Unhealthy and healthy cholesterol, too much sugar in our diet while sugar substitutes are also not that healthy... Eating healthily seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here's a few simple techniques which can psychologically help us make the right choices.
The tips below aren't the usual food tips which advise against certain foods. However, they are tips that can help us to master the subconscious urge to eat unhealthily. The advices were, after all, formulated by Brian Wansink, food psychologist at the Cornell University and consultant for the nutritional recommendations for the United States White House.
Ask yourself: 'What would Batman eat?'
Studies show that thinking about fictional characters helps people to make better decisions. What's more, it can even make us more physically strong. The next time you have to make a choice in your dessert, ask yourself what your superhero would do. Want to bet you'll choose fruit?
Eat chewing gum while shopping
Wansink explains why this works: "People who chew (sugar free) chewing gum, appear to be less hungry. It helps prevent you from snacking and when you're in the supermarket, it stops you from buying snacks. Chewing gum varieties with sugar in them, or varieties with a special taste have an adverse effect, however. Regular chewing gum or a variety with mint taste works best."
In a restaurant, you'd best sit at the window
Studies show that the place taken in the restaurant can be decisive for the healthy character of the food you choose. Customers who take place on a high chair will pick chicken three times as fast, while people near a television set will much rather pick meat. People closest to the bar, order three times more beer than customers who take place a long way from the tap. The healthiest place in a restaurant appears to be at the window. The chance of ordering a dessert there is 80% smaller, while people are then 80% more inclined to ask for a salad.
Stop snacking on the job
There are a couple of simple techniques which can stop you from grabbing unhealthy snacks, at work but at home too. One of those techniques is creating distance or obstacles between yourself and the snacks. Google tested this at their office in New York. The free bowls of candy, which were first placed in plain sight, were topped with a lid. This simple obstacle ensured that monthly 3 million pieces of candy were eaten less. Studies also show that the consumption of snacks decreases parallel together with the increase of satisfaction of the employee. Finding a job which makes you happy, can therefore help you stay healthy as well...
When at a party, only eat what your host/hostess has prepared
Parties are the perfect place to eat unhealthy. It seems as if the unhealthy snacks are within your reach no matter where you look. If you follow one simple rule, you can avoid the temptation of grabbing these, however: only eat what your host or hostess has prepared himself or herself. Just take a small portion and ask for more, so you show to your host that you appreciate his/her cookery.