I spent the best few hours of my life reading a wonderful book called Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink.
1. What if it wasn't convenient?Simply make snacking less convenient and less enjoyable to eat. Here s how it's done. a) Uncover these pesky little eating traps by replaying everything you ate yesterday, step by step. If you do this for three or four days, you'll start to see two or three little eating patterns you can tweak to make them less convenient. b) People who multitask while eatingu2014 surfing the Web, watching reality TV, or comforting a babyu2014 have another challenge. Multitasking means one- armed eating. We gravitate to finger foods we can easily and mindlessly eat with one hand. And they are never, ever healthy foods.
2. What will actually satisfy you so you don't snack throughout the day?How much chocolate would you need to eat to be satisfied? A quarter as much as you think. When teaming with Dutch researcher Ellen van Kleef, the team gave one group of 104 adults regular portions of either chocolate, apple pie, or potato chips, and another group just a couple of bites of the same snacks - as little as a quarter of what they wanted. Fifteen minutes later, both groups were equally satisfied and happy. Almost nobody wanted anything else to eat.
3. Why do TV shows make us overeat?Your TV is making you overeat for three reasons:
4. What if it wasn't convenient?Anything that makes it less convenient for you to snack will cut down on how much you eat. For instance, let's say you told yourself you d snack only if you were sitting down at the kitchen table, with no media to distract you. Since it's pretty boring to snack if nothing else is going on, you'll probably snack a lot less. Another approach might be to tell yourself you can only have an indulgent afternoon snack if you first eat a piece of fruit. Since finding a piece of fruit (and perhaps peeling or cutting it) is a hassle, and since eating it might fill you up, you'll probably also snack a lot less - and certainly less on the indulgent goodies. In either case, you never told yourself you couldn't have the snack you wanted. You just made it more inconvenient and less appealing to do so.
5. What do you see first?You're three times more likely to eat the first food you see in the cupboard than the fifth one. Rearrange your cupboard, pantry, and refrigerator so the first foods you see are the best for you.