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Enjoy More While Eating Less This Holiday Season

‘Tis the season for feasting, and with tempting treats around every corner, many of us indulge and ignore our healthier eating patterns. Then inevitably, the season passes and January comes around, reminding us of our intentions to eat mindfully. It’s a vicious cycle, but what’s a merry-maker to do? The answers may lie in a recent Washington Post article that presented these tips on how to enjoy your food more, while eating less:

  • Fantasize about indulgences. Some research suggests that anticipating eating something can actually help you eat less. One study found that people were satisfied with eating smaller portions of indulgent foods when they imagined other similarly indulgent foods’ smell, taste, and texture beforehand—and they enjoyed the food at least as much as other people who didn’t visualize eating in advance. Another study also supported this idea, finding that people who evaluated pictures of food before eating felt more satiated and subsequently ate less. You can put this into action by imagining all the forthcoming delicacies before heading to a holiday party, or by looking at photos in a cookbook.
  • Eat nice and slow. Eating and chewing slowly—taking time to appreciate the foods’ appearance, presentation, and smell—could also help you eat less. One study found that women who ate more slowly consumed an average of 66.7 calories less at a meal than women who ate faster. Another study found that slow eating may trigger a greater release of gut hormones that produce feelings of fullness. Eating slowly also gives you time to check in with yourself to see if you’re full before you grab another cream puff.
  • Enjoy a tidbit and then take a break. Eating a particular food probably isn’t going to become more enjoyable as you eat more of it. In fact, research actually shows the reverse: eating larger amounts of one food is less satisfying than eating smaller amounts. So, to get the most bang for your bite, eat a small portion first and then wait a bit before having more to see if you’ve satisfied your craving.

Source: Washington Post

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