When it comes to losing weight and starting a healthier
lifestyle, I’m a firm believer in little changes that make a big difference.
It’s hard—perhaps impossible—to overhaul eating and exercise habits overnight
(and have them stick weeks or months later) but making small tweaks one at a
time seems more manageable.
That’s why I loved this neat little study recently published
in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The authors found that a tiny swap of words and thinking helps resist temptation better. You simply say "I don't" instead of "I can't." Then “I can’t eat ice cream for dessert,” which implies deprivation, turns into “I don't eat ice cream for dessert,” which helps you feel more in control of your decisions. Research shows diets and eating plans that are all about
deprivation ultimately backfire, so next time temptation strikes, choosing a
more empowered mindset may help.
For additional tricks to eat less and still feel satisfied, try these great tips from the soon-to-be published book Eating Mindfully, Second Edition:
1. Turn your fork
Do you stab or scoop with your fork? Americans tend to scoop
up food, which can promote mindless eating; British people, on the other hand,
keep their forks turned down and stab food to pick it up.
2. Pace yourself
Are you always the first one done eating? Consider it a sign
you’re chowing too quickly. Use your fellow diners to help set a pace—observe
who is eating fastest and slowest, and aim to eat on par or slower than the
slowest eater at the table.
3. Crunch an apple
One study found that eating an apple before lunch can cut
how much you ultimately eat by 15 percent, thanks to its filling fiber
preventing you from overeating. Another fiber-rich fruit, like pears or
berries, should work as well.
4. Get smart about
One of the worst times for mindless eating is right after
dinner—because it becomes part of the clean-up ritual. (You tell yourself, “If
I take one more bite of this garlic bread, I don’t have to put it in container
or throw it away.”) Downsize your cooking so you’re less tempted to pick at
leftovers, or commit to packing up leftovers right away.