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Trick Yourself Into Eating Less

Have you ever noticed that when you carry a bigger bag, you tend to fill it with more junk? I once weighed myself with my bag on my shoulder and it clocked in at a whopping 9.5 pounds! We humans have some sort of build-in drive to fill things up - when I downsized from a house in Florida to a small apartment in Manhattan, I found out just how much stuff I had that I really didn't need.

Well, the same is true with food. Studies show that stockpiling (e.g. loading up in bulk at Costco) and buy-one-get-one-free promos trigger us to eat more. In other words, if you have twice as much cereal, you're more likely to eat it twice as fast instead of it lasting twice as long. And, lots of research shows that we have a natural tendency to fill our plates, bowls, spoons, etc. to capacity and polish off whatever portion we’re given, regardless of how hungry or full we feel - and we’re often not even aware that we’re doing it.

That’s why one of the best ways to way to eat less automatically is to downsize wherever you can. Here are a few examples of the “savings” you’ll rack up:

    * Opting for a bottle of light beer (12 oz) instead of a pint (16 oz) saves 35 calories. It doesn’t sound like much, but downgrade once a week and you’ll save 1,820 calories in a year’s time, the calorie equivalent of about two loaves of bread.


    * Filling up an 8oz bowl with cereal or oatmeal instead of a typical 12.5oz sized dish means eating about 35% less. At an average of 130 fewer calories a day five days a week, you’ll shave off a whopping 33,800 calories a year. You’d have to do about 65 hours of circuit training to burn off those calories.


    * Using a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon for anything, from honey in your tea to sneaking a little peanut butter from the jar means eating two thirds less, but when you’re eating with a spoon, it’s the number of times you bring your hand to your mouth, rather than the amount on the spoon that’s likely to satiate you. Eight tablespoon sized dips into a pint of ice cream adds up to 240 calories but eight teaspoon sized dunks equals about 80 calories.    


Has downsizing your dishes helped you scale back and slim down? Share your tricks!

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