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The Most Creative And Funniest Way To Avoid Overeating (Proven By Researchers)

The Most Creative And Funniest Way To Avoid Overeating (Proven By Researchers)

Overeating – When It’s Just Too Easy To Eat Too Much

We all know that habitual overeating is bad for us – it causes digestive discomfort, leads to weight gain, and just makes us feel generally unhealthy. Unfortunately, retraining ourselves to eat smaller portions, to stop eating as soon as we are satisfied and just to follow a better diet on a day-to-day basis can be very challenging.

Most of us know that making minor behavioral changes can work to some extent. For instance, eating food from smaller plates, eating at the table with the TV off, waiting half an hour before going for additional servings and brushing your teeth as soon as you have finished eating can all help in cutting down on our food consumption. But when willpower or the above methods fail, it’s time to take a look at more unconventional approaches. Read on to discover a strange but scientifically proven way to help yourself eat less.

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Why A Simple Switch Could Make All The Difference

It may surprise you, but there is a simple technique that could make all the difference in slowing down your food consumption. All you have to do is try feeding yourself with your non-dominant hand.

How does this work? Firstly, it forces you to eat more slowly and this in turn gives your stomach more time to signal to your brain that you have reached satiety. Far too many of us eat quickly, and fail to give our brains sufficient time to realize that we are full.

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However, there is a secondary mechanism at work. Research has shown that our habits exert strong influence on our behaviors, and even subtle changes in cues can have significant knock-on effects when it comes to our actions. When we intentionally disrupt one of our habitual behaviors, it can trigger us to pay more attention to our other actions. In the case of overeating, it appears that the way in which we eat food can cause us to focus more intently on the degree to which it satisfies us. This can result in us ultimately eating less.

For example, a paper published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin demonstrated the power that changing our eating habits – that is, eating with the non-dominant hand – can have. On two separate occasions, participants were given popcorn to eat whilst watching a film. When they were allowed to eat with their dominant hands, the amount of popcorn consumed was unaltered – it was the same on both occasions, even when the popcorn was stale! However, when participants were limited to eating with their non-dominant hand only, they ate up to 30 per cent less food.

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Perhaps the most exciting aspect of these findings is that the participant did not have to intentionally attempt to deprive themselves or limit their consumption – it just happened naturally. This is great news for those trying to stick to a diet but discovering that their willpower is dwindling. Any technique for reducing overeating that works without requiring huge reserves of willpower has got to be a huge benefit to any dieter!

So the next time you find yourself having an especially hungry day, or that extra piece of pizza just seems too tempting, why not try something a bit different? It might seem weird at first but we have evidence that it really does work – why not give it a go? If you feel awkward doing this in front of other people, just try it when eating alone to begin with. Who knows, as you see the effects for yourself, you may want to share your discovery with family and friends! Just be prepared for some slightly messier meals.

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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