How to eat less (without forcing yourself to diet)
If you’re trying to shed some extra weight, there are two ways to go about it: you can switch up your diet to eat healthier food, or you can simply eat less food.
Now, we’ve written extensively about eating healthy (read: How to fulfill your food cravings while still maintaining a healthy diet, 5 seemingly-healthy foods that aren’t actually healthy, and 5 hacks to help you eat healthy even if you have no willpower). Today, we’ll be exploring the other side of the coin, and sharing a few strategies that will help you eat less without forcing yourself to diet!
#1: Drink more water
Many people confuse feeling dehydrated with feeling hungry, so if you feel like you need a snack, pour yourself a glass of water first.
Check it out: in this 2014 study, researchers had 50 women drink 500ml of water before having their meals. After doing this for 2 months, the participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index.
#2: Use a smaller plate
When your plate is completely filled with food, this signals to your brain that you’re having a full meal. When your plate is partially filled, this signals the opposite.
Bearing this in mind, you can “trick” yourself into eating less (and still feeling satisfied!) by using a smaller plate, and loading your plate up completely.
#3: Hide your snacks (or don’t buy any)
Ever heard the saying “out of sight, out of mind”?
When you hide your snacks or put them somewhere less visible, chances are, you’ll reach for them less often. Better yet, don’t buy any snacks at the supermarket (or buy healthy options, such as fruit and yoghurt) so that you won’t be tempted to crack open a packet of chips every other night.
#4: Portion your snacks
Say you’ve decided to treat yourself to some chocolate. If you eat your chocolate straight from the packaging, it’s easier to lose track, and you might find yourself consuming an entire family-size bar in a single sitting.
Here’s what you should do instead: break off a few blocks of chocolate, keep the rest of the bar, and then eat the amount you’ve portioned out.
#5: Don’t eat while distracted
When you eat while you’re doing something else (say, binge-watching Netflix), the same thing goes - it’s easy for you to lose track of your eating.
The key here is to be more intentional and mindful when eating. Doing this is simple: just sit down and have your meal (or snack!) first, then start watching your show or doing whatever you want to.