Impulse Eating a weight loss enemy
One of the main challenges faced by people trying to lose weight, or wanting to improve their eating habits is impulsive eating. And even though, the best cure for this problem is education, here are some pretty interesting tips to help you out. Before going into that, let me explain what I mean by education. Most of us are pretty illiterate when it comes to which foods are good for us and which are not; what is a normal serving size, how often should we eat, etc. So when wanting to attain permanent results, my first recommendation would be to read about this subject, and educate yourself about the relationship between nutrition and disease, and nutrition and physical appearance. Dieting without an understanding of what is good and what is not good for you makes little to no sense in my opinion, and this is the reason why so many people go from diet to diet, and end up regaining the weight they lost, and even putting on some more.
While you are in the process of learning about healthy eating, and since it is not something that you will attain from one day to the other, here are some handy tips to help you.
First, when eating, try to avoid low light. A study done at The University of California tracked the eating patterns of 400 people, and found that they were more likely to overeat when there was less light. The explanation for this is, low lighting helps loosen your inhibitions, and entice you to eat more than you would in full light. Also, the ambiance they create, encourage you to stay at the table for longer periods of time, and order more food, or desserts.
Secondly, pay attention to the music. Fast music can also play against you when trying to control your portions. Fast-food restaurant, for instance, play music with 120 to 130 beats per minute, this speeds up the pace at which you eat, making you eat more before you fill satisfied or full.
Another friend of impulse eating is TV. The more time you spend in front of the television, the more likely you are to overeat. Since your attention is on what you are watching, and not on what you are eating, it is easier to lose track of how much you ate. It is also more likely that you make less thoughtful decisions about your food when your attention is on the TV.
And I saved for my last tip something pretty interesting I found online. Check it out, and make impulse eating a thing of the past.
Use your left hand!
The secret to avoiding the drive-thru? Hold the wheel with your left hand.
In a new Australian study, people who practiced exercises with their non-dominant hand—your left hand if you’re a righty, or vice versa—for just 2 weeks were less likely to act on an impulse than those who used their stronger hand.
Training your self-control in one area can help you accomplish goals in many other areas too, says study author Thomas F. Denson, Ph.D., professor at the University of New South Wales. Holding yourself to a promise to hit the gym a few times a week, for instance, may help you control the urge to splurge on food.
Here’s how it works: You brain has a network of circuits that helps you practice all forms of self-control. Practicing it in one domain—i.e., using your non-dominant hand— can lead to better discipline in another domain, such as controlling your anger. When you practice self-control, your body is forced to monitor your behavior and override the impulse to act on habit, says Denson.
Practice impulse control by using your computer mouse or holding your coffee mug with your other hand for a few moments each day.
This last tip will not only help with curving your cravings, and controlling your impulse eating. It also has great effects in terms of your mental health. It has been shown that practicing routine activities differently improves your mental health, and decreases your risk of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. For example, brush your teeth with your other hand, take a different route to work, dial on your phone with a different finger, Take a shower with your eyes closed, finding everything you need with just your touch.
Remember you are the boss, don’t let routine or impulse take that right from you.