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How To Eat Less

 

Techniques General persuasion > Articles on persuasion > How To Eat Less

Reduce availability | Eat slower | Distraction | Keep notes | Small plates | Thin drink | Reflect and regret | Focus on pride | See yourself | See also

 

You can exercise and watch food content, but a very simple way of dieting is simply to eat less. Here are a number of proven ways to cut down on your intake.

Reduce availability

Do not put a box of chocolates next to you when you are watching TV or they will magically disappear. Likewise, do not fill your fridge with food or else you'll end up eating it. Just because you have a large fridge, it does not mean it should be filled. If necessary, get a smaller fridge!

It all starts in the supermarket where you should not buy food that you know is bad for you. If necessary, take a firm friend or get them to do the shopping.

If food is available, you are more likely to eat it. So find all kinds of ways to shop less, keep less and see less.

Eat slower

Put less on your fork and chew each mouthful slowly, enjoying the taste of every morsel. And pause between each mouthful rather than trying to shovel it down as fast as you can go.

We have a 'gorging' instinct that tells us to eat quickly whilst there is food available and before others get it all. We also have a 'snacking' instinct which tell us to each slower, which is generally a better thing (as long as you avoid snacking all day long).

When we eat slower it gives time for the food to be digested and then for our digestive system to tell our minds that we have had enough. So listen to the 'full' signals and stop when you are told (or even before). 

Distraction

Having dinner with somebody else where you are talking a lot ends up with you spending more time chatting and, crucially, less time eating. Likewise, if you are watching television, the distraction may also help to slow you down.

Small plates

A simple method is to use smaller plates (and certainly not bigger, deeper plates). We tend to see a meal as a 'plateful' and a smaller plate will still feel like a decent meal.

You can do the same thing with cutlery. Use a smaller fork and smaller spoon and you will both eat less and slow down your intake.

Thin drink

As with small plates, we make many decisions with our eyes with regard to drinks. People asked to pour out a shot of alcohol regularly over-estimate by about 30% for short, wide glasses as opposed to tall, thin glasses.

It can also be helpful to drink beer from the bottle or can as the small top means each swig delivers less than a glug from an open glass. In any case, sipping rather than taking big mouthfuls is a better idea. Also wait until the taste has faded before taking another sip, rather than quickly drinking the whole thing.

Keep notes

It has been found that people write down what they are going to eat and/or keep notes about what they actually ate, then the unavoidable evidence that this provides is a good way of sometimes shocking yourself into eating less or otherwise prodding your conscience.

Reflect and regret

If you cannot stop yourself eating with above methods, then maybe reflecting about what you have done will prompt your conscious, increase your regret and nudge your conscience into abstinence.

Focus on pride

Although considering the regret you may feel at not dieting, it is often better to focus on the positive feelings of pride you will feel when you are successful in your dieting.

The only risk with this is if the focus on pride makes you feel so good now you are no lon.ger motivated to diet

See yourself

A final simple method is to actually see yourself when you are thinking about eating. Put a mirror in the kitchen. Look at your reflection in the supermarket door. Keep a photo in your wallet or purse. Be realistic about your size and know that you can do something about it.

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