9 Ways to Start Eating Right Without Difficulty
The environment directly affects our behavior. But if you change it a little, you can find that adhering to proper nutrition or diet is simple and easy. For example, if you change a large plate to a smaller plate, you will start eating less. Find out the remaining recommendations in this article.
Small changes in the environment will help you to easily stick to healthy habits. At the same time, it doesn’t matter which area of life is being discussed. Below you will find tips to help you start eating right. But the principle that underlies all these strategies can be applied in order to acquire other good habits or abandon bad ones.
1. Eat from small plates
The larger the plate, the larger the serving. Therefore, you will eat more too. As a result of research by Brian Wansink and a group of psychologists, it was found that if you use a plate with a diameter of 25 cm rather than 30 cm, then eat 22% less food in a year.
Reading this, you probably thought: «I can just lay smaller on a large plate». But it's not that simple. And the illustration below clearly shows why. When you eat a small portion from a large plate, it will seem to you that you ate little, and therefore you will think that you have not eaten too much. But just replace the plate, and after eating you will feel full. The circles in the image below — are the same, but your brain (and stomach) does not perceive them as such.
2. Keep water handy
When you are busy with something, often without thinking, you drink a glass of soda or coffee to quench your thirst. But try always carrying a bottle of plain water with you. For example, put it on the table at work. When water is always at hand, you will drink it more often than not very healthy drinks.
3. Use tall narrow glasses instead of short and wide
If you want to drink less alcohol or soda, then use tall, narrow glasses. Look at the picture. Which line do you think is longer — vertical or horizontal?
In fact, both lines are the same length. But our brains tend to overestimate vertical lines. In other words, it will seem to us that a tall glass of drink has more than a wide glass. Consequently, you will drink less from a tall narrow glass. Studies confirm: people drink 20% less from a tall glass than from a wide glass.
4. Use plates which color contrasts strongly with food
When the color of the plate matches the color of the food, you will overlay more on the machine, because it is more difficult for your brain to distinguish the portion from the plate. For this reason, it is preferable to use plates of blue and green: they contrast strongly with pasta or potatoes (which means you put them less), but practically do not contrast with greens and vegetables (most likely you will put more).
5. Keep healthy foods in a visible place.
For example, place a cup of fruit or nuts on a shelf next to the front door or where you must pass before leaving the house. When you are hungry and in a hurry, you usually grab the first thing that comes to hand. Let it be a healthy snack.
6. Store junk food in foilAnd healthy foods are best stored in transparent packaging. In the old adage «Out of sight, out of mind» there is some truth. Often the brain determines what it wants to eat based on what the eyes see. Thus, if harmful products are stored closed and in places you rarely look into, there is less chance that you will want to eat them.
7. Store healthy food in large containers and packaging, and harmful — in small
Large boxes and containers are constantly caught my eye and take up space in the kitchen. The essence of the advice is simple: you notice the container and, most likely, eat what lies in it. Small jars and boxes can be hidden in the kitchen for several months. Just lookwhat has been idle in your kitchen for a long time: most likely, it's something in small packages.
And additional advice. If you buy a large box of some junk food, pack its contents in small containers and bags with zip lock. So it will be easier for you to control the portion size and not eat too much at once.
8. Remember the rule «half plate»
When you lay down your lunch, make sure that vegetables or fruits lie on one half of the plate. The second half should occupy everything else.
9. To buy only wholesome food in the store, use the rule «outer ring»
The essence of the strategy is simple: when you come to the supermarket, you do not need to wander aimlessly through the aisles. Walk around the store on the outside perimeter. There, as a rule, healthy food is placed: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy products. So you will buy healthy foods, which means you will eat right.
How to change the environment to establish other areas of life
When you try to use these strategies, you will see that their principle of work comes down to a simple rule: we add extra steps between ourselves and undesirable behavior, and between ourselves and a good habit we get rid of intermediate steps.For example:
- When we store junk food in the foil, we add one more step: to see the dish, you have to unfold the foil, see what is there and decide if it is or not. When we store useful products in transparent packaging, we see what's inside, and immediately go to the last step: decide whether or not to eat.
- Using small plates adds one step between you and the habit of eating a lot. If you want to eat more, you will have to go to the kitchen again and fill the plate.
This approach can be applied in other areas of life. If you want to get rid of some habit, increase the number of intermediate steps between you and unwanted behavior.
And vice versa, if you want to acquire a useful habit, reduce the number of steps between it and you. For example, if you want to run in the mornings, prepare shoes and clothes from the evening. So there will be one less step between you and your workout.