Overeating is a major reason for weight gain. Calories that are not burned by activity or exercise are stored in the body as extra fat. It is important to avoid overeating to shed those unwanted pounds. There are many environmental and internal triggers that can cause a person to overeat. These can range from the sight and smell of food to stress and depression. But by changing small behaviors you can change your old habits over time and take in less food. Did you know you could trick your subconscious into consuming fewer calories? Here are a few tips into tricking your brain into eating less:
1. Use Smaller Plates, Bowls and Spoons
In a study conducted by Cornell University, participants were given random sized bowls and spoons and were made to serve themselves at an ice cream social. It was determined that those who were given larger bowls, served themselves 31 percent more ice cream than those who had a smaller bowls. Those who had larger spoons served themselves 14 percent more.
Another study by the University of Pennsylvania supports the validity of this claim. In the experiment psychologist left out a bowl of chocolates with a small scoop. The following day, they replaced the small scoop with a larger one. They determined that people ate a whopping 66 percent more with the larger scoop. So try eating your meals with smaller utensils and plates to trick yourself into consuming fewer calories.
2. Snack with Your Non-Dominant Hand
Mindless snacking during movie and television watching is a surefire way to consume those extra unwanted calories. According to researcher David Neal from the University of Southern California, “When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and makes us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present.” Experiments have shown that a way to circumnavigate these hard-wired desires during your next movie marathon is to eat with your non-dominant hand.
3. Out of Sight is Out of Mind
Research suggests that people tend to overeat by snacking when food is easily visible and is within reach. A British television show, “Secret Eaters” replicated this study by placing candies in clear bowls within reach and another set of candies in opaque bowls out of reach. Studies have shown that those who had food within reach ate 70 percent more.
Place all of your snacks hidden inside your cupboards. Do not have any treats on your desk, kitchen counter, or coffee table. Even placing treats inside your desk drawers as opposed to having them on your desk makes a difference.
4. Pour Drinks in a Tall, Thin Glass
Studies suggest that we tend to pour fewer amounts of liquid in a tall, thin glass than a short, fat glass. There is an optical illusion created that leads us to believe that there is less in a short, squat glass than taller, thin glass. The show “Secret Eaters” tested this claim by having participants pour what they thought was a “shot measure”. Predictably, it showed that more amounts were poured on the short glasses.
For alcoholic and highly-caloric drinks, pour them in tall, thin glasses. You will most likely pour less and therefore consume fewer calories.