These tips don’t require much work, just a change in perspective to help you eat less and eat healthier.
For most people, taking the time to really study and understand the true principles of healthy eating is not something they can or will take the time to do. Eating healthy and knowing what that really means in our world today can be confusing and overwhelming. With so many differences of opinion, conflicting information, and so forth, knowing how to eat healthy can be a challenge. Most people are overly busy with careers, family obligations, parenting, and just the overload of business in our modern world. Because of our rather hectic schedules, one of the first things to go is taking the time to eat healthy.
But I’m here to tell you there are some simple tricks you can use to help you reach and maintain a healthier way of living. Being healthier doesn’t have to mean hours of studying, hours of time in the kitchen, or completely changing your life as you know it. Simple tips and changes to your environment can make a big impact in terms of improving health and wellness. Creating a more health-promoting environment around you can go far in helping you maintain good habits.
Below are some simple tips to easily make this year a healthier one for you and your family!
1. Use Smaller Plates!
Without even thinking about it, if we have a bigger plate, we are much more likely to add more food to our plates, without even noticing! When we have bigger portions, we obviously are more likely to overeat. A simple change of using smaller plates when you eat can help you to almost unconsciously eat less. According to one study, simply switching from 12 inch plates to 10 inch plates for dinner will result in eating approximately 22% less food in a year’s time.
Because mental influences are so strong, yet nearly subconscious, simply trying to “put less on your plate” is not as successful or maintainable in the long run. Mentally, when you eat a small portion on a large plate, your brain still thinks it’s hungry because it didn’t eat a lot. But eating the same portion from a small plate visually tells the brain that you’re eating more food!
2. Colored Plates
Another thing to consider when it comes to plates is their color. Plates that have a high contrast color to your food help you eat less without even thinking about it! When the color of your plate matches or is close to the color of your food, you put more food on your plate without even noticing, because the brain has a harder time distinguishing the actual portion size of the food. When you put more on your plate, you’re likely going to eat more without even thinking about it.
So plates that are dark green or dark blue can make great colors because they contrast highly with foods such as bread and pasta, but blend more with vegetables like greens, and the more veggies and the less pasta (and other foods like it) you eat, the better!
3. Size of Your Drink
When it comes to your liquids, a similar principle applies. Especially when it comes to drinks such as alcohol or soda, it’s better to use cups or glasses that are tall and slender, rather than ones that are short and fat. Mentally, the taller glass looks bigger to our brain and therefore makes us subconsciously think we are getting more than we really are. Science tells us that height makes things look bigger than width, so the theory is that you’ll actually drink less from a taller glass. It’s actually estimated that on average a person would drink about 20% less from a tall and slender glass than you would from a short, fat glass!
4. Keep Water Available
That being said, however, another important tip to eating healthier without giving it much thought is to make water easily and readily available. Many of us tend to reach for what is quick, convenient, and just right there. If you have a mug of coffee sitting there, you’re going to reach for it because it’s easy and there. Instead, buy or bring water that you leave at your desk, that you carry with you, and that is easy to have on hand and access during the day.
When it’s sitting next to you, you’re more likely to drink more than if you had to get up to go get water. This is also important because dehydration can fool us into thinking we are hungry. A lot of times when we feel “hungry” or have cravings, it’s actually our bodies trying to tell us they’re thirsty!
5. Accessible Healthy Snacks
Put your healthy foods in places that are easy to see and easy to reach. Having foods out to grab that are healthy, such as a basket of fruit or a bowl of fresh trail mix, makes you more likely to reach for these things than you would if they were hidden away in a drawer in the back of your fridge or pantry. Keep the things that are less healthy, such as chips or cookies, packed away and out of sight. This makes you think of them less, and you’re less likely to go digging for them because you’ll grab the things you can see.
6. See the Healthy Food
Along with the same visualization techniques, keep healthy foods transparent. This means wrapping and keeping healthy foods in clear plastic wrap, clear bowls or Tupperware, clear glass jars, and so on where they can easily be seen. Keep less healthy foods wrapped up in non-transparent things such as tin foil, colored bowls, etc. If the brain can’t actually see it, it’s going to be less likely the brain is going to want it.
7. Container Size
Keeping with this same theme, keep healthy foods in larger containers and unhealthy food in smaller packages. Because big things catch our eye more easily, these things will be the ones we grab more readily. Smaller things are more easily hidden and likely to be forgotten.
Keeping to some of these simple tips that help you eat better and eat less without even giving it much of any thought can be big in helping you be successful in the long run!