Health

Weird ways to eat less

Strange tips for losing weight include lighting vanilla-scented candles and smelling fruits

From sniffing fruit to lighting candles, there are myriad strange yet effective ways to lose weight without starving yourself. We are pretty sure you have not heard of at least one or two of these waist-slimming tips.

CHEW SLOWER

Are you usually the fastest eater? You might want to slow down because the quicker you eat, the wider your waist will be.

An experiment by the University of Rhode Island proved that eating food over 29 minutes made participants eat fewer calories than those who wolfed down their plate of food within nine minutes.

The women who ate faster also felt hungrier after the meal, which meant they had more calories throughout the day.

Sounds familiar?

Whittling down that waistline can be as simple as setting your utensils down between bites and chewing your food fully before swallowing.

SNIFF AROUND

We are getting major Snow White vibes from this tip.

An experiment by the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation concluded that people who sniffed an apple, banana or peppermint more frequently stood to lose more weight.

It was found that these smells curb your appetite.

So next time hunger strikes, try smelling one of these things.

MASTER ART OF EATING WITH CHOPSTICKS

If you usually eat your noodles or rice with a spoon and fork, you might want to consider switching over to chopsticks.

Although twirling a heap of noodles into your spoon is much more accessible and faster, chopsticks pick up only a few strands of noodles at a time, allowing you to decrease your eating speed.

The Chopsticks Diet written by Kimiko Barber states that chopsticks slow us down, making us eat less because the stomach takes 20 minutes to realise it is full.

So opt for chopsticks, even with rice dishes.

EAT IN PUBLIC

Weird ways to eat less
You are more mindful of how much you eat when dining in a public place.PHOTO: AFP

Having here or take away?

Don't opt for the latter or you stand to gain extra calories. Packing our food home, be it from a fancy Italian restaurant or McDonald's, creates a sense of comfort, causing us to order more food than we need.

Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab said when people eat alone, they eat three times more than what they normally would. Eating in public makes you more mindful of what you eat and how much you order.

So instead of making it an upsized meal, eat there and stick to normal portions.

SNAP PICTURE FIRST

There might be a science behind taking pictures of your food before digging in.

It is called social media management, something millennials are on board with.

The thought that your food choices are up for your followers to see increases your responsibility to adhere to diet-friendly foods in the right quantity.

But if you are not one to have an Instagram or Facebook account, keeping a photo diary of your food also helps.

Who wants to take a picture of a greasy bag of fries instead of a colourful plate of salad?

LIGHT VANILLA CANDLE

Weird ways to eat less
A vanilla scent suppresses appetite, while using chopsticks slows your eating. ST FILE PHOTO

If you do not want to indulge in sugar during your diet, studies have shown that a vanilla scent suppresses appetite, as it reminds you of the smell of sweet things such as dessert.

According to Dr Mehmet Oz of The Dr Oz Show, the sweet scent of vanilla calms the part of your brain that is responsible for cravings.

So if you have a sweet tooth, it is time to buy a vanilla-scented candle to satiate your mind, not your stomach.

EAT FROM BLUE PLATE

Weird ways to eat less
A blue plate makes your food look less appetising.BT FILE PHOTO

An electric blue dress might be stunning for your next brunch date but the same can't be said about your food.

Research from the Food and Brand Lab shows that people tend to put 22 per cent less food on plates when the hue of the plate contrasts with the colour of the food.

Blue stands out while making your food look less appetising. It is also a rare colour for food to have, so your blue plates will always contrast with your meals.

Who would have thought that eating less was as simple as changing plates?

EAT IN FRONT OF MIRROR

You keep to your diet more if you have a mirror facing your dining table. A study from the University of Central Florida concluded that people tend to be more conscious of their appearance and the quality of what they are eating when facing a mirror.

Looking at themselves in the mirror while eating unhealthy foods makes them feel like they have failed at healthy eating.

WALK, WALK AND WALK

In Singapore, every MRT station is pretty much within walking distance from one another.

You could meet your friends for lunch a few stops from your place and spend time with them during your walk home.

Also, walking is the easiest way to increase your daily number of steps. Let's say your walk home takes 30 minutes - that is about 4,000 steps.

Research from The International Journal of Obesity finds that walking 15,000 steps a day is an ideal way to stay active - and slim. So instead of taking public transport, why not walk to your destination?

COUNT YOUR CALORIES

Having kaya toast for breakfast, noodles for lunch and rice for dinner might sound like a pretty acceptable meal plan, not forgetting drinks and snacks.

But add the calories up and you might be horrified with the final number. Use an app like FatSecret that is catered to local food so that you can easily keep track of your calories.

Counting calories is often labelled as being pretentious but it serves as an important guide for you to stay within your daily intake. Count and weight loss is guaranteed.

JUST GIVE IN

Sometimes, you have to fail to succeed. We all have had days where we ignored our cravings only to give in to them later.

So if you are craving for chocolate cake, have a tiny slice.

Ms Lisa Moskovitz, chief executive officer of NY Nutrition Group, said it is all right to give in to our cravings, as long as we stop feeling guilty and proceed with our healthy eating schedule after that.

It is better to satisfy your craving the moment it begins, rather than allowing it to grow into a full-fledged food monster.


This article was first published on www.shape.com.sg.

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