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Why More People are Losing Weight by Tricking Their Bodies

C.A.N. Is an acronym for Convenient, Attractive, Normal. According to several studies out of Cornell University, keeping this acronym in mind can help you eat healthier without really trying. These studies concluded that better healthy foods will be chosen for a quick snack if they are beautifully displayed and within reach.

If you see a pretty bowl filled with beautiful fresh fruit on the counter, you are more likely to choose it than if it is hidden away. This is especially true if chips or cookies are more accessible. Help yourself make better snack choices by thinking ahead. Here are four other research-backed strategies that can help you shed pounds without dieting.

Make an artistic salad.

A study out of the University of Oxford placed subjects in three groups. The first group was given salads arranged to look like a beautiful painting. The second group received salads where the vegetables were lined up in attractive rows. The third group was served a regular piled-up type salad. Each salad had the same ingredients, dressing, and condiments, but the artistic salad received the highest rates by about a 20 percent margin. Subjects said they would be willing to pay double for the salad that resembled a painting. This study shows us that our eyes help decide what goes into our stomachs. If you want to eat more healthy foods, take the time to make the presentation shine. You don't have to be an artist or chef to arrange veggies in an appealing way. It will make your waistline look better too.

Don't grocery shop hungry

Most of us have learned from our own experience that it isn't wise to shop while you are hungry. There was a study from Cornell University that concluded skipping a meal before shopping will result in less healthy food choices. Two groups of volunteers were asked to fast for five hours before shopping in a simulated grocery store.

One group received no food, while the other group was given a few crackers before shopping. The fasting group purchased almost 20 percent more food which included 45 percent unhealthier and fattening snacks like chips and ice cream than the cracker-eating group.

A follow-up study was conducted comparing shoppers at two different times of day, one right after lunch, and the other in the late afternoon. Those who shopped later in the day were hungrier and bought about 25 percent less healthy foods like vegetables. To prevent yourself from buying the higher-calorie foods, keep a small snack like nuts or seeds in your bag to eat before you even go into the store.

Get some morning sunlight.

Your weight can be greatly affected by your exposure to light. Researchers at Northwestern University compared two groups of people based on the time of day that they got exposure to light. Those who enjoyed the bright light in the morning as compared to later in the day had much lower BMIs. The study also showed that the later the hour of light exposure, the higher a person's BMI. The numbers didn't change with calorie intake, sleep patterns, exercise, or age.

The research shows that our body's circadian rhythms, which regulate metabolism and weight regulation, are significantly influenced by light. They concluded that getting 20 to 30 minutes of bright light exposure between 8:00 a.m. and noon will keep those rhythms in sync. Being in a room with bright natural sunlight will be as effective as being outside.

Focus on your meal.

You can definitely control your calories if you take lunch to work. In addition, focus on the food while you eat. Don't become distracted with surfing the Web. Paying attention what and how much you eat can help you consume less food, whether it is lunch or later in the day. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that playing a computer game or checking their email while eating lead to feeling less full, and snacking more during the rest of the day. The subjects also had more trouble remembering what they had eaten. Challenge yourself to enjoy your meal without distractions. Your waistline will show it.

Being “on a diet” can really be challenging to your disposition. Including a few of these tricks in your daily routine will help you lose weight and feel happier.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Yvonne Brettnich

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