What you eat is important, but even healthy foods can prevent you from losing weight if you eat too much.
I never recommend extreme calorie restriction (most people are not very good at it in any way), but there are some tricks you can use to slightly reduce the amount of food you eat without the private feel, or even really notice it.
Your brain is easily fooled by changes in perspective. It is also more sensitive to external cues like an empty plate than internal cues like a full stomach.
Understanding these influences can show you how to tilt them in your favor.
Over time a difference in calories can help you lose weight. It is slow, but it is constant. And best of all, it is painless.
8 simple ways to eat less
Use smaller plates
A full plate sends the signal that you are eating a full meal, and a partially full plate looks like a meager meal, regardless of the actual amount of food.
Using smaller plates and filling them is a proven way to eat less without noticing.
Serve yourself 20% less
The minimum margin is approximately 20% of any given meal.
In other words, you can eat 80% of the food you normally eat and probably not notice it, as long as no one points it out to you.
You could also eat 20% more, not a bad idea if you are eating vegetables.
If you have those smaller plates mentioned above, serving a little less should be just as satisfied.
Use taller glasses
Just as less food looks like more food on a smaller plate, height makes things look bigger than width, even when volumes are the same.
You can reduce your liquid calories by choosing taller glasses over shorter, fatter ones.
Eat protein for breakfast
People love to promote eating breakfast as a miracle weight loss cure, but only high-protein breakfasts have been shown to suppress appetite and reduce subsequent eating throughout the day.
Skip the waffles and head to the omelet station instead.
Eat three meals a day
I bet you thought eating a lot of small meals was better than eating three larger ones throughout the day, but the facts tell us otherwise.
Although skipping meals can make it more difficult to control your appetite, eating more than three meals a day has not been shown to have any benefit, and may even be worse for appetite control.
Eat when you are supposed to and you shouldn’t need any additional food.
Keep snacks out of sight or out of the building
Study after study has shown that people eat much more when food is visible rather than far away from where it cannot be seen, even if they know it is there.
Research has also shown that the hardest food to reach is the one you have to reach — even if the extra effort is just removing a lid or walking to the cabinet, they are less likely to eat it.
The extra work forces you to question the value of your action, and this gives you the opportunity to speak to yourself and make a decision that you may regret later.
To avoid extra snacks, keep tempting foods out of sight, or better yet, out of the house. On the other hand, keep healthy foods prominently and easily accessible.
Since I have been paying more attention to the speed of eating, I have been horrified to observe that most people do not chew.
If you’re one of those girls who chew the minimum number of times before swallowing or shoving another full fork, chances are you’re eating a lot more at each meal than your chewing buddies.
Slow down, chew each bite (counting your bites can help develop this habit) and you will see how you fill up faster with fewer calories
Don’t eat straight from the package
Your stomach can’t count. When you can’t see how much you are eating you are more likely to lose track and consume twice or even triple the amount you would eat if you took the time to serve yourself an adequate portion.
Use a plate, or a bowl, or even a napkin — just make sure you get a good view of everything you’re going to eat before taking your first bite.
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