Maybe you’ve set some great goals for your health, but are having trouble with portion control or keeping your calorie intake where you’d like it. Fortunately, there are some simple tricks to keep you from eating more than you'd like that have been shown effective in reducing food intake.
Below are five tips you can try to trick your brain into thinking you want to eat less and preventing overeating.
Use smaller bowls or plates, but larger utensils. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggested that something called the Delboeuf illusion could explain why when a large plate and small plate are placed close together, we see an illusion that winds up making us serve ourselves too much on the big plates.
Another 2011 study in the same journal found that when people take larger bites and use a larger fork, they tend to eat less overall. This was found to be especially true when eating out at a restaurant.
Choose bowls or plates that are a different color than the food you’re eating, and a tablecloth that matches your dishes. Researchers have observed that when tablecloth color matched dishware, people served themselves less food. The reasoning for this is unclear, but it was postulated that the matching colors cancelled out the effects of the Delboeuf illusion, mentioned above.
They also found that the greater the difference between the colors of the dishware and the food served on it, the less people tended to eat. For instance, serving chocolate cake on a white dish or tomato soup in a yellow bowl may reduce the amount you end up eating.
Don’t eat in front of the TV or phone. We’ve all been there, in somewhat of a trance when it comes to screen time and technology in our faces. Maybe you’ve experienced it when you’re trying to have a conversation with someone, but can’t seem to stop scrolling through social media images and focus on what’s being said.
There seems to be a similar effect when trying to eat and engage in technology. A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionfound that kids who watched TV while eating missed hunger-fullness cues, leading to a higher food intake.
Mix your macros. The body needs three macronutrients — protein, carbohydrates and fat — to feel full and satisfied. When you eat meals that consist of only one or two of these macronutrients, it leaves you feeling hungry and you'll be more likely to reach for a snack between meals. Try to balance all three at every meal. For example, instead of eating just oatmeal for breakfast, add a handful of walnuts for fat and a scoop of Organic Superfoods Powder. This mixed macro meal will keep you fuller much longer than the carb-filled oatmeal alone.
Keep food out of reach. Making food a little less accessible, even during mealtimes, can help prevent serving yourself more than you planned. For instance, instead of serving “family style” meals in which you pass foods around for serving and then leave them in the middle of the table, serve yourself before sitting down. Leave the other bowls of food on another counter away from the kitchen table where you’re actually eating.
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