Make Healthy Food Visible
You’re feeling snacky, so you head to the kitchen for something to munch on. Before you can even mentally picture the contents of your pantry, let alone rifle through them, you see a gorgeous assortment of fresh fruit in a bowl on the counter. Snack selection made!
A recent study shows that this thought process is pretty common. The research suggests that people who eat healthy often do so because nutritious foods like fruits and veggies are visible and easy to reach. So, buy a fruit bowl and then display said fruit bowl. And another way to make this one work for you is keep cut veggies front and center in your fridge.
Eat Before You Go Food Shopping
If you’re roaming the aisles of the grocery store with a growling stomach, you’re more likely to go off-list and grab whatever makes your mouth water at the time. And that’s not just my opinion, research supports the theory. One study found that shoppers bought more high-calorie foods in the hours leading up to dinnertime than earlier in the day.
Interestingly, the researchers said this behavior might be based on evolution. At one time, it was essential for humans to find high-calorie foods after a fast because they didn’t know when they’d have access to food again. Makes sense! So have a protein-packed snack before you hit the supermarket or plan your trip to the grocery store after a meal.
Downsize Your Dinnerware
A 6-oz. steak looks a lot larger on an 8-inch plate than it does on a 12-inch platter. And a 3/4-cup serving of cereal is super appealing in a small bowl but kind of sad in a large one! Plus, in all practicality, you can only fit so much food in smaller dishes. Just don’t use this method as an excuse to go back for seconds and thirds.
Bag Up Half of Restaurant Portions at the Start of Your Meal
Restaurant meals are often enormous and loaded with calories (not to mention sodium). But telling you to stop eating halfway through your meal is just going to leave you feeling deprived and annoyed. So get two meals out of one by bagging up half your food as soon as it arrives. When you request the take-home container with your meal, some servers will even offer to bag it up in back for you. Out of sight, out of mind! Now you’ll have a reasonably sized plate of food in front of you, a sense of satisfaction, and a bonus meal to take home.
Take a Seat…at the Table
At the risk of sounding corny, make mealtime a special time. Sure, life gets busy, and it’s tempting to eat breakfast during your commute, lunch at your desk, and dinner in front of the TV. But all three can sabotage your weight-loss plans. Research shows that focusing on food, with minimal distractions, can help you enjoy flavors and reduce overeating. Eating at the table can also help with portion control. Prepare your meal and then commit to yourself that you won’t go back to the kitchen for seconds.
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