Putting an end to an overeating habit is tough. It takes a certain level of self-control to keep portions small and not down the entirety of whatever delicious thing is in front of you, whether it's a chicken dinner or a healthy snack. When everything else has failed, there is one thing that might help. You'll just have to put aside your pride, press rewind on your life, and revisit your toddler days.
A new life hack making the rounds is a weight-loss tip from Brandon Nguyen, author and co-founder of the healthy-living website, ChillPill. In a thread on Quora, he says a simple way to stop eating too much is to simply feed yourself with your non-dominant hand — yes, just like a 3-year-old who's still learning how silverware works.
"One simple way to eat more deliberately and slowly is to force yourself to eat with your non-dominant hand. It might be too much to do this for every meal, but trying it for dinner to start since that's when we tend to eat the most," he says. "The reason for this is that it takes more time to eat, which gives your stomach a chance to signal your brain that you're full."
We know, it sounds a little... interesting. But there's actual research that backs it up as a real way to help put a stop to mindless eating. In a 2011 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, popcorn was given to 98 participants going into a movie; some received it fresh, others received the soggy, week-old version. Not surprisingly, the stale popcorn didn't make a huge difference — people still ate it. That is, until the second part of the experiment — where all participants had to eat with their non-dominant hands — showed the easy change reduced 30 percent of their total intake of popcorn by the time the credits rolled.
But before you resort to slopping food all over your face with a hand that hasn't been formally introduced to cutlery, here are some other anti-overeating methods that might also do the trick:
- eat your food on smaller plates
- set your fork or spoon down after every bite
- eat at a table — not on your couch
- turn the TV off while you're eating and focus on your food
- chew each bite at least 50 times
- wait 20 minutes between getting seconds or grabbing dessert
- immediately stick leftovers in the fridge so you don't keep grabbing for more
- keep the serving dishes in the kitchen — not on the table
- brush your teeth or chew gum right after dinner
Now go enjoy every single bite.