How to eat less. Tricks and strategies.
After helping hundreds of people, I know that it is not always about eating less.
I have met so many patients who were really confused when I told them they had weight problems because, amongst other things, they were not eating enough.
I know it can be confusing because all that we hear about weight loss is ‘calories in and calories out’.
Let me tell you that after a Bachelors degree in nutrition and 10 years working at my private nutrition clinic, it is much more complex than : ‘JUST EAT LESS’.
So this post is not for everybody. It is not a general rule. Some need to eat less, true, and for you, I prepared this post.
How to eat less. 9 tricks.
- Use smaller plates
Studies show that an optical illusion can lead us to make inaccurate estimates of our serving size.
Here, in this case, the serving size depends on what size plate the food is presented on.
This is called the ‘Delboeuf illusion’.
In this experiment below, It is easier to see how the size of our plate can influence us.
The two black circles are the same size.
But they definitely do not look that way because of the size of the white circle around them.
The more white space around the circles, the smaller they appear. (And that is exactly the same thing with your food and the size of your plate).
Another study shows that people eat 16% more cereals when they use a bigger bowl than usual.
2. Use your non-dominant hand
According to one study, to reach out for treats you should use your non dominant hand.
It appears that this can result in a more moderate level of consumption, particularly if you’re not even enjoying the food you’re eating.
Note : What comes to my mind with this one is : hmm, what if we get so good at eating with the left hand that it doesn’t make any difference anymore?
3. Change your glass
Which one of these two glasses do you think holds the biggest amount of orange juice?
The tall thin one or the small large one ?
Try to guess..
Well the glass that holds the biggest amount of orange juice is the small large one.
— I suggest you find a tall thin glass that doesn’t hold that much liquid but gives the impression that you have a good serving.
— You can also add some ice in your drink to help reduce the servings.
Of course, as a patient told me the other day, if you drink orange juice or soft drinks all day long, whether you drink from a tall thin glass or a small and large one… it will remain a problem.
4. Leave a trace of what you eat
Apparently if we leave, lets say, the wrapping of the candy we are eating or the bones of the chicken in front of us, we tend to eat less. It seems like we can eat up to 28% more if we have no visual clues of what we have been eating.
5. Take your time, be in the moment
Have you heard about the art of eating? If not, I suggest you follow this link HERE.
When we start eating we have expectations. We expect to please ourselves and feed ourselves.
Appreciating food is all about smelling it, tasting it, looking at it, it is with our senses that we get to enjoy the moment.
So if you swallow your food fast, your senses will not get a chance to get some pleasure out of it. So you’ll constantly need to take another bite because you are constantly trying to fulfill a pleasure you are not able to get.
Take your time. Be in the moment.
6. Have a glass of water while you are eating
Unless you have problems with acid reflux in which case you should drink 30 minutes after or 30 minutes before your meal, drink water with your meal.
Studies have shown that drinking water during or before your meal will help you reduce your serving sizes.
— Two reasons, first, water will take up some space in your stomach and second, sometimes we confuse thirst with hunger.
7. Turn the T.V off.
You eat more when you watch television while eating. Studies show that you can eat up to 50% more !
Eating consciously and again being in the moment are key to help you eat less.
Studies have shown that kids who eat with their families frequently are less likely to have problems at school, problems with self esteem or with eating disorders. The reason is simple, eating together at the table is THE occasion for kids to talk about their day and what is going on in their lives.
8. Don’t eat from the package
Enjoy the moment, fully enjoy the food.
Take a pretty small plate and put a few cookies on it or pour a handful of chips or whatever you want to treat yourself to.
Then SIT and ENJOY.
Too often people don’t respect this very simple and very important advice.
Don’t starve yourself all day. Don’t stay long hours without any food and then binge at night.
Eat a healthy snack every time you have long hours between two meals. You’ll find HERE a list of 22 snacks.
I hope this helps,
Note : Did you know that I am a Registered Nutritionist / Dietitian who can help you implement long term healthy eating habits? Follow this LINK to learn more about The Club.
All the best to you,
Sofia Abdelkafi Registered Nutritionist (RD, Bsc)