Psychologists Tip Us On 4 Mind-Tricks To Make You a Healthier Eater

For the past 70 years, we’ve flirted with every possible way of eating in the hope of health and long life. After the low-fat diets of the Sixties, the low-carb, Atkins plans of the Noughties and today’s sugar-free recipe books, you’d think we’d have cracked it. Yet a good diet can still feel elusive.
The good news is that it’s nothing to do with counting calories — or even worse, ‘dieting’ — and everything to do with being kind to yourself and trying to relax about food…

Hunger is not a sign to snack


Healthy eating is obviously about putting the right kinds of food in your body, but it’s also about having the right attitude to food.
Food plays too many roles in our lives. We use it to cheer us up when we’re sad or bored and to communicate the kind of person we are.
To be a healthy eater means eating for the right reason: hunger. It’s time to rediscover the feeling of hunger. An easy way to do this is to stop snacking and start having three proper meals a day.
Studying the behavior of overweight and obese people, you’d often hear them say they overeat because they feel hungry between meals.
But they’re not really hungry — they’re getting hungry. It’s natural and not something to panic about if you’re eating a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It just means you’ll really enjoy your next meal.
Eating when you’re hungry is a nice feeling. It’s only when people don’t eat proper meals that they want snacks.

Three-minute cravings rule


Remember that hunger isn’t just a physical process to do with how full or empty the stomach is — feelings of hunger essentially come from the mind. So if you crave something and feel you can’t think straight until you’ve had it, it’s worth exploring what is going on psychologically.
People like to think cravings are biological or due to an ‘addiction’ and tell themselves they ‘need’ a chocolate bar. In fact, it’s not the actual food they crave, it’s the meaning they have wrapped around the food. Chocolate represents a distraction, a break from work or a treat after a hard day.
Craving episodes last only a few minutes, so distract yourself — chat to a colleague or take a walk — then see if you still feel so desperate for it.

Healthy eaters have a good lunch


How and where you eat is important, too: which means at a table, not at your desk, in front of a TV or while walking.
It’s become fashionable to say you’re too busy for a lunch break, but if you sit down and eat something mindfully — paying attention to the fact you’re eating — your brain will register ‘I’ve eaten’ and you won’t be so prone to cravings and hunger pangs later.

Never say diet to your children


We should watch the language we use around children to instill in them a healthy attitude towards eating. I would avoid words such as ‘diet’ and any talk of yours, their or other people’s body weight.
If you’re losing weight, don’t let them see you celebrate getting thinner — instead, let them see you celebrate the fact you’re fitter and can do more with your life.


These tips are not just mere theories. They’ve been tested and they actually work. So incorporate them in your everyday life and be sure to see a difference in your eating habits.

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