If you’ve ever visited this blog before, you know I’m not a fan of dieting.
Dieting doesn’t work!
However, strategizing to increase the likelihood that you’ll stick to healthy habits can be effective.
Below are a few strategies that can truly work to help you lose or maintain weight.
1. Eat your snacks off of a plate, with utensils.
Why: People are more likely to perceive food as a meal, rather than a snack, when they use nice plates and cloth napkins (according to a study in the journal Appetite). If you feel like you’ve had a meal, you may end up eating less later.
2. Start every meal or snack with a glass of water.
Why: Part of feeling satisfied is about volume and hydration. It’s also easy to confuse hunger with thirst. Having a small glass of water before eating means you’ll be more tuned into your body’s real hunger, and will be less likely to overeat.
3. Stop chewing gum.
Why: Mint gum makes fruits & veggies – not but sweets or fats – taste bitter. (Just like orange juice tastes terrible after bruising your teeth, whereas a cookie tastes fine!). Gum chewers are also no less likely to lose weight, and a University of Buffalo study showed they make poorer nutritional choices than non-gum chewers.
4. Eat in silence.
Why: Music and other loud distractions tend to make us speed-eat, so by the time we realize we’re full, we’ve already eaten too much. Eating in silence can also boost the flavors, smells and textures of food so you enjoy each bite more. Even just a couple meals a week in silence can help!
5. Eat your vegetables first.
Why: Starting your meal with a salad or veggie-based soup can make you eat less of whatever is served next, which is probably something more high-calorie. This tactic also helps ensure you get enough veggies!
Some of these tips adapted from Self Magazine, September 2010