Three Strange Ways To Prevent Overeating

It’s easy to overeat. In fact, overeating is pretty much built into our culture.

We can blame it on “super-sized” servings, lack of traditional meal times, foods that are engineered to make it impossible to stop eating… the list goes on and on.

So how do you fight back? What are some secrets to self-control?

Browsing through the research, I have discovered some very surprising ways you can eat less – and lose a lot without trying.

Weight loss trick #1: Eat in Front of a Mirror

Eating in front of a mirror somehow makes you conscious on the way you eat making you eat less.

The next time you find yourself alone with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, take a look at yourself in the mirror.

Iowa State University researchers put 320 hungry college students in a room with some bagels and three different types of cream cheeses: regular, low-fat, and no-fat.

Half the participants faced the mirror, and half were blissfully ignorant.

While both groups tasted the no and low-fat versions freely, those looking in the mirror were less apt to slather on the regular cream cheese.

In fact, they ate 32 percent less of the full-fat cream cheese.1

(This tip gives new meaning to the words watching your weight, doesn’t it?)

Weight loss trick #2: Eat In The Company of Men

It is always easier to overeat than to eat right.

This one is really interesting and surprising.

If you want to cut calories, make sure that one of the people at your dining table is a man.

Researchers sat at an eatery on a college campus over a 10-day period. They observed how much food people consumed based on whom they dined with.2

What they found is kind of crazy!

If you are male, you will tend to eat MORE when you are with a woman (unconsciously to appear more masculine) than when you eat with other men.

And if you are female, you will tend to eat LESS around a man (to appear more feminine) than with other women.

So whether you are male OR female, eat with men and eat less!

Weight Loss Trick #3: Don’t Dine With Your Computer

The bottom line is, give time to eat your food. Doing it without any distractions will make you feel fuller than doing it with distractions.

Eating in front of the computer – or doing anything, really, while dining – is fattening. So says a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.3

Researchers fed 44 people lunch – half in front of a computer game of solitaire, the other half were not distracted.

Those who ate while playing the game felt less full after eating than participants who ate without any distractions. The solitaire players also ate almost twice as many snacks after lunch as those who had not played the game. And the solitaire players had a tougher time remembering what they ate.

Moral of the story: Concentrate on your food. Don’t watch the morning news while munching on your breakfast. Chew slowly. Tune in to the taste, texture, smell and feel of your food. Make sure to truly take it all in.

I hope you have enjoyed these strange ways to eat less. Have you found that you eat less depending on who – or what – you eat with? Tell me about it!

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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References:

1. Sentyrz SM, Bushman BJ. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the thinnest one of all? Effects of self-awareness on consumption of full-fat, reduced-fat, and no-fat products. J Appl Psychol. 1998;83(6):944-949. PMID: 9885199.

2. Allen-O’Donnell M., Cottingham MD, Nowak TC, Snyder KA. Impact of group settings and gender on meals purchased by college students. J Appl Soc Psychol. 2011;41:2268-2283.

3. Oldham-Cooper RE, Hardman CA, Nicoll CE, Rogers PJ, Brunstrom JM. Playing a computer game during lunch affects fullness, memory for lunch, and later snack intake. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):308-313. PMID: 21147857.

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20 comments

  1. Hi Dr. Sisskind,

    I am a 39 year old male, 6’4.5″ and 240 lbs. I have a busy day of teaching and run around in the afternoon to different schools to supply teach. I got myself into the habit of drinking these iced cappucinos. It satisfied me before I’d go to my supply teaching job in the afternoon and gave me a slight boost. I have become addicted. I was drinking up to two drinks a day. Sometimes it was a medium and a large! I tried to ween myself off but it’s been tough because I still get the cravings. I was wondering what you think I may be missing in my diet to get these constant cravings? I have also been often going out and eating on the run. I am sure this doesn’t help. I try to avoid fast food places but it still doesn’t help. I would love your suggestions to get me back on track again. I really enjoy reading your daily emails.

    Best, Shawn

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Shawn,

      Thank you for sharing your concerns with us! I am terribly sorry for the late reply but I wanted to devote time and attention to your concerns. Not many know this but we often gets the worst of cravings at our work place. Stress plays a big factor on our eating habits and sadly, most people like to “eat” their feelings, so to speak. The types of foods we usually turn to in times of stress – carbohydrates like cookies, cakes, chips – help the brain release the feel-good chemical serotonin (which temporarily makes you feel really good).But that doesn’t mean your body physically needs the food. Nor will it fulfill you. These emotionally-driven cravings are rarely satisfied, no matter how much you eat. To help with that, I do suggest you carry a small baggie of healthy snacks with you. They could be a handful of nuts, almonds or fruit which you can slowly munch on while driving to your next school for the day. Over time, you will notice the cravings will cease or can be easily satisfied with other healthier options. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  2. Dr. Sisskind, have you ever heard about Overeaters Anonymous? This program is based on the AA 12 steps, and replaces alcohol with food. I have read many of your suggestions to people that have an addiction to food. I suggest referring them to this program sometimes. It will help them recover from the addiction physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have struggled with weight my whole life. I lost 100 lbs. in OA. I have had relapses, and the meetings, and sponsor brings you back from despair. I hope and pray this has helped some of your followers. The best lesson I learned attending OA meetings was it is not my fault that I was obese. I have a desease, it’s called compulsive overeating. Thanks for listening.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Mona,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing! Congratulations on the 100 pound weight loss! I am not familiar with the program but thankful that you posted it here. I hope it helps our friends and loved ones who have a hard time with their journey to better health. I look forward to hearing more of your progress, Mona! Make it a healthy day!

    • I HAVE gone to OA yrs. Ago.And lost 65 lbs.The program dos work if you work it.The group sharing helps deal with the things that are behind the true reason one overeats,to ignore what is really eating at you,emotionally.

