By Ishi Khosla
Most of us would decline if offered food right after a meal, yet if something tempting is served to us, we would reach out for it. External cues are often hidden and are known to influence our appetite and have very little to do with hunger. These include family, friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colours and candles, shapes and smell, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers. Visual cues are very powerful drivers to eating and determine how much we eat.
One of the strongest psychological motivators to eat more than what we should seems to be the need to empty our plates. The obligation to finish all that is on the plate from our childhood and the dislike of waste, drives us to eating regardless of our hunger. Don’t let anyone put you on a guilt trip about hunger in Somalia and poor children. Don’t worry about leaving a morsel on your plate when pleasantly full.
Also, the larger the portion, the more we eat; the bigger the container, the more we pour. It takes about 20 minutes before the brain gets the signal that the stomach is full, meaning that if you finish your meal in less than 20 minutes, then the sensation that the belly is full will arrive too late, likely to make you eat more than you need. So, eat slowly and pay attention to what you eat and stop when you are 80 per cent full. Put your spoon or fork down between each bite. Ask yourself whether you are hungry rather than wait to be full. The ‘not hungry’ situation happens early and that’s when you must stop.
When eating out, if portions are large, don’t hesitate to ask the waiter to pack some of it before it reaches the table. For the same reasons, don’t stock undesirable food around the house. Don’t store undesirable food in transparent containers.
In some cases, looking at food can make you eat less. If you are presented with an indication of how much you have already eaten, perhaps by wrappers, bottles and bones or by ‘pre-plating’ your food or even on your food diary, you may be surprised to find that you will end up eating less.
By understanding why we eat the way we do, we can eat a little less, eat healthier and enjoy it a lot more. Take control of subtle influences in our environment that can persuade us to eat or overeat. How small changes in our daily habits can contribute to reducing our expanding girth is amazing.
Source Article from http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/diet-diary-the-see-food-diet/