THE BRAIN TRICKS US
Our brain receives signals from the senses and interprets them to give us a taste experience but sometimes it misleads us. For example, we can find that a cheese is more salty and pleasant when we taste it with the knife that we cut it than with a fork, we perceive that the yogurt is denser and of higher quality when ingested in a plastic spoon than a metal one and even If we try it with a larger and lighter spoon this can result in a sweeter yogurt.
When eating with a large fork our brain relates it to a larger bite, or if our brain sees a small plate, when we finish it will feel satisfied. Good tips to eat less! If you want to lose weight you could play with your mind and include these tips in your diet.
In addition to these tricks, the environment is essential to make the most of our senses when eating. Just like when eating with dim lighting and soft music, we eat less food, on the other side, we eat more in a setting where the music is loud and the light is bright. Also when eating in an expensive place we tend to consider the dish as more delicious than a cheaper one.
LET’S SEE THESE 7 PSYCHOLOGICAL TRICKS:
The secret is to learn to control the size of the portions and make better food choices, these mind tricks will help you with that. The difference in calories over time will help you reach your goal.
It is important that you create the habits and this is achieved gradually (reducing the risk of a rebound). Change is permanent and effortless when it is a habit.
When you start to cut-off or reduce the amount of certain type of foods (sugar, simple carbohydrates, alcohol), your palate also adjusts to the change. You’ll start to enjoy the food that previously seemed tasteless. Those changes are what will help you maintain, balance or lose weight.
1- Don’t eat straight from the container, measure your portions
Usually, when we go to get a snack or something to eat in the kitchen, we find ourselves eating directly from the bag or package. This is a mistake because we are not measuring the portions, we are eating in an impulsive way.
Eating directly from the package won’t give us a chance to control our food portions. We end up eating much more than necessary.
The important thing is that you always measure your portions. You can do this by serving the snack on a smaller plate or bowl.
Smaller portions are able to provide a similar feeling of satisfaction as larger portions. This helps you feel like eating the entire package and satisfies your brain.
2- Use smaller plates and larger glasses
When you use big plates, unconsciously, we serve ourselves bigger portions.
The brain can be fooled, using smaller plates is a proven way to eat less and lose weight (without realizing it).
Once we have the smaller plate, we have to think what are we going to serve on that plate.
This is a good way to divide the plate:
If we start to think of vegetables as the protagonists, it is likely that all food will automatically become healthier.
You can also use a larger glass to drink more water, by doing this you will increase your water consumption. Personally, I use a bottle and I take it everywhere to drink all the water I need during the day.
One of the most important rules is: DO NOT drink calories. This means that, if you are very thirsty, drink water and nothing else.
Sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages and fruit juices contribute to weight gain. I recommend you drink nothing but water.
3- Count the number of times you chew your food
Counting the times we chew makes us aware of how we are eating. Many times we eat with anxiety. You will be surprised on how little you chew. Try to increase the number in each bite, this will make you eat more calmly and taste food better. You will feel more satisfied and the way you eat will help with your digestion.
Eat slowly and with conscience, take the time to taste what you are eating.
4- Buy healthy foods and display them
It is important that your fridge is full of healthy food, do not buy foods that do not help you lose weight. This is important in order to avoid having to mentally fight with yourself: when you are in the supermarket avoid buying processed foods.
You can also hide them or move them out of your reach. On the other hand, leave the healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables in sight or easily accessible.
Remember that the best reminder of the habit is visual. If it is in sight it is normal and expected that you eat it. If the foods are not available, you shouldn’t eat them!
5- Do not ban any food, just reduce the portion
What happens when we ban specific food? It only makes us think more about it.
The more we try to repress something from our mind, the more relevant it becomes. So when you have any temptation, for example to eat chocolate, just keep an eye on the size of the portion. Achieving the habit of eating well will also help achieve balance, something that can be sustained over time.
Trying to drastically stop eating some foods is very difficult to maintain over time.
The healthiest option is to control the portions. Put ourselves in control, not the food.
If you’re having a hard time in putting yourself in control, and you cannot eat only a slice or a single portion, you can imagine eating that food before actually eating it. The key is to think that you’re eating that food instead of just eating it. This has to do with the release of dopamine in your brain. This substance is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction when eating or drinking.
If we visualize ourselves eating something sweet, our bodies produce the same dopamine response, as if we were actually eating candy. Therefore, when you really have candy available, your emotional response is not as strong and you eat much less, or it becomes much easier to ignore this craving.
6- Enjoy food without guilt
Have you ever felt remorse after that slice of cake?
Let me tell you that this is not helping you lose weight or have a healthy relationship with food.
If you think of eating as something enjoyable and essential to living, you are more likely to lose weight and keep your weight stable in the long term.
A relaxed mindset about food has been shown to prevent weight gain as opposed to a thought of guilt or remorse.
7- Think before you start eating
The ability to think before acting is not a gift that all people possess. When emotions invade us, it can be highly difficult not to get carried away by impulses. We can take decisions that we may regret shortly after.
What does this mean? That we should stop before we start to eat, or while we are eating, and reflect if you are really hungry or if eating that slice of cake is a good decision. Binge eating or unhealthy decisions are often impulsive. If we can stop to think, we may discover that we are not so eager to eat what we are going to eat, or that we are not really hungry.
My advice: try to relax and count up to three.
It’s all about establishing a healthy relationship with food and creating a habit.
Habit is any behaviour learned through repetition, which is performed regularly and automatically with little thought. It is a basic element of human learning. The habits are stable, long-lasting and do not require as much effort.