Did you know that if you consume just 100 calories more than you burn every day, you’ll gain 10 pounds by the end of the year?! 100 calories is not that much. You probably wouldn’t even notice where the 100 calories come from – just a few extra bites at dinner, getting a large latte instead of a small and that handful of M&Ms are all it takes. This can be dangerous because that tiny amount can have long term consequences without you realizing it. But it’s also a really good thing because you can use these easy tricks to cut out that 100 calories and you won’t even miss them.
- Eat sitting down, with a plate and utensils. Research has shown that people eat 30% less on average when they take their time and treat whatever they’re eating like a meal rather than eating on the go. This is because we are trained to think that if we are sitting down for a meal, no matter what it is, we won’t need to eat again for a while. This also encourages mindful eating; you’re paying more attention to what you’re eating and are more aware of signals your body sends you when it’s full.
- If you have a cup of soup before your dinner, you’ll on average consume 20% fewer calories for the entire meal. Soup stretches your stomach, sending signals that you’re full. Make sure the soup is vegetable or broth based though – not cream based.
- Variety is a great thing and you should aim to eat a variety of different foods… just not at the same meal. Keep meals simple and balanced so you don’t have so much to try and eat. And avoid the buffets.
- Use smaller plates! We have gone crazy with portion size. Our plates have gotten bigger and bigger over the years. Have you ever noticed how the pieces grandma’s china are so much smaller than what we use today? A really easy way to cut down on calories is to simply use smaller plates. Trade in your dinner plates for salad plates and use smaller bowls. Even smaller serving utensils make a difference. It really works – in a study testing this theory, nutrition experts who were given larger bowls ate 31% more. When given larger serving utensils, they at 14.5% more no matter what size the bowl was.
- Put away the cookie jar. When these snack foods are out in the open they are much more tempting. So stash the cookies in the back of the pantry and replace the jar with a bowl of fruit.
- Stay away from low-fat versions of your favorite foods. People see low-fat labels as an excuse to eat more. 50% more in fact! So instead of saving yourself calories by eating low-fat versions, you’re probably setting yourself up to eat even more than if you ate the real thing.
- Smelling peppermint oil every two hours helped people at Wheeling Jesuit University eat 23% less over a five day period. Get some peppermint oil to keep at work or try this trick with some peppermint mints or tea.
- Spread out your food. Making it look like you have more food than you actually do will trick your brain into believing you really do have more food. Use shallow bowls instead of more cup-like ones and tall skinny glasses instead of short fat ones.
Source: Whole Living Magazine “Simple Tricks to Eat Less” Erin O’Donnell