  3. I’m 52 Breast Cancer Survivor, 5’4 197lbs going thru menopause! I’ve tried everything to lose this weight and nothing seems to be working! Don’t eat nothing white like bread, pasta etc no sugar! I exercise 3 times a week! And nothing is happening! So depressing!!! Oh and can’t sleep at night due yo the night sweats

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thought! I completely understand your concerns and shall be praying for your strength as well as good health. Trying to lose weight during menopause may seem like a struggle but it is still quite possible. You just need to make adjustments in your diet ( think cool foods!) to help with the hot flashes, night sweats and over all discomfort. Avoid spicy food as they will not only prolong your hot flash agony but also lead to gastric distress. As for sleep, getting 8 hours of sleep each night, helps in coping with the changes your body is experiencing and in losing weight during this time. Try making the majority of your diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits. Also limit your daily intake of saturated fats, opting instead for foods with high Omega 3 fats such as salmon, avocados, nuts and olive oil. The important thing is to not discouraged, for most of us losing weight is never easy but should not hinder us from continuing our healthy journey. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  4. I’m a 17 year old girl who weighs 160 lbs and I’m about 5’2. With all the critiquing of body weight and how you look, is my weight normal? I tend to overeat and binge eat most of the time. I’ve tried everything from dieting to starving to working out, NOTHING HELPS! I get hungry so much. What can I do?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Amanda,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns! At 17 years of age, I cannot say for certain if you are overweight. However, what I can say is that you are still under going many changes physically and are still growing. You need not deprive your body of much needed calories but do recommend that you get a well balanced meal. Try your best to stay away from junk food, preserved or highly processed ones and of course, sodas or soft drinks. Maintain your exercise habits and try to get into activities which you enjoy doing. The hardest part will be controlling your hunger and you must learn to discern from true hunger (brought about by your activities) or if it is just cravings. You still have a lot of growing to do, Amanda and I strongly suggest a well balanced healthy diet for young adults. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

    • Hi, Amanda… I too am trying to slim down but at your age that wasn’t my problem. I’ m mid-60’s now…
      I really enjoy actual Eating… so I try to satisfy my between meal hunger/desire to taste and crunch… with handy baggies of: crunchy veggies– radishes/celery sticks/mini-cucumbers are my favorites. If I’m on my way to/from Yoga, I’ll add a lowfat Mozzarella cheese stick. If I don’t have time for a healthy balanced lunch, I’ll add a little snack bag of almonds, and maybe an apple/grapes for dessert. ALL WHOLE FOODS. Everything but almonds very low calorie. Trader Joes sells premeasured snack bags of almonds or other nuts…. I am losing weight, gradually!

  5. I am desperate, I started taking your fish oil capsules. I weigh 190 and wear size 16 . I have never been this size and feel miserable. I want to try these weight loss capsules but hesitating due to just plain thinking ” oh just another one of those weight loss pills” but yet, still thinking about it.
    I don’t like myself at this time and am embarrassed when I shop for clothes

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Disne,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! RealDose Super Critical Omega 3 TG is a great addition to any diet, especially if you are battling chronic inflammation. For weight loss, it is important that you pair your supplement with a healthy diet. Omega 3 fish oil supplements can support your weight loss progress by helping your body fight inflammation but you still need to adapt healthy changes to get the ball rolling. To start, try going meatless one day a week. You’ll be amazed at the changes you feel after this simple change. Also, try limiting your intake of starchy vegetables and go for leafy greens as much as possible. Sleep, is essential for good health as it helps with body repair and lowering of cortisol levels. I hope these give you a good start! Make it a healthy day!

  6. I am 69 and I weight app. 159 . I would like to drop about 30 Lbs,
    I have notice I eat less as I am getting older. At my age it is hard to lose the weight, I have had issues with my knees and could not walk very long, Now I am on the road with two new knees , I hope to get more walking time in,

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! I am happy to hear that you now have two new knees and do encourage you to get to walking as much as you can. You may also want to get in a few arm rotations while doing your daily walk. Exercising is important at this time to help you maintain and improve your range of motions. However, be sure not to overwork yourself and only exercise to a degree you are comfortable of doing. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  7. Thank you so much for your great suggestions. I believe, it will work. I am going to allow your suggestions from now, and I am sure that I can overcome.

  8. Marchelene Burke

    My tummy is so high. I need help

  9. Marchelene Burke

    I need to loose my weight , I tried most of what they say you can do to loose weight but no success at all. I hate the weight. So please help me

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Marchelene,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! I completely understand your frustration and do know that losing weight is more than calories in and calories out. Processed foods won’t cut it anymore, make sure you are getting quality whole foods like vegetables, beans, high-fiber fruits and lean proteins. Protein has the highest thermic effect of food, meaning eating protein burns more calories during digestion. Protein also contains an amino acid, leucine, that numerous research studies have identified as a potent catalyst for burning body fat. That said, I do encourage you to get started with making small healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle. Small changes are easier to adapt and I do believe without making a lifetime commitment to proper nutrition and exercise; most people will gain their weight back as soon as they stop taking a supplement. I hope these tips help! Make it a healthy day!

  10. Hi as I was reading I began to say to myself, he must be talking about me, I have always eaten very slow and never drink anything until my tiny meal was finished, and even then I would drink juice or water, I am 61 years and I still work out 3 times a week, and my clothing size is 9/10, and I so appreciate what you are sharing with us Dr. Sisskind thank you again.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Carolyn,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your experience with us! I am glad that you have my posts and blogs helpful. I will be sharing more updates soon and I do hope you find them just as helpful, in your journey to better health. Also, if you have questions or concerns, let us hear them! Make it a healthy day!

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