How To Get In Shape Using Psychology: 6 New Tricks From Research
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
In the course of his research, Brian Wansink realized something pretty interesting: we eat for lots of reasons — but usually not because of hunger.
Everyone — every single one of us — eats how much we eat largely because of what’s around us. We overeat not because of hunger but because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers. This list is almost as endless as it’s invisible.
We are slaves to context. We eat because friends are around, because something’s free, because it’s in reach, because things are tasty, etc.
We respond to “food cues” over feelings. What we see is usually more important than what we actually eat. And Wansink wanted to prove this.
1) Change What’s Visible
You don’t have to throw all that tasty junk food in the trash. But you do have to make sure it’s not sitting out, calling to you all day.
Out of sight is out of mind. If the candy dish sits on your desk, you consistently have to make a heroic decision whether you will resist the chocolate that has been giving you the eye all day. The easy solution is to lose the dish, move the dish, or replace the candy with something you personally don’t like.
Wansink studied how slim people behave at buffets vs what heavy people do. What was one of the differences?
Slim people were more likely to sit facing away from the buffet, while chubbier people were 3x more likely to sit looking at it.
Here are great tips from Brian Wansink:
- Change what’s visible. Hide the soda and put out the fruit.
- Change what’s reachable. Make a plate, leave the rest in the kitchen and force yourself to walk back for more.
- Plan ahead. Size up the buffet before you load your plate. Don’t shop hungry.
- Eat slower. It takes 20 minutes for the “full” signal to kick in so make sure meals last at least that long.
- Reduce your food options. Only two things on your plate at a time. Make yourself get bored with them.
- Be mindful of those you eat with. Trying to drop weight? Might want to eat alone a bit more often.
So you’re ready to start implementing all this tomorrow? Going to totally overhaul how you eat? Bad idea.
Wansink realized people who were successful at this made changes slowly but were consistent.