Myth: We stop eating when our stomach is full, right?
“Believe it or not, this is wrong. We don’t stop eating because our stomach is full except in very extreme cases. In reality, scientists don’t know exactly what makes us feel full. It seems to be a combination, among other things, of how much we chew, how much we taste, how much we swallow, how much we think about the food, and how long we have been eating. What does seem to be the case is that the faster we eat our food, the more we eat, because this combination of cues doesn’t get the chance to tell us we are no longer hungry. Many research studies show that it takes up to 20 minutes for our body and brain to signal satiation, so that we realize we are full.” -Brian Wansink (PhD).
Every day on average, we each make around 200 decisions about eating. But studies have shown that 90% of these decisions are made without our conscious thought and lead to mindless eating.
Basic Formula for Weight Lose:
This is a basic rule of thumb if you make a change on your food habit, there is an easy way to estimate how much weight you will lose in a year. You simply divide the calories by 10.That is roughly the number of pounds you will lose.
One less 270 calorie CANDY bar each day = 27 fewer pounds a year = 12.24 Kg a year!
One less 140 calorie SOFT DRINK (Coke & Pepsi) each day = 14 fewer pounds a year= 6.3 Kg a year!
One less 420 calorie DONUT each day= 42 fewer pounds a year= 19 Kg a year!
Note: 1 pound=0.45 Kg (Kilogram), the same idea will works with burning calories – walking one extra mile a day is 100 calories and 10 pounds a year. Exercise is good but for most people it’s a lot easier to give up a candy bar/soft drink than to walk 2.7 miles to a vending machine.
STRATEGY FOR WEIGHT LOSES BY EATING LESS:
Strategy – 1: Replace your 10 inch plate with an 8 inch plate – Larger plates always lead to larger food intake. A two inch difference in plate diameter — from 10″ to 8″ plates — would result in 22% fewer calories being served, yet it is not drastic enough to trigger a counteracting response. If a typical dinner has 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to a weight loss of around 18 pounds per year for an average size adult.
Strategy – 2: Mini-size your boxes, bowls or eat with chopsticks – The bigger the bowls or boxes you pour from, the more you will eat: 20% to 30% more for most foods. People tend to eat more or less depending on the greater or lesser size of plates, bowls, serving spoons, serving bowls, and serving sizes. Also, research shows that people pour more drink into and drink more from a short, fat glass than a tall, thin glass. Greater or lesser variety of food types and colors encourage greater or lesser consumption. Repackage your jumbo box or bowls into smaller Ziploc bags or Tupperware containers, and serve it up in smaller dishes (8″ plates).
Strategy – 3: Serving vegetables first – Before starting any dinner start with vegetables first. This is how you can keep yourself from reaching out for more food, and can also track the amount of food you consume.
Strategy – 4: Think 20 percent less – This is a Japanese concept call hara hashi bu – eating until you are just 80% full. Dish out 20% less than you think you might want before you start to eat. In most studies, people can eat 20% less without noticing it. If they eat 30% less, they realize it, but 20% is still under the radar screen. For fruits and vegetables, think 20% more.
Strategy – 5: Serving tasty dishes from kitchen – Believe it or not, but when the main dish is served from the counter or stove, we consumed less. Make sure every time you finish your food; you must walk to the counter to take food in your plate again.
Strategy – 6: See it before you eat it – Put everything you want to eat on a plate before you start eating – snacks, dinners, ice cream, and even chips. Also, instead of eating directly out of a package or box, put your snack in a separate dish and leave the box in the kitchen. You’ll be less likely to eat more food.
Strategy – 7: Eat slowly – Slow eaters tend to eat less, feel fuller and rate their meals as more pleasant than fast eaters. Scientists believe that taking at least 20–30 minutes to finish a meal allows more time for the body to release hormones that promote feelings of fullness. The extra time also allows the brain to realize you’ve eaten enough before you reach for that second serving. Eating with your non-dominant hand or using chopsticks instead of a fork are two easy ways to reduce your eating speed and make this tip work for you. Chewing more often can also help.
