We’ve been engineered to eat what we see. It was a survival mechanism. If something looked like it was edible we ate it (we eventually figured out which things we liked and which we didn’t). Today, that statement couldn’t be more accurate. The mere sight of food triggers that part of our brain that says, “you better eat this now, you don’t know when you’ll have your next meal.” In a society of over abundance and convenience this has become a problem.
Here are a few tips to make overeating a hassle…
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Keep easily “snackable” foods hidden from view. Having containers that are not transparent in extremely helpful in this situation. The foods are easily reachable but when you don’t physically see them you’ll be less inclined to eat them. That little part of your brain that says, “see it, eat it” will have one extra step to go before you’ll be hungry.
- Distance Is Your Friend: Take excess snacks and put them in the garage or in a cupboard high up so they’re not within arms grasp. Physically having food further away makes our brain analyze the risks (aka effort) vs. rewards (aka happy belly). The further away the food is the less likely you’ll put in the extra effort to get them. The chances are you’ll forget about them, at least for a while. Make sure whatever foods you keep hidden don’t spoil. No one likes wasting money on delicious snacks J
- Plate & Table: Whenever you decide to eat a snack always use 1) a plate and 2) sit at the table. Again, this is forcing your brain to weigh the pros and cons of said snack. Is it worth loading another plate in the dishwasher over a small impulse snack? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.
- Veggies & Fruits Are Better: Keep precut veggies readily available in the fridge or have fruit sitting out on the kitchen counter. Hey, if you have to indulge your food craving then it might as well be foods that are low in calories and filled with vitamins and minerals.
Let’s take a look at all of these steps in a realistic situation….
You come home from a long day at work. Your significant other is fixing dinner while your kids are playing or working on their homework. You want to unwind for a few minutes before dinner. All of a sudden you have a quick craving for something sweet. You don’t want to eat too much before dinner but you want a “lil’ something” to hold you over. You decide you want one of those little chocolate bars you bought last weekend. Here’s the problem; it’s in the mini-freezer/fridge outside in the garage. The adventure begins!
- You put shoes back on (hey, it’s cold tonight)
- You walk out to the garage.
- You open the fridge.
- Several cases of water/coke/beer are blocking said candy bar.
- You move beverages out of the way.
- You retrieve candy bar.
- You come back inside and get a plate (remember, you have to use a plate or bowl).
- You place a few broken pieces of the candy bar on the plate.
- You rewrap the rest of the candy bar (your significant other and kids see you and are judging you).
- You eat candy bar.
- You go rinse of the plate and put in the dishwasher.
- You sit down to eat dinner and now have no excuse not to let your kids eat dessert first…you hypocritical POS.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!