12 Ways to Stop Overeating Your Favorite Foods

August 13, 2013
addicting foods: peanut butter jar spoon picture

Are you a spoon-in-the-peanut-butter-jar kind of person? Overindulging in a food—whether it’s healthy or not—can quickly add inches to your waistline. Here’s how to enjoy three popular foods without going overboard.  

Peanut Butter
With nearly 100 calories per tablespoon, regular peanut butter can easily pack on the pounds.

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Portion Control Tricks to Try:

  • Use pre-portioned packs: Individual pouches are great, especially when you need a portable snack. Justin’s brand makes a great organic version.  
  • Grind your own: Blending two tablespoons of nuts makes a 100-calorie portion
  • Pick powdered: The temptation of devouring an entire jar is gone since you mix the powdered variety with water to constitute your desired serving. Free from the added sugars and oils commonly found in regular peanut butter, powdered packs contain just peanuts with some of the fat pressed out so that it’s less likely to turn rancid. A two-tablespoon serving contains only 45 calories—one-quarter the amount you’d find in the same serving of the real deal.
  • Bonus idea: Stir the powder into your coffee, hot cocoa, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or satay dips to add peanut butter flavor for fewer calories.

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Nuts
Although nuts are packed with nutrients and healthy fats, calories accumulate quickly.  One cup of nuts, such as macadamia, contains roughly 1,000 calories and many others come in close to 800! 

Portion Control Tricks to Try:

  • Make homemade trail mix: Combine two tablespoons of slivered nuts with two cups of popcorn for a 200-calorie treat.
  • Use slim slices: Slivered nuts provide the crunch and flavor of whole nuts but for fewer calories, since you won’t need as many. Add them to salads, yogurt, and oatmeal
  • Try pistachios: They're the "skinny" nut. Higher in fiber and protein than most nuts, you can have 30 for about 100 calories. With most other nuts, you can only have 10 to 12 before you hit that calorie count.
  • Go ground: The same goes for ground nuts. Use one tablespoon as breading for fish, or toss them in oatmeal, quinoa, or yogurt.

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Cheese
A bit heavy handed when adding cheese in your omelet? Cheese can be a real doozy if you’re watching your weight. One ounce of full-fat cheese, such as Montery Jack, brie, and blue cheese, contains 95 to 120 calories.

Portion Control Tricks to Try:

  • Use grated Parmesan: It has a strong flavor, so you can use less. One teaspoon added to salads, pastas, and sandwiches works wonders for just 20 calories.
  • Try low-fat or fat-free versions: You may find that you enjoy—but are less likely to overeat—them, especially when it comes to salty cheeses like feta.
  • Kick up less-caloric flavors: Go very light on cheese, by making or ordering foods with strong flavors. For example, eating an avocado, tomato, and basil sandwich will tantalize the taste buds so much that you’ll only need a sprinkle of cheese, if any.
  • Be picky: Don’t add cheese to a food just because you typically enjoy the taste. Save this indulgent food for occasions or meals that allow you to really enjoy its unique flavor. If it’s going to get lost in a recipe, don’t bother adding it. Here are 14 Healthy Cheeses You'll Love.

For more healthy eating tips, visit nutritiontwins.com.

Disclaimer: The Nutrition Twins work with Paramount Farms, the world's largest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios, to help people make healthier snack choices.

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