You stir the sauce for dinner and you try a teeny bit … and a bit more … and another spoonful. You grate some cheese and slice a hunk off to nibble on. And maybe more olives find their way into your mouth than into the salad. It’s easy to clock up an extra couple of calories before you even sit down for a meal.
Here’s five simple ways to stop yourself picking at food while cooking:
1. Have a light snack before you start
If you’re already hungry when you begin preparing dinner, no wonder you end up eating whatever’s within reach. Have a piece of fruit or a small snack beforehand, to take the edge off your hunger. Try some of these if you want more ideas.
2. Chew sugar-free gum
Whenever I made a chocolate biscuit cake, I used to find it almost impossible not to “tidy up” the edge pieces – by eating them. Then I started chewing gum whilst slicing up the cake: an easy way to avoid “accidentally” popping a piece of cake into my mouth.
3. Chop up some veggies to munch on
If you really want something to eat while cooking, slice up a handful of raw vegetables. Just use a bit of whatever you’re going to be having for dinner; a few carrot sticks, celery or some slices of sweet pepper are ideal.
4. Chant a corny slogan
I came across this great saying in an old slimming book: “Little pickers wear bigger knickers.” (In the UK, “knickers” are ladies’ underpants.) So next time you’re tempted to just have a “little pick” at dinner, you might want to chant that one. Or invent your own! “A pre-dinner snack will set you back” is the best I can come up with…
5. Get someone else to cook!
The ultimate way to avoid snacking whilst preparing dinner is to stay out of the kitchen altogether. Get your partner to cook, or your kids – even younger children can help with much of the preparation.
Do you snack while you’re cooking, or are you great at resisting? Do you have any good tips – or any favorite silly slogans or mantras – to share?
(Image by obo-bobolina)