Number of recent studies have revealed how making several small lifestyle changes could help you lose weight without feeling deprived of the food you love. Habits such as using a smaller plate or drinking water before a meal can have a significant impact on your waistline, the research revealed.
Good habits: Using a bigger fork can have a significant impact on your waistline
Even the people you eat with can make a difference, with male companions encouraging women to eat less, and skinny friends with large appetites making people think they too can eat more. The latest study into the subject found that those who cook at home, rather than eat out, make healthier food choices. If the association between positive emotion and healthy food is built in the home, then that environment can serve as a reminder of that association and motivate people to choose healthier food that can make them happier.
Experts believe that such subliminal behaviour changes are more effective than regimes that require one to exercise willpower.
Dieting in general does not work, so the odds are against it. But it’s worth a try. ‘It’s better to make gradual, long-term changes to how you eat than to use your willpower to resist temptation bite by bite.
10 TIPS TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT GOING ON A DIET
1. USE A SMALLER PLATE
When a fixed portion of food was eaten from a large plate, you will feel you had been give a smaller than average portion, so you tend to eat more. When the same portion of food is eaten from a smaller dish, the meal seemed more substantial, so you tend to eat less.
2. USE A BIGGER FORK
An Italian study into the relationship between fork size and consumption found that diners who used smaller forks ate more than those given larger forks. Researchers believe those with smaller forks felt they were making slower progress in satisfying their hunger, so ate more.
3. EAT WITH MEN
…If you’re a woman. Women eat less if there are men around. It is possible that small food portions signal attractiveness.
4. READ THE LABELS
Those who read nutrition labels on food packaging eat around 5 per cent less fat than those who don’t bother, according to researchers .
5. DRINK WATER BEFORE MEALS
Those who drink two glasses of water before each meal can loose an average of 4.5lb.
6. AVOID LIGHT AT NIGHT
This includes late-night television and computer use. A study into the effects of bright light, dim light or darkness on weight-gain in mice found that those under a bright light at night gained 50 per cent more weight than those in darkness.
7. HIDE UNHEALTHY TREATS
…And keep healthy snacks in sight. Office workers ate less chocolate when dishes of candy were moved from their desks to the other side of the room, reveals a study by Mindless Eating author Brian Wansink.
The same trick can be reversed to positive effect. A Cornell University study found that when a middle school cafeteria salad bar was moved to a more prominent position, consumption of some items increased by 250-300 per cent in a year.
8. BE CAREFUL AROUND FRIENDS
Children eat more with a friend than with a stranger, according to a study . Researchers said that this trend, which applies to adults too, can be blamed on the fact that friends act as so-called permission-givers, and encourage one to indulge.
9. BEWARE OF SKINNY FRIENDS WHO EAT A LOT
Worse still, are thin friends who have large appetites. A study found that participants snacked more during a movie when accompanied by a skinny person who ate a lot, compared with those sitting next to a fat person who ate a lot.
10. AVOID ADVERTISEMENTS FOR EXERCISE
A study revealed that participants who were shown advertisements encouraging exercise ate more than those who weren’t. The same was true of participants exposed to subliminal words relating to exercise during mealtimes.