Clues to why you overeat
Even if you recognize when you’re full and consider yourself a pretty mindful, connected eater, it is extremely easy to overeat without even realizing it. Researchers have found that external cues—such as the size of your plate, larger portion sizes, and location of food in your refrigerator—influence how much you eat, which foods you eat, how fast you eat, whether you enjoy what you eat, and more. Controlling your surroundings is one of the biggest steps you can take towards controlling what and how much you eat. Here are some important strategies that, if implemented, can really help derail impulsive eating and change your behavior towards food.
- Use smaller plates, cups and bowls. Not only will you eat less, you won’t miss the extra calories you just saved.
- Get the serving dish off of the table. People eat more food if the serving dish is on the table. Keep the salad and vegetable dish on the table and leave everything else on the counter.
- Keep nutritious foods front and center. You will eat the food that’s closest to you. So if the fruits and vegetables take center stage and the leftover mac-n-cheese is towards the back of the refrigerator, you are more likely to grab the produce. The same goes for your pantry.
- Keep ‘Soul Foods’ in opaque containers and out of sight. If you must have them in the house, you will eat far less if they are not visible. How about decorating your counter with a bowl of fresh fruit instead of a cookie jar?
- Package things in smaller containers. If you buy in bulk, you’re more likely to eat in bulk. Break down those large bags of potato chips, M&M’s and trail mix into smaller portions and repackage in small plastic bags. That way you’ll only eat the amount you put in.
Implement at least two of the environmental changes listed above in either your home or workplace this week and give your self-control a break!