You probably already know the gold standard formula for weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. Eat less. Exercise more. For every pound of weight you wish to lose, you must cut 3500 calories.
While there’s no circumventing this proven methodology, here are a few easy visual tricks to fool the eye into eating less. Just these few simple changes can result in big weight loss over time.
Eat off of blue plates. Appetite-stimulating colors like reds, oranges, and yellows are often used by fast food restaurants to entice us to eat - and eat a lot. The reverse holds true, as well. Studies show that if you put your food on a blue plate you will eat less.
And remember to use smaller plates, bowls, cups, and spoons. We go by visual cues. We know we’ve had enough when we see the bottom of our plate or bowl.
Eat at the table. Eat at designated food areas such as the kitchen table or dining room table - not in the car, standing at the kitchen counter, at your desk, etc. You are more likely to pay attention to the visual cues that help you decide you are full. According to research, being able to see all that you have eaten (evidenced by the remnants of food on the table) can help you eat up to 27% less at meals.
Keep serving dishes off the table. A Cornell University study found you’ll eat 20% less if you keep your serving dishes in the kitchen instead of on the dinner table. Study participants ate less when the food was out of sight.
Fill your plate with vegetables. Building on the visual cues concept, our paltes will look full and we won’t sense deprivation. What’s more, filling your plate with fresh raw or lightly-cooked vegetables (and thus less of foods from other food groups) helps you stay fuller, longer, with less calories and more nutrition.
Keep fruit and veggies in plain sight. The same Cornell University study also found that study participants were more likely to choose fruits and vegetables when kept in plain sight.
Turn off the TV. Studies show that we eat around 40 percent more when watching TV, and we’re more likely to eat junk food while under the hypnosis of TV. To lose weight without major sacrifice, turn off your TV during dinner and focus only on your meal. Learn more, read Watching TV Leads to Obesity.** Shop along the perimeter of the grocery store. **Stay along the perimeter aisles of the food store where fresh meats, fish, produce and other healthier foods are kept. Stay out of the center aisles, which are laden with cakes, chips, sodas and other processed foods. If you don’t see tempting foods they are a lot easier to avoid.
What to read next: Facebook and Easy Tricks to Sneak In Exercise.** References**
ABC2news.com http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/health/certain-plate-colors-may-help-you-eat-less accessed 8-11-12
WebMD http://women.webmd.com/guide/weight-loss-tips?page=3 accessed 8-11-12
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Cheryl Ann Borne, writing as My Bariatric Life, is a contributing writer and Paleo recipe developer for HealthCentral’s Obesity Community. Cheryl is an award-winning healthcare communications professional and obesity health advocate who has overcome super obesity and it’s related diseases. She publishes the website MyBariatricLife.org and microblogs on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Cheryl also is writing her first book and working on a second website. Watch her transformational video on Vimeo.