Chew gum in the grocery store. Maybe you’ve heard you shouldn't shop for food when you’re hungry. Well, you might want to pop in a piece of sugarless gum before you head down the aisles, too. While chewing gum, people felt less hungry and had fewer junk-food cravings, according to two studies. As a result, the people bought fewer high-calorie snack foods, like chips, and brought home more healthy options, like vegetables.
Serve yourself healthy stuff first. Whether you’re having a meal at home or choosing from a cafeteria line, load your plate with the healthiest items first. Diners at buffets tend to take larger servings of the first few foods they see, a study shows. So, think before you start piling up your plate. Dish up veggies or whole grains before fattier meats and sides.
Buy your lunch with cash. It’s easier to buy junk food and desserts when you pay with plastic. Something about handing over cold hard cash gives people pause. For instance, when high schoolers were told to use cash to pay for less-healthy foods like cookies, they thought twice about it, and often grabbed healthier fare, researchers found.
Turn off TV cooking shows. If you’re trying to lose weight, seeing food on TV could make you want to snack. People on diets eat more candy while watching food-related shows than when watching food-free programming, research shows.
Use smaller bowls and plates. The size of your dishes and utensils gives your brain cues about how much you’re “supposed” to eat -- and a bigger dish means more food. In one study, people at a Chinese buffet who got a large plate served themselves 52% more food, and ate 45% more, than those with smaller plates.