The holidays are the hardest time of year to eat healthily. And it’s really hard not to overeat and feel lethargic after your big meal. Luckily, the folks at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab have discovered helpful tricks over the years to help people eat better.
Eat a healthy snack to get in a healthy mindset.
You know the samples they hand out at the grocery store? Go for it, if they are healthy. Researchers found that a free sample of a healthy snack led grocery shoppers to buy 25% more fruits and vegetables than if they’d been given nothing and 28% more than people given a cookie. How does this relate to thanksgiving you may ask? Get in a healthy-eating mindset by avoiding fattening appetizers in favor of fresh fruit or raw veggies.
Use smaller plates.
When people serve food onto a 12-inch plate, they portion out 22% more food than when they use a 10-inch plate, the Food and Brand Lab has found. This is important since other research from the Lab has found people eat 92% of the food that they self-serve, yet still feel satisfied when their plate is smaller.
Drink from tall, skinny glasses.
Along the same lines, studies show people tend to pour 28% more liquid into a short, wide glass than a tall, skinny one. By pouring into a narrow glass, we will consume fewer calories.
Serve yourself the healthiest food first.
Research into the behavior of buffet lines suggests people tend to overload their plates with whatever is at the front. Then they gradually fill the plate with the rest of the items.Studies found this ratio is roughly 2:1 — two-thirds of the plate is occupied by the first thing people portion out. When you pick your seat, sit next to the vegetables. You’ll naturally eat more of them.
Put down your fork between bites.
Mind over matter! It takes about 20 minutes for the “full” feeling in your stomach to reach your brain and tell you to stop eating. Therefore take more time, put down your fork before your stomach fills up. You’ll eat slower, consume less, and still have room for dessert.