For people trying to lose weight, one week of dieting will feel like an entire year, and quite frankly, diets are not always the solution anyways. Sure, embarking on a diet may be a fairly quick fix, but in terms of sustainability, eventually you are going to cave in and give in to your temptations. Not only that, but why should you have to live your life constantly hungry, and constantly craving foods you enjoy, but which are deemed as being “off limits”? Of course getting your weight under control, and getting down to a healthy and balanced weight is important for your health and well-being, but getting there doesn’t have to be miserable. Instead, something as simple as eating smaller portions of regular foods could work just as well, and would be considered a great deal more sustainable in the process. Sure, the results may not be as quick as they would be if you were on a crash diet, but you will be a lot healthier and happier, without feeling as if you are missing out. Here’s a few simple methods of eating less without even noticing.

Use smaller plates

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Some people are sceptical as to whether this method even works, but trust us, it does. Numerous studies have confirmed that when people eat the same portion sizes as they’re used to eating, but on smaller plates, they are far less likely to go back for more, and they fill up quicker. This is because it obviously looks as if you’re eating more food when you eat from a smaller plate, so your brain is fooled into thinking you have plenty of food. This in turn increases satiety levels and reduces cravings for more food, or for unhealthy desserts for after. If you’re sceptical, try it for yourself and you’ll see just what a difference eating from a smaller plate can actually make.

Give yourself less

Another very obvious, yet painfully frequently overlooked method of eating less is to simply serve yourself less. When you prepare food, try making a little less than you would normally. Obviously you shouldn’t go mad at first, but just try cutting back slightly and see how you get on. For example, if you’re using chicken breasts, either purchase smaller fillets, or just use slightly less than you would before. Rather than a whole breast, try 80% instead. Obviously you will need to save the pieces that you remove, otherwise they will go to waste. Basically, whenever you prepare food, or plate food up for yourself, give yourself slightly less than you would normally. This means that you’re eating less, so you will be consuming less calories, which will make reaching a caloric deficit that little bit easier.

Drink a glass of water before eating

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Before you eat a meal, drink a glass of water and let it sit for five minutes or so. When you drink water you are obviously filling up your stomach, so there will be less room for the food, meaning you will fill up much quicker. You can also sip on water whilst you eat, and although at first you may not notice any changes, after a while you will begin to see just what a difference a little water can make. Water is also very good for you anyways, so the more you are drinking each day, the better.

Wait five minutes before getting seconds

If you’ve tried the methods above and are still finding yourself feeling hungry after eating, before you rush into the kitchen to grab seconds, try waiting five minutes instead. When you sit and wait, you allow the food to properly reach your stomach, expand, and begin to slowly break down and digest. This process will increase your satiety levels so after a few minutes, you will begin to feel much fuller and will no longer want seconds. If you rush into the kitchen the second you finish eating however, you will have eaten more before your body has had time to digest it, meaning you will have consumed a few hundred more calories than you actually required. When it comes to weight loss, patience really is a virtue.

Chew for longer

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When you’re hungry, you will shovel food into your mouth like there’s no tomorrow, and subsequently you won’t chew it properly. When you are really enjoying your food, again, the same thing can happen. The quicker you eat your food however, the more will enter your stomach before you begin to realize you are full. To help fill yourself up, try eating your food for longer, making sure to chew the food for a longer duration of time than you would normally. Try to really savour the taste and enjoy what you’re eating, and again, you will find yourself filling up quicker and eating less.

Never eat out of bags and packets

Whether you’re treating yourself to some potato chips, or trying to stay fairly lean and opting for air-popped popcorn, you should never eat your food directly from the bag. This is because you have no idea how much you’ve eaten, and before long you will find yourself having devoured an entire sharing bag to yourself, without even realizing. Instead, pour some of the contents of the bag into a bowl, as that way you can keep an eye on exactly how much you’ve eaten.

Keep snacks out of sight

Snacks, whether healthy or otherwise, will still contain calories and when you’re trying to lose weight, it doesn’t matter what you eat, if you eat more calories than your body can burn off, you will gain weight, or if you’re lucky, you’ll maintain your weight. If you have snacks within arm’s reach, you are likely to eat them at some point, which will take you closer and closer to a caloric surplus. Keep snacks out of sight, or better still, out of the house altogether.

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