I am a visual foodie.
Yes, I know that food’s more about taste for some people and for others it is about smell, but I am absolutely in the visual bucket. If it looks good, but does not taste great (as in not perfect, with extra salt or the texture is too grainy, coarse, slimy, etc.) I’d eat it.
I am not much into taste is what I figured out early on. I can make out if the food’s got a lot of something – like chilies, salt, pepper, etc. but I dont care too much (within reason) about taste. I was told food was a blessing, so you’d better eat, say your prayers and move on.
I know a few friends who are very much into food that smells good. Which is why they have a tough time going near a Starbucks or a Subway and not ordering something to drink or eat, even if they just had a meal.
The first part of trying to get to your correct weight is to make sure you understand what type of foodie are you. If you are more visual then try to look for ways to avoid being in front of food a lot, or viewing Food TV or watching others order food at the cafeteria. Stick to the same 3-4 things to “condition” your brain to love only those visual cues.
The second typecasting of the type of foodie are you is to put yourself into the 3 buckets of “Thrill seeking foodie”, or “Comfort food foodie” or “Constant cravings foodie”. These are my own categorizations so they are by no means scientific. I think, most people who love food, would fall into one of these three buckets.
The “Thrill seeking foodie” looks for new things to eat or experiments with new types of cuisine all the time. They seek new dishes and viands constantly. They are your friends who are the first to scout the new restaurant in your neighborhood. They always know what to order in the new place you have been to. They have tried multiple “alternatives” and “substitutes” in each recipe and they buy the gourmet foods all the time.
The “Comfort food foodie” prefers the tried and tested, because it reminds them of a time and place they loved. They are your friends who order the same pasta or “palak paneer” or “sambar rice” at every restaurant they go to. They would tell you about the best place to eat their favorite food, and would always order their favorite dish the first time they visit a new restaurant to “compare” it to what they make at home or what their mom made.
The “Constant craving foodie” always has cravings for anything food related. I fall into this bucket. I can eat any time. Rarely am I “too full that I could not eat a morsel”. That’s because I have a very diverse interest in food and I am willing to try anything once and see if I like it. This type of person likes particular foods, but has a soft corner for certain flavors, textures and spices. For e.g. I have a soft spot for lemon. Put lemon in anything and I am a sucker for it. Similarly I love crunchy or hard textures in my food compared to soft. Even in rice and bread.
If you want to lose weight, the one thing you have to do is control your portion sizes more than your diet.
Here is the unfortunate part of weight loss.
If you stick to your calorie intake regardless of the type of food, you’d still lose weight.
You’d be not very healthy, but you’d lose weight.
That means that if you only ate cookies, candy and junk food daily, but were under your calorie requirement for the day, you’ll still lose weight. As I said, you’d be very unhealthy very soon, but you’ll lose weight fast.
In the weight loss department, one calorie is one calorie. Whether it comes from fat, carbohydrates, proteins, sugar, etc. does not matter. Any calorie is a calorie.
Visual foodies who constantly crave food, have the worst of all worlds. If they see something good that looks appealing, then they have to try it.
Here’s the problem with “trying it”. I was coached by my mom to “never waste any food” at all. That meant I always ate everything on my plate, even if I was full.
My stomach obviously said “no more”, but my eyes were like “that needs to be finished”.
So the best way for me to avoid eating things that I “loved” but knew were going to be bad in the long run was to eliminate them completely.
If, however you are a “thrill seeking foodie” who cares more about taste, than how the food looks, you can possibly “sample” many foods, without having to eat a lot of it.
If you are a “comfort food foodie”, then finding substitutes for the high calorie items with same tastes but lower calories might help.
If you are a person who cares a lot about smell, then just walking though the food aisle, smelling the “high calorie food that you love” but substituting it by eating the low calorie foods that are healthy for you will help.
Bottom line, you will have to adopt the strategy that works best for you depending on your archetype.