Fool your brain into eating less

Fool your brain into eating less

“Fool your brain into eating less” might seem an impossible claim – surely if we know we’re being tricked it won’t work? However, we can’t help but be fooled, even when we know, and that’s why the following tips to feel fuller quicker work so well.

1 – Smaller crockery – Simply serving the same size portions in smaller bowls or on smaller plates will make you feel that you’ve had more to eat.  It won’t just look a more generous helping than one on larger crockery, but your brain is actually hard-wired to treat it as a larger amount.  Using a small bowl or dish instead of a large plate will help even further, by adding more volume to the food.

2 – Different cutlery – Serving yourself with a smaller spoon will mean that you serve yourself less food.  Eating with smaller cutlery has the same effect – an idea that Lord Sugar used to lose weight, as using a smaller fork left him feeling full with a third of the meal still on his plate.  And fans of expensive flatware may be happy to know that eating with heavy cutlery makes us eat less – not because of the effort, but because it makes us think the food is richer and more satisfying.

3 – Eat more slowly – Using smaller cutlery makes you eat more slowly.  You can mimic, or increase the effect, by being more aware of what you’re eating.  So don’t watch television or read while you’re eating.  Instead sit round the table and hold a conversation.  If you’re eating on your own then try eating in front of a mirror instead – your reflection will make you eat more slowly.  And if you’re out on your own, away from a mirror, and tempted to wolf down a meal as quickly as possible, just hold your knife and fork in the opposite hands.

4 – Serving yourself – Smaller crockery, heavy cutlery, and the table laid for dinner?  Then don’t put everything on the table for people to help themselves.  Instead ask people to serve themselves from near the stove or oven, as that will reduce portion sizes by as much as a fifth.  The order that you serve yourself in makes a difference too – vegetables first, then protein, and carbohydrates last of all.

5 – Kitchen discipline – The tidier your kitchen, the less you’ll eat, and make sure that the only food you can see is fruit – no cereals, sweets or nuts.  Make sure the fridge is well stocked too, with plenty of protein, and the vegetables on the middle shelf where you’re more likely to see them.  Kitchen discipline extends to the shopping too – so make a list, stick to it, and never go food shopping when you’re hungry.

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