As summer winds dow, and you’re ready to get back on track after all those indulgent barbecue parties. Luckily, you can actually train your brain to work with you in this effort with a few simple hacks. Here are a few tips for tricking your brain into eating less.
Take note of the “crunch effect.”
Do you pay attention to the sound of yourself eating? According to research, the noise your food makes while you’re eating can have a significant effect on how much food you eat. The “crunch effect,” as it’s called, suggests that you’re more likely to eat less if you’re more conscious of the sound your food makes while you’re eating. When we are listening to loud music or watching TV, it can mask these sounds, which could lead you to eat more.
Don’t skip the protein.
If your diet is lacking in protein, then you may be more inclined to go back for seconds. Including protein in your meal helps slow down digestion, leaving you feeling more satisfied and fuller for longer. This in turn can help with weight loss, as you’re less likely to have as many calories. To ensure you’re getting your daily dose of protein, try a plant-based protein powder. They are easy to digest and can be kept low-calorie. They can also be used to make smoothies or shakes, or added to savory foods such as stews and soups.
Drink plenty of water.
“Drink at least 1.5 liters (roughlly six cups) of water every day to support healthy detoxification, and this can help prevent overeating,” says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson.
Keep a food diary.
Struggling to keep track of your eating habits? Try logging what you eat in a food diary or app. This can help you monitor what food groups you may be over indulging in, and can make it easier to control your portion sizes. It’ll help you stay accountable for what you’ve eaten.
Eat your greens.
“Have a lighter dinner by filling at least half your plate with vegetables before adding anything else,” Wilkinson says. “And no, this doesn’t include roasted potatoes! Green vegetables are excellent, as they are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you’re the one doing the cooking, prepare several vegetable side dishes and look for recipes to make them more interesting. For example sauté Brussels sprouts with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice — delicious.”
Leave the “clear your plate” club.
Don’t get sucked into the pressure of eating every scrap of food on your plate. “Try and pay attention to how your stomach is feeling and eat slowly, rather than eating everything that’s in front of you. It’s important that you eat to feel satisfied, as opposed to stuffing yourself,” Wilkinson explains.
Cut up your food.
If you want to reduce calories by eating less, you may find it helpful to cut your food into smaller pieces, according to research. Studies suggests that by cutting up your meal, for example slicing a bagel or sandwich into four, you may find the meal more satiating and are therefore less likely to snack afterwards.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.