Are you eating healthy but still weigh more than you would like? If so, consider this fact – you make about 221 decisions about what to eat, when, where and with whom every day. That means you have a lot of opportunities to work to eat to weigh less.
Cornell University researchers did the math with the help of volunteers. These individuals thought that they were making about 20 decisions a day. The reason according to food psychologist Brian Wansink, PhD is that we tend to make food decisions when our minds are on autopilot.
In fact, Dr. Wansink wrote a book called “Mindless Eating—Why We Eat More Than We Think”. He wrote the book on why it is very easy to let small things influence us without realizing it. These things include plate sizes, package sizes, and the individuals surrounding us. All of these influence our eating decisions – all 200 plus of them. This is because we are not consciously aware of them.
Autopilot eating can pad your diet with hundreds of stealth calories every day. You can do this by gulping down taste-test morsels of cookie dough to heaping helpings of mac and cheese or that bag of chips during your favorite TV show. How can you fix this? Close the hidden eating loopholes and get your mind focused.
Here is the secret for success. You can identify situations where you consume added calories and strike them so that you can cut out those added sugars and fats. Eating well does not mean leaving out the odd desert or quitting fried chicken cold-turkey. It means adding up little strategies to big calorie savings. For instance, simply chew your food more thoroughly.
Does that sound like it is too obvious? Well, it works. Researches at Iowa State University fed pizza to volunteers at breakfast. Mm. Yummy. But, they were told to chew each mouthful 15 times one day and 40 times the next. What happened? They had lower levels of a hormone called ghrelin when they chewed longer. This is the hormone that tells your brain it is time to eat.
They also had higher levels of the hormone that indicates fullness in the belly. Three hours later at lunch, the volunteers had less hunger at lunchtime all thanks to those thorough chews.
This is one reason stress eating can put a damper on a diet. When you can chew and eat with more care and time, you can keep your appetite in check. Eat mindfully. Put your fork down in between bites and relax. You just learned a crazy simple secret that will help you lose weight.