Our environmental cues can cause us to eat far more than we need. Do you have sweets and chocolates openly displayed in glass containers or candy bowls in your living room, dining room and kitchen? Do you use trendy large plates, short wide glasses and massive serving bowls at main meals when the family sits down to eat? Do you encourage family members to go for second or third serves at mealtimes? Do you urge each other to eat more with words like, “Common let’s eat first and diet later, you live only once.” If you answer yes to any of these questions, you could be consuming way more than you realise. Read on to find out how you could engineer your environment so that you eat less.
According to Dr. Brian Wansink, a large plate or a large serving bowl can cause you to eat 20 – 40% more. Most of this food is eaten unconsciously causing us to put on up to 6 – 7kg extra without our realisation. When eating occurs in a trans-like state where you are mindless and out of control, the satisfaction you derive from your meal is not likely to be high. If you can control mindless eating, you will naturally eat less and have more satisfaction. What is even more amazing is that you will not even miss this food if you don’t eat it!
One way to do this is to engineer your environment in such a way that you eat less. First of all, clear the fridge, pantry and all other areas of your house of junk foods and if you definitely must have them, make sure they are in opaque containers, on shelves that are out of reach. Out of sight, out of mind.
This Christmas, you may like to experiment with smaller plates and serving dishes for a change and discourage serving food at the table instead get everyone to fill up their plates in the kitchen. Sounds outrageous, but you will be pleasantly surprised how a lot less food gets mindlessly eaten simply by tweaking an eating ritual and slightly changing the environment!