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How to manage your weight Using Psychology?

How to manage your weight Using Psychology?

Why is there an obesity epidemic? It’s not because we lack exercise or we eat the wrong things. Research shows that most of us just eat too much. Calories expended have not changed significantly since 1980, while calories consumed have risen markedly. But what’s interesting is there’s a way to fix this that doesn’t involve exercise or being deprived of your favorite foods. It’s about psychology.

1.What are the psychological factors or reasons that push us to eat more other than hunger?

We eat for lots of reasons but usually not because of hunger. Everyone eats because of what’s around us. We overeat not because of hunger but because of an endless list of factors that are invisible
-Family and friends: We eat because friends are around
-Packages and labels
-Size of the plates
-Lights, colors and candles
-Shapes and presentation
-Taste and smells
-Distractions: watching TV or working on computer you will eat more
-Distances if it’s in reach
-Cupboards and containers
-Price and promotions because something’s free

2.What are some tricks that can make us manage our weight without thinking or making a big effort?

You can increase or decrease the number of calories someone eats by 20% without them realizing: the mindless margin. Over a year it can cause you to lose or gain around 5 kilos. If we eat way too much, we know it. If we eat way too little, we know it. But there is a calorie range which is a mindless margin where we are unaware of small differences. For example, the difference between 1,900 calories and 2,000 calories, or the difference between 2,000 and 2,100 calories are ones we cannot detect. But over the course of a year, this mindless margin would either cause us to lose or gain around 5 kilos. The good news is that we can drop around 5 kilos without even noticing by manipulating our environment.

Here are 6 tricks that can help you manage your weight in a much easier way.

1.We eat what we see,Change what is Visible: There is no need to throw all that tasty junk food in the trash. But you need to make sure it’s not in front of you, calling to you all day, Out of sight is out of mind. If the candy dish sits on your desk, you always have to make a brave decision whether you will resist the chocolate that has been calling you all day. The best solution is to get rid of the dish, move it, or replace the candy with something you personally don’t like.

2.Change what’s Reachable:Make eating more food a difficult task.
-Use smaller dishes
-Make sure getting seconds requires you to cross the room.
-Make a plate, leave the rest in the kitchen and force yourself to walk back for more.

3.plan Ahead:Think before you eat because our environment pushes us to eat more. If you are not thinking before you’re acting, you should better arrange properly your surroundings.
-Size up the buffet before you load your plate
-Don’t shop hungry: Shopping while hungry is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t make us buy more; it just makes us buy junk.

4.Slow Down:It takes 20 minutes for you to realize that you are full. so make sure meals last at least that long, eat slowly to give time for the “fullness” signal to kick in.

5.Variety doesn’t help Weight Loss:This is the reason why we overeat at buffets, Give people 3 options and they eat 23% more than if they only had 1 choice. Never have more than 2 items on your plate at any time, make yourself get bored with them.

6.Be Mindful of Those You Eat With:How much those around you eat is strongly affected by how much you eat, but you hardly ever realize it.
-Dining with friends? You’ll probably eat twice as much
-Eating with overweight friends? You’ll eat more
-Is your waitress overweight? You’ll eat more
-Are you a woman eating with a man? You’ll eat less.
-Who do you need to be most careful around? Skinny overeaters because It makes your brain think you can eat like they do without any downside.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon


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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian