My favourite story from yesterday’s papers was on the front of The Sunday Times and it was talking about “The Plate That Says No”. This magic gizmo, officially called a Mandometer is being trialed on the NHS as a way to tackle obesity.
Consisting of a pair of scales and a screen, you pop your plate on it and munch away – the scales monitor how much food disappears at any one time and judges how fast you’re eating and how much. If it decides you’re gulping your food down too quickly, you’ll get a ‘why don’t you slow down’ message on the screen. If it decides that maybe you’re suffering from ‘eyes bigger than your belly’ syndrome – after all, we’re only really supposed to eat the amount of food you can fit in two cupped hands in one sitting – it suggests maybe you might want to have a little think about whether or not you’re full or not and leave the rest of what’s on your plate.
Now, while the above sounds like a great idea, it only works if you actually push the plate away when you do realize you’re full – ignoring the little voice in your head that pipes up “yes, you’re full, but it’s yummy – and there are only three mouthfuls left, how much damage can they do?” causing you to just stuff them in anyway. Over the years, I have picked up much advice that claims to help you do this, but here’s a four step plan that does work….
1) Only serve yourself half of what you think you want to eat. I got this tip from the Easy Wayto Weight Loss workshop run by the Allen Carr group – yes the stop smoking people. Their theory was willpower is a much over-rated ability when it comes to dieting – if we had it, we probably wouldn’t be carrying any extra pounds in the first place; if you can avoid having to rely on willpower dieting tends to be more successful. Ergo, if you find it hard to leave food, simply don’t serve as much food in the first place.
2) But serve whatever you do cook on the smallest plate possible so it looks like you’re not depriving yourself – depriving normally leads to sulking and sulking leads to chocolate. Also eat slowly chewing each mouthful at least 25 times – this is desperately dull and will make your jaw ache but really shows you how fast you cram things in normally.
3) When the food starts to taste bland, boring and dull, stop eating. This is your body’s early warning signal that you’ve eaten enough. Now, throw away the leftovers. Yes, I know there are starving children in Africa, but they aren’t going to eat what’s on your plate. If wasting food worries you, over a week really try and look at how much you’ve over served and from then on adjust accordingly how much you make in the first place.
4) Now chew gum for 20 minutes while you clear up. You’ve all heard the tip about cleaning your teeth after you finish a meal to tell your brain you’ve stopped eating – it doesn’t tell your hands though does it! Funnily enough I can still eat an after dinner yogurt I don’t really need with a minty mouth. Try and eat dessert or pick at the kids leftovers with gum in your mouth though – impossible. The gum trick also works if you pick when you’re cooking – trust me on that one.
You’ll also find further tips in some of the other posts on this blog – like …
Photos:Main image: istockphoto.com © gary milner Second image: freedigitalphotos.net
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