1. Try The Raisin Trick
If you’re craving a midday snack even though you’ve just had lunch, all you need is a single raisin, shares psychologist Jasmine Siang of Heart to Heart Psychotherapy.
Put it in your mouth, and chew, and chew, and chew. Continue to chew without swallowing it, until the raisin starts to dissolve in your saliva. After several minutes, the enzymes in your saliva will break down the raisin until it eventually dissolves completely. By this time, you should have lost your craving for another snack. If not, simply pop another raisin in your mouth.
“The reason you want to snack even though you are full is because your mind is ignoring the signals from your body,” says Jasmine. But your mind can be tricked into thinking you are full by your body if you send the right signals.
When you use this raisin trick, the repeated chewing motion tells your brain that you are eating. After a few minutes of ‘eating’, your mind will start to believe that you are full and stop making you crave for food.
READ MORE: 11 Healthy Weight Loss-Friendly Snacks To Keep At Your Desk
2. Put Away Electronics
Do you eat dinner in front of the television, or watch videos on your mobile phone while munching on your economy rice at lunch break? Jasmine says that this bad habit causes many of us to overeat.
We habitually multi-task at mealtimes and tend to feel uncomfortable if we are not engaged in something else while eating. This is why many of us hate eating on our own. Talking to someone across the table distracts you from paying attention to what you are eating.
When we have no one to make conversation with, we are forced to find something else to do such as checking your Facebook newsfeed or texting. These other activities reduce the amount of satisfaction you derive from eating, so you are more likely to feel like munching on something again soon
Of course, you don’t have to eat in isolation. Make good, meaningful conversation with your lunch buddies rather than small talk. When you feel that your meal time has been well-spent, you will also feel satiated by the food.
When you are eating alone, ban all electronic devices at the table to remove distraction from your food. Resist the temptation to reach for your phone and enjoy your own company.
3. Put Utensils Down After Every Bite
Another bad habit we engage in is scarfing down our food. “When you eat in a rush, your body and your mind are not working at the same speed,” says Jasmine. This is what she calls mindless eating. Because your mind does not wait to receive feedback from your body to decide whether or not to eat, you end up snacking even when you are not really hungry, or overeating when you are full.
One simple way to solve this problem is to put your fork and spoon down after each mouthful. “This trick forces you to slow down,” Jasmine explains. “Only pick up your utensils after you have chewed your food properly and swallowed, so you have enough time to actually taste and feel the food in your mouth.”
“Most people let their hands control their diet,” she says. “Don’t let your hand rush your mind, or you’ll end up eating more than you want to.” When you make the deliberate decision to take your next mouthful, you regain control of your eating.
READ MORE: Your 6-Step Guide To Eating Healthy And Slimming Down In 2019
4. Drink Water Right After Brushing Your Teeth
Drinking 500 ml of water first thing in the morning kick-starts your metabolism by 30 per cent, German studies show. Being hydrated helps curb your appetite too, so you’ll eat less at mealtimes for the rest of the day. Aim for two litres a day, and always drink a glass before meals – it’ll help you feel fuller quicker.
5. Always Sit Up Straight When Eating
You may not realise it, but you’ll find it effortless gobbling down a full packet of chips while lying on the couch. Sitting up straight when you eat has the opposite effect. When your body is upright, your food will reach the lower part of your stomach faster, sending signals to the brain that you have eaten enough and it’s time to put the snacks away.
READ MORE: The Most Effective Ways To Relieve Back Pain, According To Experts
7. Dilute Your Drinks
Cut down on calories from alcohol by filling your glass with ice first. A long, icy drink is more refreshing and will last longer, plus you’ll ditch 534 kJ if you use diet cola or soda. This also works for white wine, you’ll save 227 kJ (about one pizza slice).
READ MORE: The Best Slimming Drinks You Should Take In The Morning
8. Eat An 80s-Style Breakfast
Scientists are again raving about the power of grapefruit to help shift stubborn kilos. Some say the aroma stops you overeating, others put it down to fibre. And experts at the University of California Berkeley believe grapefruit juice could stop the body absorbing fat. Try half a grapefruit with black coffee and a boiled egg for a low-fat 80s-style breakfast. Research shows dieters who eat eggs for breakfast lose 65 per cent more weight.
READ MORE: Why You Should Eat More Grapefruit If You Want To Lose Weight
9. Eat Your Biggest Meal First Thing
It’s an oldie but a goodie: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper. Making dinner your smallest meal and breakfast your largest of the day gives your body the chance to burn off the most kilojoules while you’re active, rather than having food sitting in your stomach and taking longer to digest while you’re asleep.
READ MORE: Why You Should NEVER Skip Breakfast If You Want To Lose Weight