RH News : Enjoy Dining Out Without Overeating

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October 13, 2008

Enjoy Dining Out Without Overeating

Ever go into a restaurant for a quick bite and end up ordering an appetizer, main course and dessert? Don’t blame (only) yourself, blame your environment. “Food ambience” may be responsible for you over indulgence. Don’t fall prey to your surroundings. Health.com offers these tips:

Turn down the light, but not too low
Though dinner by candlelight can be romantic, it can also cause diners to lose track of what they’ve consumed and continue eating, even if they’re full. But bright lights aren’t better. Intense light stirs up the nervous system, causing you to eat too quickly, making you more likely to overeat before the body can signal to the brain that it’s full.

Tip: In dimly lit environments, ask to have your meal wrapped to go as soon as you feel full. If you dine in a brightly lit restaurant, constantly remind yourself to take your time and eat slowly.

Shrink your dinnerware
Scrutinize the size of your crockery. It’s been proved that bigger plates trick you into believing your portions are smaller than they actually are. The same holds true for short, stout drinking glasses.

Tip: The key is to drink from tall, slim glasses, and avoid jumbo-sized plates and bowls.

Out of sight, out of tummy
Wonder why it’s hard to keep snacks on your desk or coffee table? Studies show that convenience is to blame. The easier food is to reach, the more likely we are to eat it.

Tip: Behavioral psychologists recommend that at gatherings it’s best to place food in a separate room from where guests are dining so they will be less likely to absentmindedly nibble when they aren’t hungry.

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