The Pepper Technique

February 25, 2008 at 6:34 am Leave a comment

Over the years, I’ve developed a few key Consumption Management Techniques (CMTs) that help me keep from overeating. 

One of the most effective – and controversial – is the Pepper Technique.  It’s simple.  When I’ve taken as many bites of something as I want to, I sprinkle the remaining portion with pepper.  It’s quite effective.  There’s no way I’m going to take another bite of cheesecake once it’s been sprinkled with pepper!  The technique even works on savory foods.  Instead of sprinkling, I pour a lot of pepper on to whatever remains, and the urge to nibble on it is gone.

This technique is controversial because it can be off-putting when used at at a party or a special event.  If your dinner partners don’t know about your lifestyle change or efforts to eat smaller portions, they may find your behavior odd or even disturbing. 

I recently used this method at my friends’ wedding.  The wedding cake was delicious.  After taking a couple of bites, I didn’t want to eat any more, so I sprinkled pepper all over the leftover piece.  One of my girlfriends, seated at the table with us, was horrified when she saw what I’d done to the cake.  She knows my history, so it wasn’t a matter of not understanding what I was trying to achieve.  She felt it was too extreme, though.  I suppose I might think so, too, if I were observing it, but for me, it’s merely another way to stay on track. 

Another caveat: if you pour pepper on food prepared by a friend, it’s not going to be received positively, even if they’re well aware of your desire to improve your eating habits.  I wouldn’t recommend it in that situation. 

Use this technique judiciously.  It’s very effective, but think about the circumstances you’re in before you sprinkle freely.

I’ll share additional CMTs in upcoming posts.  In the meantime, try the Pepper Technique and let me know what you think.


Entry filed under: coping strategies, tips & techniques. Tags: , , .

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