It doesn’t take much effort to know which foods to eat to get leaner, but here are some mental tricks you can harness to ensure you’re always optimising your conditions for torching body fat.
Research in The Journal of Pediatrics found eating with your family could help protect you against obesity, as long as the meal contained fruits, vegetables, calcium and whole grains. Not every family meal needs to be a gut-busting feast like Christmas, so use your team to make you all healthier on an ordinary Monday.
1. The color blue
Color of the cups you should serve all calorific soft drinks in. When people were given the same drink in a green, red, yellow or blue glass, they thought that the blue cup was more thirst quenching, according to a study in Current Psychology Letters. Sadly, we’re not sure it’ll work quite as well with wine, not that you’d want it.
Amount by which you’ll reduce your calorie intake if you eat snacks with your non-dominant hand, found research in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Simply put the bowl on the other side of your lap and you’ll instantly eat fewer snacks.
3. Stop watching television
Tempting as it may be to watch your favourite show while eating dinner – don’t. Mindless eating, like the type you do when you watch TV and chow down at the same time, can make you eat 28% more calories, found research at Cornell Food and Brand Lab, US. That’s the difference between finishing a slab of chocolate and saving half for tomorrow. Remember: savour not devour.
4. Grab a menu
If you’re settling in for a big bowl of Brussels sprouts, have a flick through your favourite takeaway menu. Research in the journal PLOS ONE found that looking at images of high-calorie foods before a meal improved the taste of that dish.
Food porn: learn to use it. If that doesn’t work, then a cheeky dash of food colourings can make you see your food sunny side up. Also, juices and food with brighter colours made people enjoy the taste more, found research in the University of Chicago Press Journals.
Number of calories you’ll forgo if you eat slower at meal times, found research in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meals are about enjoyment so drag them out. Quickto- eat high-carb foods, like hot chips, can be inhaled, so force yourself to slow down by adding protein.
6. 10 inches
Perfect diameter of the plates you should use to eat lunch and dinner off. When people made the switch from 12-inch plates they lost an average of 2lb in just 25 days, found a study from Cornell University, US. What’s more, research in the Journal of Experimental and Psychology: Applied found larger plates make you eat 45% more calories. The smaller plates lead you to believe you’re eating a bigger portion so you feel more satisfied. Time to go crockery shopping with your tape measure in tow.
7. Palette for you palate
Even if your crockery set matches your dining room setting perfectly, your interior design could be making you eat more. People who served themselves on a plate with a low contrast between their food and the dish it was served up on gave themselves way more food, found research in the Journal of Consumer Research. So if you’re eating pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate you’ll dish up more than if you served it on a red plate. You can use it to your advantage to get more veggies in you by buying green dishes.
Go small with plates but big with forks. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found people who ate with big forks had significantly fewer calories compared to those with smaller ones. The small fork makes you feel as though you’re not making as much progress in satisfying your hunger so you eat more compared to when you use a large one.