Most of us have been told what to eat, but rarely does anyone talk about how to eat. After conducting several studies, Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab and author of Mindless Eating (Bantam 2006), has concluded that eating with a smaller plate, cup and utensils can help you lose weight without even thinking about it. Try these other tips too, and keep a journal of your observations. Though you don’t have to eat with baby utensils or chopsticks for the rest of your life, these experiments just may teach a lesson that will last a lifetime.
- Toddler time. Use kids’ utensils or purchase inexpensive toddler sets and eat your meals with them.
- Chopsticks. Don’t reserve these for stir-fry or noodles—use them for any meal! Unless you are super-proficient with them, they will slow your eating significantly.
- Eyes wide shut? Try it! Researchers from a Swedish study showed that people who wore a blindfold while eating ate 22% less on average.
- The ol’ switcheroo. Just for kicks, eat with your nondominant hand. Again, lack of proficiency will help put the brakes on the speed of the fork’s trip between plate and mouth.
- Bite-size pieces. Cut “hand-held” foods like sandwiches, bagels, wraps, protein bars, burgers, etc., into bite-size pieces.
- One piece at a time. Portion out snack food items such as pretzels, popcorn, nuts, etc., and then eat only one piece of food at a time.