How to Get in Shape Using Psychology: New Tricks From Research

Posted on November 21, 2014

Why is there an obesity epidemic? It’s not because we eat the wrong things or we lack exercise.

Research shows that, plain and simple, most of us just eat too much.

But what's interesting is there's a way to fix this that doesn't involve exercise or being deprived of your favorite foods.

No, this is not some silly pitch for low carb, low fat, Crossfit or the magical supplement of the week. Actually, it's about psychology.

Here are some psychological factors that contributes to overeating:

Except at extremes, what made people "full" was their eyes, not their stomachs. If the bowl didn't look empty, they kept eating.

Brian Wansink is a Cornell researcher who studies how people eat rigged bowls to be "bottomless." A hidden tube made sure that no matter how much soup a subject ate, the bowl would not empty.

Then he fed people. What happened? People with normal bowls ate 15 ounces. Some with the rigged bowls more than a quart.

You can increase or decrease the number of calories someone eats by 20% without them realizing.

If we eat way too little, we know it. If we eat way too much, we know it. But there is a calorie range -a mindless margin - where we feel fine and are unaware of small differences. That is, the difference between 1,900 calories and 2,000 calories is one we cannot detect, nor can we detect the difference between 2,000 and 2,100 calories. But over the course of a year, this mindless margin would either cause us to lose ten pounds or to gain ten pounds.

You don't have to throw all that tasty junk food in the trash. But you do have to make sure it’s not sitting out, calling to you all day.

Out of sight is out of mind. If the candy dish sits on your desk, you consistently have to make a heroic decision whether you will resist the chocolate that has been giving you the eye all day. The easy solution is to lose the dish, move the dish, or replace the candy with something you personally don't like.

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Source material from Time

Mental Health News