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Secret weapons

If thinking about all these things doesn't work, or makes you dwell even more on the hunger, there are more substantial ways of dealing with the problem.


Try filling up on liquid. Often putting something, anything, in your stomach will quiet the hunger monster long enough to get to the next meal.


  Next higher in yield among tactical weapons is diet soft drinks with caffeine. Caffeine is an appetite suppressing chemical which hits the bloodstream quickly and takes effect almost immediately. I'm not suggesting you get addicted to the stuff in order to diet, but odds are you're hardly a stranger to it already. Since none of these beverages have any calories, if you can get through a hunger attack with them, you're home free.


Crossing the strategic threshold ever so slightly brings us to a mug of piping hot bouillon. Two bouillon cubes make eight fluid ounces but contain only 8 calories, almost negligible. Not only is it rich and salty, it's hot, which counteracts the chilliness that often accompanies hunger.

If none of these work, and your diet is really on the line, it's time to push the button and launch the heavy stuff. Consider the following alternatives.


This is my personal favourite. A cup runs about 45 calories, and it's good either cold or heated in the microwave to banish the shivers.

Dill pickles.

For megatons per calorie, these little green warheads are hard to top. Each medium size pickle runs about 7 calories, which means you can eat four of them and still only bust the plan by about 30 calories. Of course this is so because they're basically crunchy water.


Popcorn????? Yes, popcorn. To make this work you need one of those air poppers and a little restraint. You may be startled to learn that one cup of air-popped popcorn is only 25 calories. This means you can make two cups of the stuff, 8 ounces by volume, and still only go 50 calories over the plan. Remember, I'm talking about air-popped popcorn without butter (you can salt to your heart's (ahem) content), and that's two cups popped, not the trashbag full you get from popping two cups of kernels.

The morning after.

I mention these secret weapon foods not to tempt you but to provide alternatives less damaging than chucking the whole diet and ordering out pizza. Any of these choices will still leave you with a calorie shortfall for the day and keep you losing weight. However, remember that if you feast on one of these treats late at night, your weight in the morning may show a dismaying increase because the food's still sitting in the rubber bag. Ignore it, trust the trend, and stay on the plan.

These secret weapon foods should remain secure in the arsenal except in times of crisis. If you want to include a midnight snack in your meal plan, fine; allocate a reasonable number of calories to it (not too many, as you don't want lots of calories in the system while you're sleeping; see page [Ref]), and make a list of alternatives with about that number of calories. But if you find a frequent need for an emergency buck-you-up, it's a sign your calorie balance over the day is uneven or you're trying to lose weight too quickly (see below). These problems should be addressed by revising the diet and/or meal plans, not by frequently resorting to unplanned snacks, however low calorie.

Next Up Previous Contents Index
Next: Too many bad Up: Late night, hungry, Previous: What food is

By John Walker