We used to do this all the time with multi course dinners. Soup and salad before a smaller dinner. You should be eating salad greens before a meal ( watch the dressing ), and eating plenty of vegetables at each meal with some lean protein.
The best example of this is in a restaurant nowadays, but they give you bread, soup AND salad, as well as an appetizer many times, and then 3 servings of dinner on one plate, followed by dessert, which you probably shouldn't be eating more than around 6 special days a year. Unless of course, you consider fruit to be dessert.
Sticking to a large salad, with maybe 1 slice of bread before a meal will help, as long as you cut dinner down some to offset the fact that you won't be as hungry. If you cook it, you will most likely eat it. Make a smaller dinner of 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 starchy carbs,1/4 lean protein, and see if that helps.
Filling up on salad, or vegetables pre-dinner may help control your appetite some, but probably not enough to turn down food sitting on your plate. If you just add a plate of vegetables, and keep dinner the same size, you will most likely just overeat, and be bloated.
It is basically about volume of food, and pre-eating low caloric, high volume foods will result in you feeling full, even after a smaller dinner. This lets you eat less, and lose weight. Just don't forget to cut the size of dinner.
Russell - current BMI 28.6
197 - bmi 30 - done
164 - bmi-25
| current weight: 181.0