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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 January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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