Our food choices are shaped by much more than hunger, as choosing a salad over pizza on a Friday night after a tough week at work takes a huge amount of willpower.
So here are five ways to help trick yourself into making healthier food choices.
1. Use smaller plates
The size of your plate can have a direct impact on the amount of food you consume – a bigger plate will make a regular portion of food seem smaller.
A study was conducted at a health and fitness camp to test this. People who were given larger bowls ate 16% more cereal than those with smaller bowls. Even though they ate more, they thought they had eaten less than those who ate from smaller bowls.
So not only do bigger plates cause you to eat more, they also fool you into thinking that you are eating less.
2. Start your meal with something healthy
If you try to starve yourself of all unhealthy food, you may end up binging. So instead, start off with a salad or vegetable dish and then move on to your main meal. This will fill you up enough so you won’t eat masses of the unhealthy option.
3. Turn off the TV when eating
Many studies have explored the idea that watching TV is linked to overeating. It does make sense – when you focus on the TV you aren’t focusing on what or how much you are eating.
So switching the TV off when eating meals is best to fully focus on how much you are consuming.
4. Be careful of low-fat foods
It might seem silly, but if you are eating a diet only consisting of low-fat foods, you might be more likely to gain weight. Why? Because we tend to eat more low-fat foods as we associate them as being ‘safe’ – we believe that we can afford to eat more in comparison to foods that are high in fat.
5. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals can lead to binging on unhealthy foods. Also, food shopping when you are hungry can ruin your diet for the whole week or even for the month!
To avoid this, eat your three main meals every day and if you’re peckish nibble on a healthy snack to tide you over.