Changing your habits requires focus, effort, and thought. BUT, as you know, much of our thought life is subconscious and many of the things we do are done out of response to our environment. For example, you’re out at lunchtime and hungry. You stop at the first fast food restaurant you see. Or, you hear somebody talking about German chocolate cake and suddenly you have a strong urge for something chocolate. And you silence that urge by… Eating chocolate.
But there are other things that you might not think about doing that could significantly impact your weight loss success. Professor Brian Wansink from Cornell University researched the psychology of eating and discovered some daily practices that make you eat less.
Here are some research-backed changes you could make right now.
1. Eat Off Of A Blue Plate
People will eat less when they’re eating food off the plate that is a contrasting color. Research shows that people who eat spaghetti off a white plate eat less then ones who eat spaghetti off the red plate. I don’t know about you, but I don’t eat many foods that are blue.
2. Eat Off Of A Plate That Is SLIGHTLY Smaller Then Your Usual Plate
Have you ever seen the brain trick where you have two identical size circles but one appears much larger than the other because of the space surrounding it?
It’s the same principle that is at work when you eat off the smaller plate. Not only will you eat less but because of the way your brain perceives the food, you will do so without even realizing that it’s happening and may even perceive that you’ve eaten more than you have.
But don’t use a plate that’s TOO small. This could backfire and you could end up feeling like you need to go back for seconds. For best results, use a 10” plate instead of the usual 12” size.
3. Imagine Yourself Eating the Food Before You Eat
More than one study has shown that people who imagine themselves eating a particular food actually eat less of that food. It’s kind of like the brain perceives the thought as an actual action, therefore, when that food is actually introduced the brain feels like it’s already had some so the desire is already partly satisfied.
4. Sit By A Window At Restaurants Or At Home
Studies show that when you sit by a window you eat less food than you do when you are in the middle of the room.
5. Eat In Brightly Lit Environments
Science has proven that when you eat in a place that has bright lighting you order more healthy types of food then when you are in a dimly lit restaurant. This would also work at home
6. Keep Snacks Out Of Sight
If you hadn’t seen that fast food restaurant you wouldn’t have stopped. If you don’t see the snacks maybe you won’t eat them. Put things in the cabinets, better yet, put them in cabinets where they’re hard to reach. Or cover of the labels and things like ice cream so when you reach in the freezer you won’t have to look at it.
7. Imagine Yourself Eating Something You’re Craving
More than one study has shown that people who imagine themselves eating a particular food actually eat less of that food. It’s kind of like the brain perceives the thought as an actual action, therefore, when that food is actually introduced the brain feels like it’s already had some in the craving is reduced.
8. Cut Your Food Into Small Bites
Another study shows that when you do this you eat less of that food, and maybe even less of the food that you eat later.
Everything is psychological. There is nothing we do that doesn’t originate from a thought or subconscious stimulus. These are just a few ways to manipulate those stimuli and perhaps change the resulting behaviors!