You know what you’re supposed to eat, right? And yet during your busy days you can’t seem to stop and control your eating. It just seems like there are too many rules that seem to change every day anyway. It’s not that you don’t want to eat healthy. You understand that, if motivated enough, over time you will learn how to better control what you eat. Right? Well, here are some good suggestions from researchers in how to become more aware of making healthier choices in your eating habits.
1. Eat slowly and drink water. Take smaller bites. Chew your food slowly. Take a little more time between forkfuls. And drink water while you’re eating. These simple steps are key if you want to cut back on calories and still feel full and satisfied.
2. Always order the “small.” A large container can tempt you to eat more food, even if you’re full or it doesn’t taste good. In one study, moviegoers were given free popcorn in either medium or large tubs, some was fresh and yummy, and some was stale. People who were given the fresh popcorn in large containers ate 45% more than those who got it in medium tubs. Even those who got stale popcorn in large containers ate 33% more than those with medium tubs.
3. Keep unhealthy snacks out of sight. Stash junk foods like candy and chips where you can’t see them. You might eat less. When office workers kept chocolates on their desks, they ate 48% more than when the candies were 6 feet away, or out of sight. If they put chocolates in their desk drawers, they ate 25% less than if the sweet stuff was right on their desks in front of them.
4. Hit the pause button before giving in to a craving. Eating because you’re bored, tired, or tense can make you feel out of control. Try to delay the urge to graze. When a craving hits, do something else for 5 to 19 minutes, then see if you still want to eat. Chances are the urge will have faded, at least a little.
5. Use smaller bowls and plates. The size of your dishes and utensils gives your brain cues about how much you’re ‘supposed’ to eat – and a bigger dish means more food. In one study people at a Chinese buffet who got a large plate served themselves 52% more food, and ate 45% more than those who chose smaller plates.
6. Use blue plates. Yup, believe it or not, the color of your dishes might make a difference in how much food you serve yourself. Research shows that the more the food blends in with the plate color, the more chow you’re likely to eat. So consider using plates in a different hue.
7. Turn off TV cooking shows: If you’re trying to lose weight, seeing food on TV could make you want to snack. Research shows that people on diets at more candy while watching food-related shows than when watching food-free programming.
8. Buy your lunch with cash: It’s easier to buy junk food and desserts when you pay with plastic. There’s something about handling over cold hard cash that gives people pause. Researchers found that when high schoolers were told to use cash to pay for less-healthy foods like cookies, they thought twice about it, and often grabbed healthier fare.
9. Serve yourself healthy stuff first: Whether you’re having a meal at home or choosing from a cafeteria line, load your plate with the healthiest items first. Studies show that diners at buffets tend to take larger servings of the first few foods they see. So, think before you start piling up your plate. Dish up veggies or whole grains before fattier meats and sides.
10. Chew gum in the grocery store: Maybe you’ve heard you shouldn’t shop for food when you’re hungry. Well, you might want to pop in a piece of sugarless gum before you head down the aisles too. According to two studies, that people who chew gum felt less hungry and had fewer junk food cravings. As a result, the people bought fewer high-calorie snack foods, like chips, and brought home ore healthy options.
About the Authors:
Mitchell Levy is the Chief Instigator of Ahas at the Aha Amplifier and Chief Marketing Officer at VedaFoods. Mitchell has coached tens of thousands of individuals on improving their work lives and running their businesses better. He has 30+ years of thought leadership, strategy planning and sales/marketing experience, is a former board member, CEO & advisor of many organizations, has written 46 business books and created over 70 University courses. To find out more about Mitchell, visit http://mitchelllevy.com.
Carly Alyssa Thorne is a speaker, author, consultant, producer, and director on Conscious Business Collaborations, specializing in multi-sensory, multimedia, and the mind-body-business-spirit interconnectedness. Carly has worked with individuals, families, and companies on comprehensive health programs and led numerous retreats. To find out more about Carly, visit http://www.CarlyAlyssaThorne.com.
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