1. The bigger the plate, the bigger the glass, the bigger the bowl – the more you consume. During experiments people were given different sizes of plates and bowls and told to help themselves, in most cases the people given the smaller plates and bowels ate less.
2. Do not be tempted to buy big size, family size, super size, or economy size. The bigger the packet the more you eat, happens all the time. Small individually wrapped sizes might seem a little more expensive but as you eat less they work out the same, if not cheaper.
3. Color wise, nothing stimulates the appetite quite like red – avoid restaurants with red table cloths, decor etc. The color that calms the appetite most is blue. So add blue table cloths, napkins, blue plates (smaller ones), if you can paint the dining room walls blue etc.
4. Chew, chew, chew. If you chew well (few people do), it feels like you are eating more than you actually are. So you will eat less.
5. The brain and the ‘I am satisfied center’ lag behind your eyes and stomach by at least 10 to 15 minutes. Before you have more, wait a while then make a decision.
6. Eat watery foods – they are filling and generally full of nutrients, help detoxify, reduce cellulite, and maintain the metabolism. They turn off ‘brain confusion’ by hydrating the body. When the body is not well hydrated the brain gets confused between hunger and thirst. Fresh fruit and vegetables are generally full of water some more than others.
7. Most people live with other people who are not necessarily trying to get healthy and lose weight. Have a kitchen cupboard that is full of only their stuff. Out of sight out of mind, in experiments this seems to work. However, the long term goal would be to try bit by bit to get the family healthier.
8. Strangely enough sitting and eating in front of a large mirror made people eat less, up to one third!
9. A fruit bowl placed somewhere highly visible, easily accessible – stops you reaching for fatty, starchy, sugary salty snacks. All the statistics show very few people eat enough fresh fruit.
10. A really great way to stimulate the appetite is have a glass of alcohol before a meal. It’s even called an aperitif, an appetite stimulator. Wait until you start eating then consider having a glass of something, remember choose a smaller glass size.
11. NEVER shop when you are hungry – the decisions you make are quite different, than when you shop after a meal.
12. Most people visit the same super market or couple of supermarkets on a regular basis. The good news is supermarkets don’t change around their displays (no much anyway), so most people know where to find things. Plan a route in your mind and avoid certain isles, out of sight out of mind.
13. Try not to take the children shopping with you if you can help it. They generally don’t make healthy choices and are very persuasive.
14. Having some good labor saving kitchen gadgets – you are more likely to prepare, or cook and eat healthily – which adds up to weight loss.
15. Keep a journal – in research it was found most people eat more than they realize, or certainly not as healthily as they had lead themselves to believe.
16. Anti-oxidants have been in the news for years, and how the lack of antioxidants speeds up aging and deterioration, but now it is clear from new research a lack of antioxidants is also fattening.
17. Chlorophyll is the green pigmentation in plants, fruit and vegetable, it is a really powerful detoxifier, stimulating the body to get rid of any excess fluid, reducing cellulite and toxins.
18. Make sure you get enough enzymes, vital for speeding up every process in the body. In research it was found that the fat cells of overweight people had less enzyme activity, than someone of normal weight.
19. Hydroxcitric acid found in brindle berries and grapefruits is reported to curb the appetite, and speed up fat burning.
20. Re-educating your taste buds is a very important aspect to gaining health and losing weight.
Sonia Jones ND
Naturopath, nutritional therapist and author of three published books