Unusually Effective Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips
If you are overly qualified to do a belly flop, you might find these simple tips useful, especially because they do not require willpower or suffering. They were on a flier written by Andrew Shepherd, DC (Parker Wellness Center*). I picked one up while I was in for a tune up and he have me permission to use it here. [I added any text in these brackets.]
Hang a Mirror in Your Dining Room – Research has shown that people who eat in front of a mirror are less likely to enjoy junk food, and also eat less of it. However, people who sat in front of a mirror to eat healthy food felt better about themselves and also enjoyed their vegetables. Researchers believe that your reflection holds you accountable for your food choices.
Clean Your Kitchen – Spending as little as 10 minutes cleaning and uncluttering your kitchen can make you more likely to reach for a healthy snack. According to a study in Environment and Behavior, volunteers who spent time in a disorganized kitchen were more likely to reach for snacks like cookies and ate about more 100 calories, all of which were junk food.
Pay Cash for Junk Food – Scientists have found that having to look for dollars to buy candy bars or bags of chips can give you a moment to reconsider your purchase, as parting from your cash can stop your impulsive cravings, according to a study of shopping behaviors. A similar trick is to choose a smaller cart [or hand basket] at the grocery store. Also try using smaller plates and bowls at home to cut down serving sizes.
Dim the Lights – Soft lighting can melt stress away, improve your mood and even spice up boring conversations. But it can also make you eat less, according to research published in Psychological Reports. In the study, participants who ate their dinner under dim lighting were found to have enjoyed their meals more, took longer to eat, and consumed 18 percent fewer calories than people who sat under bright lights.
Beware of Action Movies – It’s no secret that eating in front of the TV can make you hungry. However, did you know that certain movies trigger these symptoms? Try saving your snack for comedies or talk shows, and stash the chips away when you watch action movies or tear-jerkers, suggests the findings of a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. People were found to eat twice as much junk food while watching The Island than they did while watching the talk show Charlie Rose [has lost favor in this me-to era but did have a soothing voice]. At the movies, viewers of sad movies ate 28 to 55 percent more buttered popcorn than people who watched comedies.
Use the Power of Peppermint – Cravings and emotional eating can be suppressed just by the smell of peppermint, according to research published in the journal Appetite. In the study, people who smelled peppermint every two hours reported they felt less hungry, more focused, and consumed 2,800 fewer calories per week than non-smellers. In a similar study that took place in the UK, the same effect occurred when people wore a vanilla-scented patch. They lost five pounds in a month and felt more in control of their diets.
Use a Long Fork – Long elegant forks or spoons can help you slow down and enjoy your meal. (The same goes for long chopsticks versus short chopsticks.) [I would starve to death with either kind because I’m not competent using them.] A Taiwanese study published in Psychological Reports found that short utensils made participants feel the need to eat more food. However, people who were using longer cutlery stated they enjoyed their food more and took more time between bites.
Don’t Color Coordinate – Eating too much of the same color can be counterproductive. For instance, eating white pasta in white cream on a white plate can cause you to overeat. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that volunteers noted better control over their portion sizes when the food contrasted with the color of the plate. The solution? As published in the International Journal of Obesity, a study found that eating off a plate with a blue rim led diners to perceive their servings to be larger.
[Thank you Dr. Shepherd!]
*Parker Wellness Centers. Dr. K. Andrew Shepherd. DC. CN. 4709 W Parker Rd. #440. Plano. Tx. 75093. (972) 398 0440.