. Jan 27, 2010

    Yes, that’s a good one, and I had forgotten about it. Sometimes I find that when I’m in the mood to go off my diet, I’ll think to do something like this but it’s like there’s a devil on my shoulder telling me to eat the cream puff before I can even get to the hot sauce/wasabi/toothpaste and toothbrush. Like, I know that doing those things will keep me from eating, but I still don’t want to do them. It’s crazy.

  7. Jan 27, 2010

    Black bean dip — the fat free kind from Desert Pepper Company. Stick a little fat-free or low-fat cheese on about a 1/4 cup of it and eat it with a spoon. It’s spicy, full of protein and has like 40 calories or something obscenely low. And it’s filling and weirdly satisfying.

    When in doubt, I throw a tablespoon of that in my pie-hole, then wait fifteen minutes to see if I’m still hungry. Then I move on to other strategies.

  8. Jan 27, 2010

    Yeah, grapefruit’s not usually on the top of everyone’s favorite fruits ever list, but it’s good for you. The only thing about grapefruit is that it can interact with some medicines, so if you really and truly are gung-ho and eat a bucketful, you should check first.

    In college my roommate and I spent one winter break eating nothing but bagels and grapefruit, and worked out on the elliptical like 3 hours a day. I’ve never been so skinny in my life.

  9. Jan 27, 2010

    I lost 60 pounds twice by taking brisk, short walks when I would get those uncontollable cravings. I was also nursing and pushing chubby babies in a stroller which helped, I’m sure.

  10. Mari
    Jan 27, 2010

    Add a diet coke to that bag of microwave popcorn, and you will feel even fuller (from the carbonation). Not healthy, I know, but it does the trick. Also, if you’re craving something sweet, the Skinny cow ice cream bars aren’t bad or some instant fat-free chocolate pudding with a little whip cream will do the trick.

  11. Jan 27, 2010

    I know this is straight out of the Bob Harper/Jillian Michaels faux-mmercials on the Biggest Loser, but I chew gum. Even worse, it’s specifically the Extra Fruit Sensations (in watermelon) they shill on the show. But I find the flavor is relatively long lasting, is has 5 calories, and it distracts me long enough that I can “forget” I’m hungry.

  12. Jan 27, 2010

    The other benefit of the hot peppers, btw, is that capsaicin has been shown to boost your metabolism(even though only a little bit), so double bonus.
    I myself tend to go the gum/brushing teeth/gulp down a big thing of water route. So unsatisfying, but tends to work.

  13. Jan 27, 2010

    Good suggestions! I like to keep around a lot of fresh vegetables that are already bite-sized (thus easy to grab from the fridge), like baby carrots and grape tomatoes, and eat them with hummus. It’s filling, tasty, and only about 50 calories for 2 Tbsp.

    Other favorite snacks: clementines, apples, dry-roasted almonds (careful about portion size there), and dark chocolate bars that can be broken down into the tiny, postage-stamp sized squares (ditto).

    For me, it’s also helpful to have lots of predictable routine. I eat at the same times every day, pretty much, and have a bunch of go-to meals that are easy to make and are appropriate in terms of calories. This way I avoid the panic of “I haven’t eaten all day and I’m starving and I have no idea what to make so I guess I HAVE TO order a pizza; I HAVE NO CHOICE.”

  14. Jan 27, 2010

    Shrimp with chili salsa.

  15. Jan 27, 2010

    When I was at my fighting weight I would go do some menial task to distract myself and then see 15 minutes later if I was still actually hungry. Like, rearrange my underwear drawer, clean out e-mail inbox, tidy junk drawer, etc. I also read once that hunger and thirst are easy confused, so have some water and reassess after 15-20 minutes. If you simply must have a snack, think protein over carbs — a stick of cheese or whole almonds are more filling, longer lasting and cause less of a insulin spike than bready things.

  16. Jeannnette
    Jan 27, 2010

    Love your post – great tips. I heard these are 3 musts for a diet: salmon, apples (great source of fiber), and eggs (which are cheap protein and stick with you).

  17. Jan 27, 2010

    Nothing but grapefruit and bagels?! Obviously, you don’t understand how many bagels I’m capable of eating.

  18. Jan 27, 2010

    Oooh, that sounds good. Beans are always a good snack choice because they “stick to your ribs.” Same with oatmeal and soup.

  19. Jan 27, 2010

    That’s awesome. When I was nursing, I couldn’t lose any weight at first, it was like my metabolism just completely shut down. But some people are luckier and get that boost in metabolism from the nursing and baby carrying.

  20. Jan 27, 2010

    Mari, I love those Skinny Cow ice cream bars. I also like the Weight Watchers ones that are like snickers bars. But I’m really better off if I just keep those things out of the house, because eventually I’ll start eating more than one a day, and then you’re back at what you’d be eating without the diet in the first place.

  21. Jan 27, 2010

    That’s hilarious! I chew gum, but I prefer Orbit Positively Pomegranate. That definitely helps.

  22. Jan 27, 2010

    Yeah, drinking a glass of water every hour keeps you from being hungry pretty well but it is also a pain in the ass to keep going back and forth to the bathroom. I find that if I workout this will kill my appetite for an hour or so afterwards.

  23. Jan 27, 2010

    My thing with the almonds is that I won’t stick to the right amount, same thing with the dark chocolate. Those are OK for me to have in the house when I’m just trying to maintain, but when I’m trying to lose I have to clear everything like that out. I will just keep eating it once I start. But you’re right, so much of it is planning ahead and not letting yourself get caught without a planned meal.

  24. Jan 27, 2010

    Ah, yes! That gets the spicy and the protein taken care of!

  25. Jan 27, 2010

    Eliz, yep, and for me, once I get on the carb/sugar train it’s just so much harder to get off. It’s almost easier to not ever eat any bread than to try to have just a little. Kind of like me with alcohol, which is why I’m convinced alcoholism and sugar addiction are connected somehow.

  26. Jan 27, 2010

    Thanks Jeannnette. I just had salmon for dinner, love it!

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