Tuesday, 14 June 2011

How Your Mind Can Help You Slim

The mind is an incredibly powerful tool which can work against us when we try losing weight. How many of us have started a diet only to find our willpower weakening at the first hunger pang?

However, it doesn't have to be like this. By Our mind is an incredibly powerful toolBut, there are ways of tricking your mind into suppressing your appetite, thus reducing the desire to eat more.

Here are a few ideas which may help.

1. Keep a food diary

Writing down everything you eat and drink during the day has been shown to reduce appetite and make you less likely to want to snack. A study by British scientists showed that writing down details of your meals helps you actively remember what you’ve eaten. The study involved 47 women who were told they were taking part in a biscuit tasting test.

All the women were given lunch, after which one group were asked to detail what they ate while the others were asked to described their journey that day. After the biscuit tasting test, the women were told they could finish off the remainder of the biscuits.

The researchers found that those who had written down the details of their lunch, ate fewer biscuits than those who described their journey. And their reduced appetite was still in evidence three hours later when compared to the other women.

2. Concentrate on your food while you’re eating

A study has shown that those who watch television, chat, read or are otherwise occupied while eating, are more likely consume more food and snack more throughout the day. By doing other things at the same time as eating, they are less likely to form 'food memories'. By taking your time and concentrating on the food you're eating, your mind subconsciously remembers that you've eaten, and this can help reduce appetite.

3. Photograph your food

This is a bit like the food diary option, but photographing your food serves to strengthen the proof of what you’ve eaten. A study has shown that you are more likely to think about what you're about to eat when you have to take a photo of it.

Even when writing a food diary, it’s easy to slip up and absent mindedly forget the odd nibble or snack here and there. But photographs don’t lie, unless you’re a dab hand with the airbrush tool! Taking photos of everything you eat can prove to be a strong deterrent to mindless snacking and you may be surprised at how much you are actually eating in a day.

Too often these days, we rush through eating our food, grabbing snacks whenever we get the chance. But such snacks are frequently high in calories, low in nutrients and quickly digested, leaving us hungry again.

By becoming more aware of your food, it is possible to change the way your brain registers how much food you’ve eaten. You can do this by eating slowly and focusing on your meals, keeping a food diary or photographing everything you eat. Using these tips can all help to naturally reduce your appetite making it easier to stick to your diet.



© Diets and Calories 2011

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