5 ways to trick yourself into eating less

5 ways to trick yourself into eating less

Losing weight isn’t easy, and sometimes traditional dieting doesn’t work. Don’t get discouraged: try these five tips to take control of your weight—you may see results sooner than you thought possible!

1. Learn to eat intuitively

  • If you simply stop trying to remake your body and accept it for the way it is, you’re more likely to eat better and may even lose weight. That’s what researchers at Ohio State in Marion found through a series of studies on “intuitive” eating, which teaches people to eat based on feelings of hunger or fullness, not for emotional or situational reasons.
  • The studies evaluated 597 college women, finding that those who were intuitive eaters appreciated their bodies more and were more likely to agree with statements like, “Despite its flaws, I accept my body for what it is.”

2. Hypnotize yourself

  • We do it all the time when we daydream or become so engrossed in a book, movie or task that we lose track of time, says Susan Neri-Friedwald, a certified hypnosis therapist from New York. She’s also the author of the CDs, Take Control of Your Eating and Eat What You Like and Lose Weight.
  • Every night, just before falling asleep, repeat four to five times out loud (whispering is fine, and any added emotional intensity strengthens it), “I am in the process of becoming thinner and thinner.” Repeat every night for 30 consecutive nights, and it will become your automatic subconscious thought. The last thing you tell yourself before falling asleep will be repeated all night long by your subconscious, she says, and you should begin to see results almost immediately.
  • The evidence supports her: several studies find that adding hypnosis to weight-loss programs not only improves the amount of weight lost, but participants tend to lose more weight over the long term compared to those who aren’t hypnotized.

3. Go interactive

  • You’d do better getting weekly advice from a behavioural therapist online than simply reading about diet and exercise and filling out tracking forms. That’s the result of a study from Brown University.
  • Researchers found that dieters who received such advice lost three times as much weight over six months than those who took a more passive approach to online weight-loss info.
  • One reason is that those getting online advice logged on twice as often those who didn’t. Another is that the structured program with continued contact simply works better than just providing information.
  • A later study by the same researchers found that it doesn’t matter if the feedback is real, via e-mail from a human, or automated.

4. Join a weight-loss group

  • Several studies find that women enrolled in church-based weight-loss programs lose more weight than those who try to lose on their own.
  • One of the best designed and most recent studies involved 15 Baltimore churches and 529 overweight women. During the year-long study, one-third of the participants attended weekly nutrition and physical activity sessions at the church, one-third added spiritual content and prayer to the regimen and one-third received education materials on healthy living.
  • Those getting the on-site help—with or without the spiritual content and prayer—lost significantly more weight than those just handed educational materials. Women who weighed the most at the beginning of the study losing an average of nine kilograms (20 pounds).

5. Get ready for bed right after dinner

  • Brush your teeth and wash and moisturize your hands, says Marina Kamen, a 47-year-old mother of three who lost 45 kilograms (100 pounds) in her late 30s and has kept it off for more than 10 years.
  • “You might think twice before dipping your hand into a greasy bag of chips or messing up your minty mouth with a sugary cookie,” she says.

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