• Rob

A Healthy Appetite

In my personal experience, diets have temporary results at best, and anyone attempting to follow one (regardless of what it involves) can often end up discouraged and frustrated by the impracticalities and/or restrictions of such a regime. Folks looking to reduce the number of calories consumed or change the elements of what they eat may also find it tough to meet the requirements of their friends and family.

Hence, the below should not be seen as tips – more as a collection of my personal observations on how to reduce calories consumed and possibly eat more healthily (whatever that may mean to you)

Bamboozle your brain:

Research has shown that using smaller crockery can confuse our brains into thinking we are eating more; when putting two equal portion sizes on a big plate and a small plate, the portion on the bigger plate will look smaller, and vice versa. Weird eh?

Eating food in a bowl rather than on a plate also gives a greater perception of volume; again fooling our brains into believing there is more than there really is.

Other research has shown that heavier cutlery and crockery influences our consideration of the food we consume; the heavier the equipment the more full we feel.

Focus on the food:

I mentioned mindfulness above and I believe this is a major factor to what and how much we eat. Research has shown that we consume up to 30% more when we’re doing something else at the same time as eating; watching TV, scrolling on our phones/tablets, for example.

Diversions are routine at the dinner table; many people in fact don’t even use the dining table at home instead eating in front of the TV or on the move. It’s almost guaranteed you’re not focused on your food, which may lead to a decrease in appreciation of what you’re eating leading to a reduced sense of satiety and potentially overeating.

Eat with all your senses:

Linked to the above point about not focussing on what you’re eating but eating with your senses is about more than that; I suggest people try to be mindful of the food they consume.

This may be as simple as pausing before eating to smell your food to really appreciate the aroma; some preliminary research shows that up to 90% of flavour comes from the smell.

You can also focus on the food’s texture. It has been noted that fewer calories are consumed from eating whole apple than from apple puree, for example; the sensation we receive from texture is one of the cues to tell us when to stop eating.

Prepare food together:

This one may be challenging due to time pressures but I have found it to be particularly rewarding. Planning and preparing meals with someone else can lead to a greater emphasis on experimentation, an increased sense of satisfaction from creating something from scratch and can even be an “excuse” to spend quality time together in a relaxed situation.

Also, I don’t buy the idea of “I can’t cook”. Everybody can cook to some degree or another and all it takes is a little effort and preparation. If you can do this with someone else, then the load is halved and the potential satisfaction is enormous.

Bon Appetit!





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