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Kick These Food Habits

Before and After BMI

October 12, 2010

Kick These Food Habits

Want to know the best way to lose weight? Try a few of these tricks to revamp your eating habits.

Rushing Through Your Meal

In a Recent Study reported in Women’s Health, Women who were asked to eat quickly consumed more food (and in less time) than those who were told to eat slowly. When you pace yourself (take at least 20 minutes to finish your meal), your brain has more time to register fullness and tell you to stop eating. To help slow you down, try counting your chews. The women in the study who were told to slow down chewed each bite 15 to 20 times and paused before taking the next bite.

Eating When You Are Stressed or Bored

When we are anxious, we tend to crave high-carb snacks because they produce a serotonin rush which relieves tension. The problem with this is that it will be followed by a blood sugar crash that will leave you craving more high-carb foods. Try keeping a clear container at your desk.   Every time you resist buying a snack, put money into the box. The growing pile of cash will be a reminder that you can overpower these urges. When you have enough money saved, use the cash to splurge on a nonfood reward like new shoes or a mani/pedi.

Eating While Doing Other Tasks (online, working)

Researchers at the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University studied mealtime multitasking and found that most people underestimate how much they eat by 30 to 50 percent if they are distracted. Try concentrating on your meal and measuring food up front. People are significantly more aware of how much they are eating when they pay close attention to their serving sizes. So before you zone out in front of the television or computer with your dinner, scoop out just have a cup rather than piling a heaping mound of food onto your plate. Also, keep a food journal and record what you eat immediately after eating to help keep you on track.

Cleaning Your Plate

Studies done at Cornell’s Food and Brand lab by Brian Wansink, Ph.D. have also shown that when it comes to eating, Americans rely on external cues (“Is the plate clean?”) instead of internal ones (“Am I still hungry?”). Wansink found that even when he served mushy pasta in watered-down sauce, people still ate every last morsel. Keep in mind also that the average plate size has grown by two inches in diameter in the last few years. To combat this, try splitting an entrée with your date or order appetizer-size portions. I like to have half my meal wrapped up before I dig in so I can avoid the temptation to eat the whole thing entirely. Research has shown that just smelling and seeing a food can trigger the release of hormones that make your stomach growl, even if you aren’t actually hungry.
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