Reducing your exposure to food

  • Are there some kinds of foods that are favourites – that you can’t say no to no matter how full you are?
  • Do you go for the buffet sections while eating out?
  • Do you always celebrate with food?

If your answer to any of these questions is a yes, you may be someone who responds to external cues about food. In other words, you are susceptible to the sight, smell, or suggestion of food.

Reducing exposure to food starts right from shopping to storing food. In this article, however, we will list down ways in which you can remove your exposure to food while and after eating.

  1. Many of us eat with the serving bowls kept within easy reach, say on the dining table. We suggest you remove these serving bowls with food still in them after the first servings have been made. Keeping them somewhere else, say in the kitchen, gives you precious seconds to think before helping yourself to seconds (or more). This doesn’t completely stop you from taking more food, but it puts the brakes on automatic eating.
  2. Whenever possible, leave the dining table after you have completed your meal. This reduces your exposure to an environment where eating is still going on, even after you have finished.
  3. If leaving the table seems too anti-social, slow down your eating rate as much as you can. This should be done anyway and has wonderful effects such as feeling fuller with smaller portions as well as being able to truly enjoy what is going into your mouth.
  4. Serve yourself one portion at a time. If you are used to serving yourself with two ladles of potato curry, serve yourself only one. If you are used to having an entire bowl of chicken, serve yourself only half. This habit interrupts automatic eating and forces your mind to separate actual hunger from your eating habits.
  5. Wait for five minutes before going back for extra helpings. This will really help to slow down your eating and help you decide whether that second helping is really needed, or not.
  6. Avoid being in charge of the food in the home. Many of us eat more because we are serving food to our children or families. Have someone else take over this role.

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