8 experts, 8 eating rules

Welcome to Off the Clock, where we ask bariatric experts a question about their own lives. No one has any single, easy answer to losing weight, and nothing you read here will be earth-shattering. But simple, single choices can add up and make a difference and you may find a few that you’d like to try, from doctors who fight obesity every day.

Today we ask: “What is one eating rule you set and try to follow for yourself?”

“My eating rule is simple: ‘Don’t eat with my fingers’. My day starts with lots of opportunity to eat with my fingers. Donuts and bagels in the doctors lounge, candy on the nurses floor, cheese and crackers in medical records. The waitress at the restaurant asks me if I want fries with that. The list is endless. My rule also stops me from eating in my car, in front of the television etc.”
Dr. Helmuth Billy, California

“My Achilles Heel is the buffet or all-you-can-eat restaurants. I must avoid them or I will eat until I am sick. I also haven’t had a carbonated beverage in probably 20 years.”
Dr. David Provost, Texas

“One of our favorite summertime dinners is to grill hamburgers and brats. To cut down on carbohydrates and calories we eat them without the bun, but making sure we have the complete array of toppings, such as chopped tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce, and of course, sauerkraut.”
Dr. Tom Brown, Colorado

“I really try to avoid skipping meals, because when I allow myself to get too hungry I make poor choices and I eat too quickly.”
Dr. Valerui Andrei, New Jersey

“Liquid calories add up fast, so I try to almost always drink zero-calorie beverages. And when I sit down to eat, I start with the protein and vegetable so I can keep carbs to a minimum – especially the white ones (white rice, bread, potatoes, and pasta)”
Dr. Christine Ren Fielding, New York

“I always use a salad size plate at dinner to limit my first portion serving. It forces me to get up and go back to get more if I need to, which gives me time to truly decide if I really want any more. Also at restaurants, I try to send my plate away as soon as I am finished eating, so I am not tempted to finish the plate out of boredom or because it tasted so good.”
Dr. Mona Misra, California

“I try not to ever use heavy salad dressings. Often I put low fat cottage cheese on my salad instead of dressing – it has that creamy texture, but is more protein than fat. I also try to always start my day with high protein like eggs or greek yogurt.”
Dr. Emma Patterson, Oregon

“I like to go by the 90/10 rule. If I’m good 90% of the time, then I can be “bad” 10%. Functionally this works well during the week when there are 10 lunch/dinners to deal with.”
Dr. Matt Brengman, Virginia

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Or check out the previous edition of Off the Clock – 10 Experts, 10 Choices: How I Help My Kids be Healthy or 5 Experts: What I Think of The Biggest Loser
by Emma Squillace