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Prank yourself slim
Losing weight – it’s not rocket science, right? Just eat less, exercise more, and die inside as you say ‘no’ to the cake.
According to Dr. Brian Wansink, the man who The White House appoint to oversee US dietary guidelines, there’s a lot more to losing weight, than just having the willpower. He says keeping the pounds off permanently means ‘tricking yourself’ into making healthier choices, rather than just, y’know, making them.
So how do we play these tricks on ourselves? Take it away, Dr. Brian.
Chew gum while you shop
Everyone knows that shopping while hungry is a bad idea, but even if your appetite isn’t taking over, supermarkets are designed to make you buy more food than what you actually need, and can also spark cravings. Brian Wansink advises that chewing gum can help control this.
‘Our studies show the minty freshness can effectively short-circuit cravings, making it harder to imagine the sensory details of crunchy chips or creamy ice cream,’ he explains. ‘Astonishingly, one piece of gum is enough to cut your junk food purchases by seven per cent.’
Go towards the light
Sure it seems cosier and more romantic tucking into your meal in a dimly lit restaurant, but the lack of light can lead to some pretty calorific choices. Instead eating by a window can mean you subconsciously chose healthier options, as you can better see what’s on your plate, plus the natural light can make green, fresh foods seem more appealing.
Words have calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, eating out can be a nightmare, especially when menus are written to up-sell more profitable products by using enticing words.
Researchers have found that the word ‘buttery’ adds an average of 102 calories; items described as ‘crispy’ can have an extra 131 calories; and products described as ‘seasoned’, ‘roasted’ or ‘marinated’ have 60 fewer calories than their counterparts.
Drink red wine from a champagne flute
Drinking your favourite vino from the wrong glass may sound like a party faux pas, but it’s a slimming one. We tend to judge our glasses more by height, and the taller, thinner champagne glass, will have you consume 12 per cent less, than if you were drinking from a bowl-like wine glass.
Trick yourself into exercising
People who exercise specifically to lose weight can often have poor results because they are more inclined to compensate by eating more afterwards. Instead take walks, and view exercise classes as ‘toning’ or ‘strengthening’ rather than calorie burning activities.
Air freshen up
Dr. Wansink recommends spritzing the air with a citrus cleaning spray, floral air-freshener, or have a vase of highly scented flowers. Apparently these smells can stop cravings as they interfere with the brain’s ability to work out what it wants to eat. If you do end up picking though, these smells and can make you less likely to over-indulge.