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Guest Contributor – Elisa Zied

Are you looking to curb mindless eating and slash your overall calorie intake painlessly? And I mean with zero pain?

The tip below (not to mention so many others) from the new book, The Skinny Rules: The 101 Secrets Every Skinny Girl Knows, by registered dietician Molly Morgan, may help you do just that. Of course being ’skinny’ is not something I feel people should aspire to (though admittedly, during the course of my life, I too have succumbed to wanting to be more slim—especially when I was an overweight teenager and young adult.) I also believe that no matter how hard someone works to lose weight and get in shape, he or she won’t necessarily become thin, skinny, or slim from their efforts—genes and so many other variables factor into what our ultimate body shape and weight are and will be. That being said, Morgan’s tips throughout her book are common-sense with a twist, and can help all of us –especially those who have trouble keeping their weight down–eat and live more healthfully and reap the many benefits of doing so.

Here’s an excerpt of my favourite tip from The Skinny Rules…

Skinny Rule #15: Watch Your BLTs

No, not bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches… bits, licks and tastes! This helpful tip comes from a skinny cousin of mine, Kristie Kinderman: Every bit, lick and taste adds up quickly when you’re watching your calories. So think twice (and even three times) before you have that extra bite, lick or taste!

If you want to challenge yourself, try this fun little exercise. Keep a scrap of paper in your pocket for an entire day and every time you take an extra bite, lick or taste of something, jot it down. At the end of the day try to estimate how many extra calories piled up thanks to those little BLTS. To estimate how many calories are in a small amount of food, go to . It is an amazing online database of nutrition facts that lets you see how many calories are in different serving sizes of various foods. To start, go to the web site and in the upper right-hand corner of the home page, type in a food name and then click Search. You will quickly be able to see how many calories are approximately in a bit, lick or taste. Choose the one-ounce serving size from the drop-down menu for the food you’ve selected and it will give you a rough idea of how many calories were in that taste. Of course, depending on how many bites, licks and tastes of the food you had, the amount of calories will differ. And while I’m not calling you a big mouth, the calories may also vary depending on the size of your mouth!

This Skinny rule is especially important because people don’t take the calories from those BLTs into account, but they do add up! Maybe it’s a few extra bites while you’re preparing dinner, followed by the lick of a spoon when you’re cleaning up or a small taste off your friend’s plate at a restaurant. Each of these seemingly innocent and perhaps even mindless acts adds calories. Controlling calorie intake is a delicate balance and nixing the extra bites, licks and taste can and will make a difference in your weight.

Check out some approximate calories that come from just a small 1-ounce bite, lick or taste:

Lick of peanut butter: 165 calories

Lick of frosting:  116 calories

Bite of Cake with frosting: 103

Few Bites of French Fries: 93

Taste of Chicken Wing: 60

Excerpted with permission from The Skinny Rules, by Molly Morgan, RD, CDN.


Full disclosure: I requested and was provided with a free copy of The Skinny Rules by the author, Molly Morgan.


Elisa Zied is a registered dietitian and freelance writer, author, and spokesperson. She’s the founder/president of Zied Health Communications, LLC in New York City. Elisa is the author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips, and co-author of Feed Your Family Right!, and So What Can I Eat?! She’s also a regular contributor for, has written for Parents, Redbook, Woman’s Day, and Seventeen, and is on the advisory board for Parents magazine and She was a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association for 6 years, and won a NYSDA Media Excellence Award in 2007. Elisa lives in NYC with her husband and 2 sons.

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