Want to know the secret to losing weight? While exercise plays a part in the equation, for most people, weight loss is as simple as eating less. Think calorie counting is the least fun you can have with food? The good news is that you can trick yourself into eating less without overthinking it.
Here are five little ways you can learn to reduce your food intake.
1. Use a smaller plate
Studies suggest that when it comes to portion size, the size of the plate counts. When you have a larger plate, there’s a tendency to want to fill the space with more food than you actually need – even when you’re not all that hungry..
2. Reduce portions by 20 per cent
The theory goes that at any meal, you could eat 20 per cent more and not actually notice. This is called the ‘mindless margin’. So, when serving yourself, simply reduce the amount of food by approximately 20 per cent and you’re all set. You can always go back for that 20 per cent later if you’re still hungry.
3. Use a taller glass
In the same way that a smaller plate gives the illusion of more food, using a taller glass for your liquid calories will make you think you’re drinking more. By the same token, you’re more likely to fill shorter, fatter glasses to the brim because they appear smaller.
4. Eat protein at breakfast
Protein is key when it comes to weight loss as it provides long-lasting energy and helps build muscle, which in turn helps to burn fat. Eating a couple of eggs in the morning is a great way to kick-start the day and help you feel fuller for longer. Unless you’re doing a lot of exercise, however, it’s a good idea not to eat too much protein, as your body will store any unused energy as fat.
5. Don’t eat mindlessly
Snacking is one of the easiest ways to gain weight. Most of us enjoy grazing throughout the day but the truth is our snacks can make us fat if we don’t burn them off. If you do snack, make sure to choose healthy options such as fruit, natural yoghurt and nuts (and not too much or too often). Also, try to eat mindfully – meaning you sit down at the table and focus on your food, rather than watching TV or playing with your phone. Mindful eating helps your brain register that your body is receiving food, helping you to recognise when you’re full.