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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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More by this author

Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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