When you’re an old hand at ignoring your body’s stop signs, it’s easier to fall into a whole bunch of overeating traps without even considering the size of your portions.
Here’s how to avoid them – and score the tummy you’ve always wanted!
1. Fill a (small) plate
If you use smaller plates and bowls, you’ll tend to put less on your plate or in your bowl and therefore eat less. Keep them saucer-size (about 13cm in diameter). Yes, it might feel a little Alice in Wonderland, but in a US study, people who ate hamburgers from saucers believed they were eating an average of 18 percent more kilojoules than they really were. People who ate off standard 26cm plates, on the other hand, had no such delusion.
2. Sharing is slimming
Share large restaurant portions with a friend. Both of your tums will thank you!
3. Drink more fluids
It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Another possibility – you could be cold, or just plain bored.
4. Enjoy your food
Eating mindlessly increases the risk of overeating.
5. Slow and steady sheds the weight
Eating a meal too quickly (in less than 20 to 30 minutes) often leads to overeating because your stomach needs time to register the food and let your brain know you’ve had enough.
6. Spoil your appetite
A small snack before a meal can dull hunger, making you less likely to pig out at the main event.
7. Eat selectively
Think about what you want to eat – don’t just suck up whatever’s put in front of you. Check out the 5 Best Snacks For Weight Loss.
8. Listen to your body
Teach yourself to stop when you’re full.
9. Beware the giant packet
One recommended serving of, say, crisps might be 36g, but chances are, you’re going to flatten the whole 125g packet (three and a half servings). Rather dish a helping into a bowl. Or ditch the chips and go for these 5 Low-Fat Snacks Under 240kJ instead.
10. Don’t starve yourself
If you eat too few kilojoules, it’s only a matter of time before you go on a bingeing spree.
11. Just a teaspoon
Stick with teaspoons, even to load up your plate. A US study found that people who used 100ml serving spoons shovelled out nearly 15 percent more food than those who scooped using smaller 60ml spoons.