What you eat is important, but even healthy food can stop you from losing weight if you eat too much of it. Don’t ruin your diet by mindlessly overeating. These simple tricks can help you eat less food and feel more satisfied.
21. Healthy Food Turned Unhealthy
Don’t get distracted by labels that make something “healthy.” Most truly healthy foods have little to no label – fruits, vegetables and other unprocessed foods are the best to help you feel full. Health claims always tend to be on the processed junk, and research shows that people drastically underestimate calories when there are health claims on the package.
20. Don’t Eat From The Package
Your stomach can’t count calories or measure portions. You are much more likely to lose track of how much you consume if you eat directly from the packaging. Use a plate, or your “snack bowl,” to portion out your food. (SEE TIP 3)
19. Pace Yourself
If you’re always the first one to finish your plate it might be a sign you’re chowing down too quickly. Pace yourself with those around you, observe who is eating the slowest and aim to eat at their speed or even slower. Giving your body enough time to begin the digestion process will help you feel full.
18. Focus On The Food
Take your lunch to the table and away from the TV. Challenge yourself to eat without any distractions. Researchers have found that eating in front of a TV increases food intake by 14% and talking to a friend by 18%. Doing two things at once will inhibit concentration and awareness.
17. Pistachio Effect
Working harder for your food helps you eat less of it. Researchers at Eastern Illinois University found when they gave two groups of participants pistachio nuts; the group with the nuts de-shelled consumed 211 calories on average and the other had only 125 calories. Both groups experienced the same satisfaction.
16. Main Courses In The Kitchen
Your entrée, starches and high-fat foods should remain in the kitchen. You’ll be able to linger over conversation without the temptation of grabbing more. Put plain veggies, salad or fruit on the table instead – few of us get the 5-12 produce servings a day nutritionists recommend. Following this advice could cut calories by 15-20% and help you feel full.
15. Stop Clearing Dishes
One study found that volunteers ate 30% more chicken wings when bones were whisked away than when the bones were piling up in plain view. Leave the trash from muffin papers, cookies from a box, ice cream or any other high-cal food so you can be aware of how much you ate.
14. Smaller Plates And Glasses
You don’t need dinnerware fit for a giant. A normal portion looks more fitting on a smaller plate. Several studies show that everyone from kids to bartenders pour less when they’re using tall, skinny glasses than wide ones.
13. Save The Alcohol
Alcohol often makes for uninhibited eating. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer at the end of your meal. It may make you feel full, but a slight buzz can lead to more consumption.
12. Stop, Look, Listen
Don’t talk with your mouth full. Prolong your meals by putting your fork down and focusing on table talk. The conversation will allow the food to settle so you don’t scarf down your entire plate.
11. The Great Divide
Avoid overeating at restaurants by dividing what you’d like to eat and what you’d like to grab a to-go box for. With a couple swipes of the fork, you will have a pile for “now” and “later.” Grabbing a to-go container right away might seem out of place when dining with new friends.
SEE ALSO: 7 Ridiculously Easy Rules To Eat Less
10. Chew Gum While Baking
You already know what the cookie dough or cake batter tastes like, so keep your mouth busy with strong, mint-flavored gum. Your taste buds will thank you. Bonus: Choose a sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol-it might help fight cavity-causing bacteria.
9. Grab Some Baby Carrots To Feel Full
Beware of trying every item on your counter, this could lead to unneeded calories. Keep a bowl of baby carrots to the side – you’ll have something to munch on whenever you’re hit with cravings. Baby carrots are perfect to help you feel full.
8. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping needed food may leave you hungry later in the night when your resistance is lower because of drowsiness. Breakfast is usually trouble – prepare the night before or have breakfast to-go!
7. Kitchen Closed
Close the kitchen two hours before bedtime (but don’t load up on food before close!). Also, if your house has an office nook in the kitchen, only use it for cookbooks. Keep your office away from the kitchen to help keep your hands out of the pantry.
6. Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
Tell your brain that eating time is over by cleaning your mouth. Your brain will get the message.
5. How Are You Finishing Your Meals?
Are you finishing up mealtime by listening to internal or external cues? Your plate is removed from the table, your break is ending, or the bag of chips is empty are external cues. Internal cues are if you feel full or thirsty. Listen to internal cues to stop eating.
4. Eat An Apple
One study found that eating an apple before lunch can help you feel full and cut calories by 15 percent – thanks to the filling fiber found in apples. Pears, berries and other fruits rich in fiber should work too.
3. Keep On Snackin’
Be more mindful and find a small ball your designated “snack bowl.” Use it for whatever you decide to eat. This will adjust you to eating the same amount of food.
2. Smarter Than The Leftovers
Mindless eating mostly occurs right after dinner because it becomes a clean-up ritual. “If I eat this, I don’t have to dirty a container.” Downsize or pre-portion your cooking to avoid too many leftovers.
1. Pull Out The Slow Cooker
Another common time for mindless eating occurs between work and dinner. You’re tired, hungry and your body is craving food before your meal is ready. Have a healthy meal waiting for you by using a slow cooker. You’ll be less likely to make unhealthy choices.
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