Now that it’s the New Year, many of us have said that this is the year I drop those extra pounds and get on some kind of weight loss plan. The amazing thing about most every diet and weight loss plan is the fact they only deal with the types of foods to eat and how much of it to eat. The fact of the matter is that how you eat your food plays a vital role in reducing weight.
Of course, eating less and exercising more are always going to be the cornerstone of any diet plan, but have you given any thought on how fast you eat your food? Or whether you are eating alone or with friends? Or even what size of plate you’re eating off of? These all have an important role and here’s why.
Studies have proven, and you can do this to prove it to yourself, that taking more time to eat your meal will cause you to eat less and become more full.
A recent study by the University of Rhode Island was conducted on a group of 30 women. They each ate a plate of pasta as fast as they could, with the average time being around 9 minutes. Then on a different day, these same women ate another plate of pasta, but were told to slowly eat and take their time and stop whenever they felt full. The average time was 29 minutes, but even more incredible was the fact that they ate less. The test showed they ate 67 fewer calories. If this were to occur at every evening meal, it would lead to a weight loss of 7 pounds after one year.
This is just one example, but there are many more, including:
*Plate/Container Size – The size of the plate or container will play a role in how much you eat. If you have a big plate you’re more likely to fill it with more food and finish it off. Likewise, if you’re eating from a big tub of popcorn at the movies, you’ll eat more than you normally would.
*Alcohol – If you drink alcohol before or during your meal you’re more likely to eat more.
*Too Many Choices – This is a big reason we overeat during the holidays. Our choices of foods and deserts are far above what they normally are. We want to get some of everything. People who go to a buffet restaurant will usually overeat as well. If you’ve eaten at a buffet, then you know it doesn’t help with a weight loss plan.
*Eating With Friends – If you go out to dinner with a big group of friends you’re likely to eat twice as much as you will if you’re alone.
So, what can you do to fight back?
1. Eat from smaller plates and bowls. It makes your portions look much bigger and tricks your brain into believing you have a lot of food.
2. Slow down and really take your time when you eat.
3. Before you start to eat your meal, determine in your mind how much you are going to eat. Then stick to it.
Take some time and think about your eating habits. Incorporate these tips into them and you’ll be on your way to making this the year you really do lose those unwanted pounds.