Want to know how skinny girls stay so slim? Discover their secret eating habits here...
Fast-food restaurants use red shades, which are thought to have stimulating effects on your body, say colour experts, so the theory goes that you may find you make impulsive food choices when faced with these colours in your kitchen. Stick to muted tones instead, and try using blue or black plates - apparently diners eat less and are more satisfied when they eat off dark-coloured plates. This may be because blue is an unnatural colour for food - we may even unconsciously associate it with mould - and so it may affect your perception of how food tastes on the plate.
Fitness guru Joanna Hall, author of The Weight-Loss Bible (Kyle Cathie, £19.99), swears by them, and says that having a healthy dinner waiting for you will steer you away from fast food or fatty snacks on the journey home. 'Toss chicken breasts, a bag of frozen carrots, chopped onions and a jar of low-salt sauce into a slow cooker before you leave for work - your meal will be ready when you get home.'
Browse more healthy eating ideas
● Don't watch TV as you eat: A study in the British Journal Of Nutrition found that eating when distracted makes you gobble more. Instead, listen to relaxing music, which is more likely to slow down the pace at which you eat, giving you more time for your food to hit your stomach, and making you eat less.
● Hang a mirror opposite the table: In studies, people who were able to watch themselves while eating reduced their intake by almost a third.
● Turn up the heat, but replace bright lights with mood lighting: You tend to guzzle more if you eat in cool, dimly lit surroundings, according to a study conducted at the University Of California, US.
Stop dieting, get thinner
If you can see it, you'll want to eat it, say experts behind diet research in online journal Environment & Behaviour. Foods on display will get munched more often than those out of sight. So keep those tantalising sweet treats tucked away at the top of cupboards, and avoid buying family packs. Obviously, it's fine to keep healthy foods - a bowl of fruit, for example - on display. Streamlining your store cupboard and reducing the variety of foods on offer helps you eat less, too.
6 steps to curing your sweet tooth
Keeping a couple of healthy ready meals in your freezer (just watch the salt content - anything over 1.5g salt, or 0.6g sodium per 100g, is high), and/or cooking and freezing portions of healthy meals is a great way of keeping calories under control, according to the journal Obesity Research. Also, a constant supply of frozen veg means you have filling, nutritious greens on tap.
How to choose healthy ready meals
Herbs, spices and other seasonings add flavour, often with very few calories - and some, such as chilli, can even help boost your metabolism by as much as 50%. 'Powerful smells and tastes help enhance sensory-specific satiety, and tell your brain "I'm full",' says Dr Alan Hirsch at the Smell & Taste Treatment And Research Foundation in Chicago, US. In studies, people who sprinkled calorie-free special seasonings on their food lost about 15% of their bodyweight in six months as the seasonings made them feel full faster. Choose mustard, balsamic vinegar, wasabi and horseradish, which add flavour without a calorie blast.
Everyday foods that burn fat
Switching to low-fat, low-calorie cooking techniques is easier if you have the right equipment, according to dietitian Jane Kirby of the American Dietetic Association and author of Dieting For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, £14.99). She recommends the following tools...
● Non-stick pans: To reduce oil use.
● Refillable pump oil bottles: Spritzing uses less oil than pouring it on. You can load it with salad dressing, too, for calorieconserving blasts.
● A gravy strainer: This is a measuring cup with a spout at the bottom. Use it to skim the fat off sauces, casseroles and soups.
Can't stand dirty plates, chicken bones and packaging? Hey, just leave them all on display throughout your meal - and curb your appetite while you're at it. Research at Cornell University in New York, US, showed that when you can see exactly how much you've been eating, you tend to eat almost a third less.
'Eggs are a fast, nourishing meal or snack,' says nutrition expert Janine Whiteson, co-author of Get A Real Food Life (Rodale, £14.98). She recommends keeping a few hard-boiled ones in the fridge for a quick and easy protein-rich nibble. Also, research from Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University, US, found that volunteers who ate an egg breakfast every day while cutting back on calories elsewhere lost an average of 6lb in eight weeks, compared with 3.5lb for their non-egg eating counterparts, and they also trimmed their waists 83% more.
7 reasons to eat more eggs
Research from Newcastle University shows that women tend to eat more fatty and sugary foods when they move in with their partner, resulting in an average weight gain of 4lb in the first year of living together. If such gains continue, women can be more than a stone heavier within four years. When men are cooking, they tend to use more fatty ingredients, prepare more meat-based dishes and use less healthy cooking methods, such as frying rather than grilling. So, volunteer to do the shopping and cooking yourself, or together, and don't be swayed by his preference for high-fat meals and takeaways.
Read the menu: healthy curry house food
Read the menu: healthy Thai food
Posted: 19/01/2012 at 14:56
Posted: 19/01/2012 at 16:04
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