The diet? Not at all: to avoid the binge effect during the holidays, a little psychology is enough. Here are 6 tricks to eat less without giving up the pleasure of food
The richness of Italian holiday cuisine and the convivial atmosphere are sacred. And if there is a time of year when even doctors advise to stop the diet, it is Christmas. And then, let’s admit it, even if we want to but how do you resist all the good things that appear on our table between 24 and 31 December? Difficult, really. The good news is that to avoid or at least delay the use of alka seltzer, it is enough to use a little psychology. Here are 6 scientific anti-binge tricks.
Use a blue plate to eat less –
Strange but true: the color of the dishes can make a difference in the amount of food we serve. According to a study, in fact, the more the color of the food is similar to the color of the dish, the more we will take. For example, if we eat a light colored food like pasta on a dark blue plate, we will likely eat less of it than if we ate it on a white plate. This is (perhaps) due to the fact that the same portion looks larger on a darker plate.
… Or a smaller plate –
The size of plates and cutlery also gives our brains clues as to how much we “should” eat – e a bigger plate means more food. In a studio, some researchers have found that we tend to fill our plates about 70%, regardless of their size. This translates into a whole lot more food if we use a large plate compared to a slightly smaller one (up to 52% more, according to another study). Cutlery matters too, especially when it comes to dessert: people seem to be serving more ice cream if they have a bigger spoon. It must be said that these studies were done on normal days. At parties, things might be a little different …
Serve the wholesome things first –
The salad and the vegetables? Even on holidays they should not be neglected: indeed, they should be served first: according to a study, in fact, we tend to consume larger portions of the first foods we put on the plate and this will allow us not to overdo it with other foods.
Vegetables are high in water and fiber, which fill, but not many calories. Therefore, by replacing half of the starch or protein in our meal with non-starchy vegetables, we will be able to eat the same volume of food and reduce the overall calories a little. AND science tells us that the amount of food we eat is a factor that makes us feel full.
In one study, each of the participants was given the same pasta, but with different amounts of vegetables. And they all ate similar amounts of food, meaning those with the highest percentage of vegetables ate the fewest calories without even realizing it …
Eat slowly and drink water –
Taking smaller bites and chewing slowly is not only preferable for digestion, it also helps us eat right. Just as it helps to take some time and drink some water between forkfuls. Little tricks that could help us reduce calories without giving up anything …
Always use dishes to eat less –
It doesn’t matter what color, shape or size our dishes are: it is always better to eat from a plate than from a bag or box. If we take food from a packet (unless it is a single serving portion), it is almost impossible to estimate how much we will actually have eaten. Here because taking 10 seconds to adequately plate what makes us greedy could be the key to helping us not to overdo it, especially with whims. It also applies to panettone, which on a plate is even more beautiful to look at …
Eat consciously –
It is established: distracted eating tends to make us eat more, and not just at that meal, but for the rest of the day. Mindful eating (conscious eating) is the practice of paying full attention to what we eat, without being distracted. According to experts, it allows us to feel our body’s signals of hunger and fullness, so that we actually know when we have enough. And awareness can also help us distinguish between real and emotional hunger. Even during the holidays.
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