The first rule of weight loss: Do not talk about weight loss. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to hear about your thighs, your portion size, your fear of carbs, or your vegan-on-Friday rules. It’s a buzz kill—plus, having a super-restrictive attitude isn’t sustainable.
After all, you wouldn’t dive into an Olympic-level workout right away—you’d start slow and then slowly build up your fitness. Do the same with your eating habits, and you’ll be less likely to get discouraged. Here are 10 tricks that will make the process painless.
1. When Out With Friends, Order First
If you do, you’re more likely to choose a meal that’s in line with your healthy-eating goals. When groups of people eat together, they tend to select similar items, one study found. We want to fit in with the people we’re dining with. So if your friend orders cheese fries, you’ll tend to do the same—even if you had the best spinach-salad intentions. If ordering first isn’t an option, try steering the conversation away from discussions about food. Instead of saying “What are you having?” bring up work, the weather, whatever, and you’ll feel less pressured to order a fattening meal.
2. Set the Mood
Compared with bright, loud environments, candlelight and jazz lead people to eat about 18 percent less, or about 120 fewer calories per meal. Why is that? The relaxed atmosphere slows down your chewing, and you end up taking an average of eight minutes longer to eat. That may be just long enough for your brain to realize that your stomach is full.