8 Simple and Efficient Ways to Control Your Eating
Practicing self-control can be difficult in many aspects of our lives. And eating makes no exception.
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Most of the times we eat too much in one sitting or exceed the number of calories for the day without even realizing it, mindlessly consuming much more food than we really need.
Breaking this mindless overeating cycle may seem difficult but there are simple and efficient ways to control your eating and tilt the scale in your favor. Curious to know how? Then, let’s take a closer look and find out, shall we?
Use smaller plates
First and foremost, size matters. In terms of your plates, anyway. The size of your dishes sends your brain signals about how much food you’re eating. A larger plate, even if not full, means more food, which is not exactly doing your weight any favors.
So, downsize your dishes and get smaller ones. Filling them up will tell your brain you’re having just the right quantity of food. This way, you can control your eating and manage to consume 45% less than people using bigger plates. See also Trouble with Portion Control? Here’s How to Do It Right for more useful tips!
Fill your plate with healthy food first
Whether at home or at the cafeteria, it has been proven that diners tend to fill up their plates more with the foods they see first. And more often than not, these are not the healthiest ones.
To be able to control what and how much you eat, fill up your plate with greens and veggies first and then get to the fattier meats and treats. Increased consumption of vegetables at the beginning of a meal can have a significant impact on the type and quantity of food you eat afterwards.
Chew gum at the grocery store
A ground rule is to never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. To fortify your willpower, pop in some sugar-free gum while walking through the supermarket aisles.
Apart from freshening your breath, chewing gum will also help you feel less hungry and resist unhealthy cravings. According to various studies, people who chewed gum while grocery shopping purchased fewer junk foods and more healthy foods, while burning 5% more calories in the process. Chew on this information!
Pay for food in cash
Another good practice in terms of controlling your eating is to pay for your food in cash. Apparently, paying with credit cards makes you more likely to load up your cart with fattening foods. About 40% more unhealthy food than people paying in cash.
On the other hand, there’s something about handing over cash that makes people think twice. For example, one study showed that when people were given cash to buy junk food or less healthy options, they became more reluctant and opted for healthier foods instead.
Don’t eat in front of the TV
Specialists recommend eating without any distractions that might make us overeat and thus, gain weight. Eating in front of the TV is one such distraction.
According to studies, eating while watching TV impacts our awareness and makes us pay less attention to how much we’re eating. And most of the times this translates into consuming much more food than necessary. Not to mention that if you’re watching a cooking show, the hunger and craving intensify, and your eating control goes down the drain.
Use darker plates
If you think the size of your plates isn’t helping you control your eating, then maybe their color will. Believe it or not, research shows that the higher the contrast between the food and the plates, the less food people eat.
That’s mainly because on a darker plate, for example a blue one, the portion stand out and seems to be larger. If the plate color is lighter, the food easily blends in, making you eat more. So, consider something blue?
Keep snacks out of sight
It’s hard to stay away from snacks and all sorts of tempting foods, even if you know they might make you gain weight. But there are ways to make this possible.
One way would be to put them away, someplace where you can’t easily see or get to them. That’s because the extra effort you have to put in to get to the food can actually deter your from eating it. A simple action like walking to the kitchen cabinet in search of candies can save you from eating 25% less than if the candies would have been next to you.
Don’t eat from the package
When food is visible, you can get an idea of how much you’re actually eating. But when you can’t see it, you’ll tend to lose track and eat a lot more than you need.
Eating chips from the bag or ice cream straight from the tub is a sure pathway to exceeding the number of calories you set to maintain or lose weight. Instead of eating straight from the package, portion the food into a serving size you believe is right for you and get a good visual of what you’re planning to eat.