Weight Loss Tips: Willpower Secrets From The Pros

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They say you should never trust a skinny chef. But what about a petite food stylist or a svelte cupcake queen? The fact is, when your job involves truffle fries instead of office supplies, you have to get creative at dodging food so you don’t blow up like a human soufflé.

We asked women who whip up culinary delights for a living (or are just near them all day long) how they keep themselves from nibbling 24-7. Steal their real-life-tested tricks.

Front-Load Your Calories
“My key to not eating cupcakes all day? A high-protein breakfast fills me up and keeps me satisfied. My favorite: egg whites with basil and tomatoes. And I plan a lunch I can look forward to, like brown rice sushi or chicken and broccoli. Yum!”

Savor Your Sips
“When I’m at a wine-tasting party for a client, it can be hard to keep track of how much I’ve had to drink. The wine glasses (and calories!) can add up. My trick: Sip slowly. By the time we’re ready to move to the next pairing, they’ve cleared the glass away.”

Freshen Up
“I brush my teeth multiple times a day because having a clean-mouth feeling keeps me from wanting to nosh. Fudge-stuffed cupcakes don’t taste as delicious with minty breath. Chewing on a piece of strong, pepperminty gum stops the nibbling cold, too.”

Downsize Your Utensils
“If I’m tasting a dessert, I’ll use an espresso spoon — you can only load so much on it. That way, I can enjoy a spoonful of chocolate pudding cake with coffee ice cream without overdoing it. Smaller spoon, fewer calories.”

Fill Up On H2O
“As soon as I get to work, I drink 8 ounces of water. It helps me fuel and connect with my body, and I just don’t find myself reaching for cookies when I’m well-hydrated.”

Make It Bubbly
“I love mixing textures with meals, so I drink sparkling water with lunch or when I’m taste-testing food. The bubbles give me the sensation of being full.”

Snack Smart
“I sample our goat cheese dozens of times per day. Instead of eating it on a cracker or bread, I’ll pop a piece on a slice of apple or eat it plain to save calories.”

Go Nutty
“For me, a key to not eating too much junk food on set is keeping a stash of healthy almonds to nibble on instead; they’re my perfect snack. The combination of protein and fiber helps prevent blood sugar crashes, the fat is good-for-you fat, and the crunchy texture requires a good bit of chewing, so I feel like I’m really eating something. Plus, they’re incredibly portable.”

Make Plans To Indulge
“I’ll have an afternoon cappuccino with cocoa dusted on top. If I have that to look forward to, I’ll ‘behave’ throughout the day.”

Preserve The Goodies
“The freezer is one of the most underutilized tools in your kitchen. It’s not just for ice cream; I freeze nuts, brownies and cookie dough. That way, I won’t eat it right away, and I don’t feel like I’m wasting food by throwing it out.”

Be Crazed (In A Good Way)
“We’re constantly on the go at work — lifting 50-pound bags of sugar and flour, squatting beneath baking trays all day long. These are not only great ways to burn calories at work, but they honestly keep us too busy to even think about snacking on cupcakes. And staying busy works no matter what you’re doing!”

Think Afternoon Delight
“Customers will come in and say, ‘If I worked here, I’d be as big as a house!’ Believe me, I would be, too, if I didn’t stick to my rule of not eating sweets before 1 p.m. If I’m still craving a cookie in the afternoon, I’ll have one.”

Soup Up
“Once a week, I’ll make a big stew. I add just 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a big pot and throw in garlic, onions, carrots, beets, low-sodium chicken broth, potatoes, beans, maybe some low-fat cuts of meat. When hunger strikes, I have a super-satisfying, low-fat dish that I can pig out on without feeling guilty, and then I don’t reach as much for the Camembert.”

Weigh Your Options
“I always ask myself, ‘Is it worth the calories?’ French-style nougat with loads of nuts and fruits dipped in dark chocolate is worth it to me; gummy candies and potato chips definitely are not.”

Do A Doggie Bag
“I am typically in 10 restaurants each week, and that’s just for business! Most of the food is so good I want to scarf down the whole plate, but I savor each bite and plan to ask for a doggie bag so I can enjoy the dish again. I love taking home that delicious food and recreating the experience for my 5-year-old.”