Dr. Brian Wansink and researchers at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University have proven that when it comes to the psychology of eating, perception is deception. You can train your brain by making a few easy changes to your eating habits. Here are a few simple tips for optimizing your home for overindulgence prevention.
- The Power of Suggestion– Having a bag of chips casually lying around your countertop is a recipe for disaster. To fix this, try having a fruit bowl on display on your counter or kitchen table. Take this even further to have some fruits and veggies easily accessible in your fridge instead of tucked away in the produce drawers.
- Plate Size Matters– Science reaffirms this common sense notion: the larger the plate, the larger the portion. Try making the switch from a 12-inch to a 10-inch plate. A two-inch difference in plate diameter would result in 22% fewer calories being served.
- See it to Believe it– You will be less likely to eat more if you portion out what you want on a plate first. We’ve all been there. Sitting on the couch with a bag of chips watching television, our bodies going through the repetitive motion of hand, bag, mouth. Next thing you know you’ve eaten the whole bag! Oops!
- Out of Sight Out of Mind– When eating at the dining room table keep serving dishes in the kitchen, or at least six feet away. This gives you the chance to ask yourself if you’re really hungry for more before you line up for seconds.
- Location, Location, Location– Where you eat is as important as what you eat. A study reported in JAMA Pediatricsfound that each additional hour of TV watched by children results in the consumption of 167 more calories.
- Stop Plate Overload– Refrain from over serving yourself by repeating this mantra: “20% less”. Most studies show that people can eat 20% less without even noticing it. Even better, replace that 20% with vegetables to really make a difference.
- Gone but not Forgotten – One of Dr. Wansink’s studies revealed that people ate more chicken wings if the bones were cleared away. When the bones where left on the table, it served as a reminder to the diners of how much they actually ate.
- Unplug – You will definitely eat more in front of the TV, reading or on our phone. Take the time to unplug and chew your food slowly.Let your mind focus on the flavors in your mouth. Taste your food.
Making small and consistent changes in your eating behavior will help you gradually lose weight and develop a healthy appreciation for food. It’s not a diet — it’s a lifestyle.