Strategy – 8: Turn your TV, smart phone, radio and computer game off – Eating while you’re distracted can lead you to eat faster, feel less full and mindlessly eat more. You eat more while watching TV, which is why, keeping your TV set off, is one of the important things to do. For instance, people watching television while eating their meals ate 36% more pizza and 71% more macaroni and cheese. Scientists note that longer distractions extend the amount of time spent eating, making you more likely to overeat. In addition, eating while distracted may cause you to forget how much you’ve consumed, leading to overeating later in the day.
Strategy – 9: Keep foods or snacks in an inconvenience place – By keeping all foods in an inconvenience place will automatically limit your food intake. Adding extra effort will allow you to reduce the chance of overeating. Put all kind of snacks or cookies hard-to-reach cupboard to resist yourself to eat more.
Strategy – 10: Avoid eating in a group – Research show that when you are with 1 other person you will eat 35% more, with a group of 4 it’s 75% more and with 7 or more it’s 96% more! So do conscious thought next time you are in a group. When dining in groups, sit next to people who eat less or slow eater than you. This can help you to eat less.
Strategy – 11: Less variety, less eating – Research shows that having a wider variety of food in your daily menu lead you to eat up to 23% more. Reduce the variety of food, flavors, colors and textures can help you to eat less than your body needs.
Few more strategies:
- Avoid having too many foods on the table. The more variety there is, the more people will eat.
- Eat fruit for dessert instead of more indulgent choices.
- Practice and make a habit of “Half-Plate Rule”. Half the plate is filled with vegetables and the other half is protein and starch.
- Chewing gum can distract you away from the 4 C’s: Chips, Cookies, Ice Cream and Candy.
- Chew gum to prevent eating from boredom or stress.
- If you plan to attend a dinner party or a buffet-style dinner, arrive late or leave early. If you arrive late, most of the good stuff will be gone by the time you show up. Leave early and you will make it easier to avoid a dessert.
- When you go out for dinner use the “Rule of Two”: Limit yourself to two of the following: an appetizer, a drink, or a dessert. Pick any two.
- Replace every other soft drink with water. We often think we are hungry when instead we are simply thirsty. Fill up your water bottle a number of times each day.
- If you want dessert, see if someone will share it. The best part of a dessert is the first two bites.
- If you feel hungry and want to have some snacks, try yogurt and water or can of tuna fish instead. Protein can replace your craving for the snack.
Point to ponder:
- A study of 854 children under three years old showed that a child is nearly three times as likely to grow up obese if one of his parents is obese. If you are overweight, your child has a 65% to 75% chance of growing up to be overweight.
- There was a great study where 1 group of people ate chicken wings and their bones were kept in front of them. In the other group, the plates were cleared every 15 minutes or so.
Who do you think ate less? The group who saw all of their bones.
- “Low-fat” labels are a prime example, because foods low in fat are not necessarily low in calories. For instance, “low-fat” granola is typically only 10% lower in calories than regular-fat granola.
- Another study compared calorie intake from Subway versus McDonald’s. Those who ate at Subway consumed 34% more calories than they thought they did, while those who ate at McDonald’s ate 25% more than they thought. Researchers noted that the Subway clients tended to reward themselves for their supposedly healthy meal choice by ordering chips or cookies with their meal.
- It seems that the longer the movie or show, the more food you’re likely to eat. One study noted that participants watching a 60-minute show ate 28% more popcorn than those watching a 30-minute show.
- Researchers found that participants given bowls with 10 colors of M&Ms ate 43 more candies than those given bowls with 7 colors, despite all M&Ms tasting the same.
Last but not least, I did start going to gym last year and lost 4.5 kg (9.92 lbs) within 3 weeks time and less than three months I have lost 9 kg (19.84 lbs) weight. But I have stopped going gym almost eight months now but I still keep the same body weight just following the above strategies. It’s estimated that over 95% of all people who lose weight on a diet gain it back. Of course, going to gym and follow all the instructions regularly will help you to lose weight and burn your extra calories but this is an alternative solution suggested by various scientists, nutritionists and researchers based on their experiments. Remember this quote – “The best diet is the one you don’t know you’re on.“
Thanks and cheers!
By – Émile Ajar