Mind Tricks To Change Your Eating Habits

There are so many messages out there that subconsciously encourage us to eat more, or eat foods we know better than to be shoving down our pie holes.  Think about that commercial where friends are having a really good time eating delivery pizza- they all look fit and healthy and super happy.  Or the one where girlfriends are getting together for a fun night on the town, and they are eating desserts, big, decadent, special occasion desserts… How about the sad one with the woman “rewarding” herself after a hectic day with a luscious block of chocolate or an ice cream tub all to herself…  Have you seen the one promoting family time by going to a restaurant that brings out dish after dish (unlimited servings!) of gooey, cheesy pasta dishes, over fried chicken, over fried seafood, over french fries, and don’t forget the bottomless bread basket doused in butter.  But the family is having fun!  Sharing quality time!  Its laughable when you look at it from this perspective, but underneath it all, we are all getting the message that to have fun with friends and have meaningful time with family or even ourselves, we must indulge in high calorie, gut busting massive quantities of low quality foods.  Well, just identifying these misguided messages is not enough to render them powerless.  We must adopt our own Super Power Mind Tricks to combat and win this battle over what constitutes a fun and meaningful meal.  Whether your goal is weight loss, healthy eating, or overall wellness, these tricks will help:


  1. Envision yourself constantly dehydrated.  Skin wrinkling, mouth dry, hair falling out, all the bad stuff that happens when you are dehydrated.  This vision will encourage you to drink a ton of water.  Throughout the day for sure, but to start off your day and certainly before and during every meal.  Water should be the drink you reach for above all others- why waste calories and high doses of sugar on a drink meant to quench your thirst?  Many times when we think we are hungry, the truth is we are just thirsty.  Drink up!

  2. Make food disappear.  Serve yourself ½ of the portion of anything presented to you at a restaurant, and only serve yourself once from a family style platter at home.  Seeing a smaller portion on your plate and knowing that is your full serving, will help you pace your meal.  Huge portions can fool us into eating much more than our hunger dictates.  How many times have you been eating in a restaurant and twenty minutes later, there is still a ton of food on your plate?  Do you stop?  No!  You just keep eating, because its there in front of you.  BTW, you don’t have to throw away the half you don’t eat!  Put it in a take-away box for lunch the next day.

  3. Indulge in a perfect breakfast.  Find the largest load of protein in the most manageable form that fits your morning routine.  Is it oatmeal?  Is is a protein shake?  A veggie omelet?  If you eat well in the morning, you are setting yourself up for eating success the rest of the day.  Trick your mind into thinking from the very first meal:  “This is going to be a healthy eating day”.  Why would you ruin it later after such a good start?

  4. Invite Royalty to dinner.  Chew thoroughly and take smaller bites.  Slow down.  Consider how you look while you are eating.  This is especially true of when we eat alone, but also among close friends.  We tend to eat (more) properly when around other people, but let go a bit and make those major food blunders when we have our guard down.  Think about it- how disgusting is the way you are shoving food in your mouth?  Are you even thinking about what you are eating?  Did you chew that last bite?  How many times did you chew?  Are you taking huge bites that make your cheeks puff out when all the mashed up food is in there?  Think about what you are really doing in detail when you are eating.  Give good food the consideration it deserves- that you deserve.  Pretend the Queen of England is your dining companion, every time you eat.

  5. Pretend you are a food detective.  Labels lie.  Almost all truly “good for you” food does not even have a label.  Beware “fat free”, “low calorie”, “all natural”, etc type of claims.  These products are usually loaded with tons of non-food chemicals to simulate the taste and mouth-feel of whatever has been removed from the “food”.   Find out what goes into making “artificial flavors” for that cool ranch or nacho taste experience.  Make it your mission to discover what is really in your packaged food and you may give up processed junk all together.

  6. Gross yourself out.  Go find out exactly what goes into those foods you find so enticing.  Ever walk into the kitchen at a chain restaurant?  Ask what is in the creamy cheese sauce and how long its been sitting there.  Ask what’s in the creamy salad dressing and how many calories are in each tablespoon- also ask how often they need to skim the coagulated stuff off the top.  Take a look in the fryer and find out how often the grease gets changed… what’s that muck along the rim of those vats of sauce?   Best of all- go to the bathroom in a fast food joint.  You see how disgusting it is?  Yeah, well, the people back there preparing your food are using that bathroom.  Flushing that toilet, touching that light switch, door knob, etc, then touching your food.  Yum!

There you have it.  Six things to think about that will help you make better choices when it comes to food.  It goes without saying, that mastering a few good recipes you can make at home with quality ingredients will always be better than navigating a restaurant meal, or packaged lunch/dinner, but we are social beings and going out is part of what we do.  Recognizing that you are the one in total control of what you eat should help.  If you don’t feel you have enough control, try these mind tricks!  For more nutrition tips, set up a free consultation with one of our Certified Personal Trainers:  [email protected].