ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Friday, August 23, 2013

6 Tricks to Eating Smaller Portions

It would be so easy to toss off a few tricks, either completely made up or culled from the internet, but then I'd lose your trust. One thing you've been counting on is my honesty, which I have shared through my current 40 pound weight loss. So I won't do what I see a lot of sites doing. Instead, I'll give you the 6 Tricks that have worked for me.

And why do we call them tricks and not strategies or tactics?

Because we have to fool our bodies and mind into believing they've had enough to eat. All the strategies in the world won't have much affect if we can't stop eating. Because the same mind which makes up the strategy is crying for more food. By now you already know the extents your imagination will go through just to rationalize why that piece of cheese cake or that double cheese burger with bacon and onion rings is something you should eat.

After all, you deserve it, right?

Yeah. Right. You just go on and keep believing that.

Or you can learn a few tricks to defeat that nasty imagination of yours. Just as a magician can stand in
front of you and with slight of hand trick your eyes into believing something ludicrous, you can trick your mind into believing it's full. In case you didn't know, magicians don't really pull rabbits out of hats. There is no magic. It's a trick.

1 - Smaller Plate. If you're at home, look at the size of your plates. Are they more like platters? Would an entire family have eaten from one 100 years ago, meaning is it platter sized? Current average plate sizes are between 10 - 13 inches. And you have to have a full plate, right? Why not buy a couple small plates and eat with those for a few weeks. Try in the 8-9 inch range.

And if you're at a buffet, use a salad plate. Sure, you might have to go back a few more times, but the time it takes you to go back and forth, plus the time it takes for you to eat, will give your stomach a chance to realize it's full.

2 - Know the spoon portions. We've already determined that you're going to fill your plate up whatever the size (this is my reverse hypnotic psychology working here). But in case you don't-- hint hint-- know the size of your serving spoons. They aren't standard, so you'll have to figure it out. Are they a quarter cup, half a cup, a full cup? This is important. When you blindly heap the food on your plate, you have the blissful ignorance of not knowing how much you eat. If you'er at all serious about your weight loss, you'll eventually decide to start keeping track of your food, if only for a little while. Actually seeing that you normall heap two cups of spagetti and a cup and a half of sauce on your plate with each helping will show you once and for all what you're really doing.

3 - Drink water first. First of all, you should be drinking between 48 and 64 ounces of water a day anyway. I know it makes you pee. But that's a good thing. You need to flush your system of its toxins, so stop fighting it. When you sit down, if you drink a full glass of water, preferably cold, it will help control your appettite. Simple. So do it.

4 - Sit back a for a few minutes halfway through. For Heaven's sake, come up for air. Halfway through your meal, why not stop eating for a few minutes. Let's say five. Five whole minutes. OH MY GOD someone will come and take your food. It might get cold. The world will end. Planets will dive into ths sun. Or, maybe, just maybe, you'll give your body enough time to realize that it's almost full already.

5 - Load up on low GI foods. This is science. Both Harvard Medical School and Nutritional Data dot Com have excellent sites and lists which explain the importance of knowing the glycemic index of foods and how to build a GI load. So what is the glycemic index? Worlds Healthiest Foods Dot Org defines it as:

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while a food with a high GI may cause our blood glucose level to increase above the optimal level. An awareness of foods' Glycemic Index can help you control your blood sugar levels, and by doing so, may help you prevent heart disease, improve cholesterol levels, prevent insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, prevent certain cancers, and achieve or maintain a healthy weight. A substantial amount of research suggests a low GI diet provides these significant health benefits. So, it's worth taking a look at the basic principles of a low GI way of eating.

Words like cancer and diabetes scare me, so let's ignore those for a moment and concentrate on the simple-- how can I use these charts (see links)? If you have a meal with all high GI foods, you're going to digest them quickly, you'll have a sugar spike, and if unused, it will be rendered as fat. It will also make you more hungry. You want to have as many (but not all) low GI foods as you can. It takes them longer to digest making you fuller longer.

So if you're building a salad, add some chickpeas, kidney beans, peanuts and the like. These are low GI foods, which will balance many of the other high GI salad incredients. Here are some lunch ideas for low GI meals.

See? Science.

6 - Sensa or some equivelant. Speaking of science, the PHDs at Sensa have created something. If all
else fails, then you double cheat. Not only do I use the above five principles, but I also use Sensa. We bought this at Costco and it sat on the shelf for about six months. On a lark, I decided to bring it to Afghanistan. It's tasteless. I sprinkle it on the food before I eat. And I almost always end up leaving food on my plate.

FREEBEE - And here's a freebee. Always leave food on your plate. My wife was told that she had to finish her meal because there were starving kids in Africa. My mom said the same thing. My wife however, offered to box it up and mail it, which is classic. But even so, there's no way you're helping starving people by overeating. It's ridiculous. (Note to Mom who is probably reading this and getting a little irritated right now -- I am not calling you ridiculous). If you put more food on your plate than you need, then leave it there. Don't feel forced to eat it. In fact, step away a little hungry and have another glass of water. Trust me. It works. I've lost 40 pounds to prove it.

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Please Note: This article is copyrighted by Weston Ochse. Any reproduction in whole or in part without the author’s permission is prosecutable by public law. If you'd like to borrow part of this or see it reprinted, contact me here. Thank you. © 2013


  1. Good advice, Wes. I'll take them to heart and try my best to follow your lead. I'm at that age (45) and weight (250) that is starting to worry me big time. I've always been able to lose weight by straight exercise but I've got a bum knee and that's getting harder and harder to do. Also, my dad and older brother have diabetes and it's time for me to get my head out of the sand and wake up. Appreciate the tips, brother. Cheers!

  2. My pleasure Gord. I was 250 for a long time, then spiked to 275. That's when all of this healthy eating and exercise started. Getting old sucks. But getting healthy makes it managable.