6 ways of tricking your brain into eating less
Why force yourself to eat less when you can trick yourself into it?
Dieting. I'm sure that some of you out there are thoroughly fed up of dieting. You want to lose weight but your brain wants to eat 10 gallons of Ben & Jerry's washed down with 5 gallons of milkshake. It's just how life goes.
But it's time we all turned things around, so stop eating that chocolate bar, step away from the Full English Breakfast and do, please, stop eating that butter straight out of the tub. It's time we sorted our brains (and health) out. And these tricks will can help us do just that.
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1. Use smaller plates, bowls and spoons.
Studies at Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania have supported the theory that eating with smaller cutlery and bowls leads people to subconsciously eat less. In one experiment participants were given random sized bowls at an ice cream tasting event and it was determined that those given larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream than those with smaller bowls.
The other experiment showed that the same went for utensils. Those given large ice cream scoops served themselves a whole 66% more! Use smaller cutlery and not only could you be racking up the savings but also dropping the pounds.
2. Drink water.
Water is a really great way of tricking your brain into thinking you've just eaten. It's not foolproof but drinking an ice cold glass of water when you are craving food works to help you lose calories on two fronts.
Firstly the water makes your stomach feel more full.
Secondly the cold of the water will stimulate your metabolism. This occurs as your body tries to warm the water to body temperature which in turn burns calories and gives you an energy boost, all without consuming a single calorie. Perfect.
3. Pour drinks in a tall, thin glass
Think of a small carton of milk and a pint glass. What do they have in common? Each holds a pint. What don't they have in common? Well the milk carton surely holds less liquid. Surely. Look at it. It's really, really small. It might say it holds a pint but it doesn't, surely.
Well it does and as you probably now suspect, we tend to pour less liquid into tall thin glasses than small ones due to this perceived size difference. So next time you're pouring yourself your daily allowance of sugar make sure you do it in the glass equivalent of Peter Crouch.
4. Out of sight, out of mind.
It stands to reason that you won't want to eat as much deliciously calorific food if you aren't constantly reminded of deliciously calorific food. Ever stood staring at some mouthwatering delicacy and not felt an overwhelming urge to eat it?. I have. I was staring at a single solitary slice of cheesecake and I walked away from it. True story. I had just eaten the other seven slices and was full to bursting but that's neither here nor there...
Anyway, to prevent this seeing/eating cycle simply make sure your snackables are hidden inside cupboards, opaque jars and desk drawers. Every little helps.
5. Snack with your non-dominant hand.
When watching a film with a tub of popcorn in your hand your brain can easily turn off and you can start shovelling calorie after calorie down without even thinking. And it's not only films. It can happen anywhere, whether it be at your desk or on your sofa. Subconscious shovelling is a problem the world over and there's one easy way to stop it.
The problem arises because eating in these environments is so routine to you that you do it without even thinking. Well, why not take yourself out of your comfort zone?
Researchers at the University of Southern California found that this cycle can be simply broken by snacking with your other hand. Easy.
6. Eat slowly
We know your life is all lectures, classes, drinking, lectures, drinking, classes, drinking, but if you're looking to trick your brain into wanting less calories maybe it's actually time to listen to it.
Instead of gulping down your dinner (or any meal for that matter) in 10 huge mouthfuls in 5 minutes, why not take your time? Your brain will think you've been eating for longer, you get to savour the food and best of all, you will realise when you are actually full.
It takes time for your body to notice that your stomach is struggling. The slower you eat the more accurate this reading might be by the time you've had enough. If you practically inhale your food then it'll all be gone before you realise you've made a massive calorific mistake.
So place your fork down after every bite and take it easier next time you sit down for a meal. Maybe then you might even find yourself with some delicious leftovers tomorrow.
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