6 easy peasy ways to trick yourself into eating less (that actually work!) 5 years ago

6 easy peasy ways to trick yourself into eating less (that actually work!)

Hands up if you have ever convinced yourself that one tub of Ben and Jerry's equals one serving?

Yeah, us too. Most of us struggle with portion control at our weaker moments (hello, Phish Food) but the truth is it may be easier to get a handle on than we thought... provided you know a few tricks.

For instance, researchers from the USC Marshall School of Business have discovered that we should always serve ourselves, so that we have the control and choice over our portion size.

The researchers believe that the less physically involved we are in helping ourselves to food, the easier it is to deny responsibility to tucking into unhealthy or large portions. For example, if your Mam serves up a generous sized double chocolate brownie, with extra cream, you are more inclined to eat it.

We asked our experts for the low down on what other healthy hacks we can do to keep our portion control in check….

1. Instagram your meal
Taking a snap of your meal cannot only make others envious of your feed, but it may also benefit your muffin top. says nutritionist Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.  “Researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat, concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it. The photographs seemed to deter binges.” she explains.

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2. Opt out of emotional eating
If you’re feeling a bit low, are you more inclined to add extra cheese and have a few extra biscuits? “When you do get a craving, stop and think, are you really hungry or want to eat because you are feeling certain emotions? Recognising the difference is half the battle and if you are eating because you are lonely or angry then think of other ways to change that feeling rather than food, maybe a walk in the park or phoning a friend,” says Marilyn.

3. Take note of the ‘crunch effect’
Do you pay attention to the sound of yourself eating? According to research, the noise your food makes while you're eating can have a significant effect on how much food you eat. The "Crunch Effect," as they call it, suggests you're more likely to eat less if you're more conscious of the sound your food makes while you're eating. So, when we are listening to loud music or watching TV, it can mask these sounds, which could lead you to eating more.

4. Get your greens
“Have a lighter dinner by filling at least half your plate with vegetables before adding anything else. And no, this doesn’t include roast potatoes! Green vegetables are excellent as they are low in calories and high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you’re the one doing the cooking, prepare several vegetable side dishes and look for recipes to make them more interesting – for example sauté Brussels sprouts with garlic, olive oil and lemon juice – delicious,” recommends nutritionist Shona Wilkinson.

5. Leave the ‘clear your plate’ club
Try not to get sucked into the pressure of eating every scrap of food on your plate. “Try and pay attention to how your stomach is feeling and eat slowly, rather than eating everything that’s in front of you. It’s important that you eat to feel satisfied, as opposed to stuffing yourself,” says Shona.

6. Cut up your food
If you want to cut calories by eating less, you may find it helpful to cut your food into smaller pieces, according to research. Studies suggests that by cutting up your meal, for example a bagel or sandwich into four you may find the meal more satiating, so are less likely to snack afterwards.