Sometimes no matter how hard we hit the gym, no matter how many diets we try, we still
can’t shift those stubborn few pounds. Is it down to eating the wrong foods,
doing the wrong exercise regime? It’s hard to tell, but did you know that you
might be able to reduce your calorie intake without going on a diet or hitting
the gym extra hard? Well you can, by changing a few of your normal eating
habits you could lose a few pounds without even trying just by using these 5
psychological tips.

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND – There’s no need to completely rid your house of
treats but take a look around your house and your desk at work. Do you have
junk food on display anywhere? If so put it away in a cupboard you don’t use
very often, physically take it out of your sight. Even though you will know
where it is you are less likely to crave it because you can’t see it. Even at
the dinner table you should try to keep serving dishes out of your sight line.
In one study carried out by psychologist Brian Syracuse, he found that men who
ate a meal where serving dishes were off the table actually ate 29%
less. It will discourage you to go back for seconds because keeping the food in
the kitchen requires that little bit more effort.

PLAN AHEAD – Try to plan what you are going to eat each meal to stop you from
cooking too much or packing more than you need in your lunch box. If there is
extra food left over you are far more likely to want to eat it and finish everything
off. If you are out, perhaps at a buffet for example, then take a look at all
the dishes on offer before picking up your plate. This gives you the
opportunity to cherry pick your favourites rather than taking a bit of

EAT SLOWLY – We tend to wolf our food down in a hurry when we’re really
hungry but that is in fact causing us to eat more than we actually need. It
takes about 20 minutes for the satiety hormone leptin to tell your brain and
body that you are full so eating slowly by putting breaks in the meal and
chewing for longer will stop you from eating more than you need. Eating with
another person and conversing will put natural breaks in your meal and slow you
down without even realising so try to have your lunch with someone else if you
can. If not then try to take pauses to drink water in between bites.

DON’T MISTAKE THIRST FOR HUNGER – Keeping hydrated is good for you but it
won’t prevent hunger. Keeping hydrated will eliminate false feelings of hunger
so try drinking a glass of water when you feel hungry. If after a few minutes
you feel satisfied then you know it was false hunger. If you are still hungry a
few minutes after drinking the water then your body really is hungry.

GO TO BED ON TIME – Not getting enough sleep stimulates appetite hormones,
meaning you are more likely to choose higher calorie foods the next day. As
well as this, at night when you’re tired the hormone that controls hunger,
ghrelin rises whereas the hormone than controls satiety, leptin, decreases.
This means that even if you eat, you might still feel unsatisfied when you’re
tired. Improve your chances of a good night’s sleep by going to bed at a
regular time and try to stop using mobiles and computers before bed.