13 sneaky things that make women gain weight... and exactly how to avoid them.

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Jan 10, 2007
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What to look out for… in your kitchen

1 In-your-face foods

Simple Pavlovian truth: “If your eyes see food, your brain wants it,” says Wansink. In one study he found that women ate 25 percent less candy when it was tucked away in a drawer than when it was on their desks. Store high-calorie leftovers in opaque containers or, at the very least, put them behind fruit and veggies in the fridge.

2 “Multi” packs or bulk foods

The more you buy, the more you’ll eat. One study found that people eat 22 percent more in the same amount of time when food is purchased in larger packages. A better choice? Single-serving packages (see the yogurt containers above), which help keep you from overdoing it.

3 Quick-fix foods

Nuking dinner is easier than chop-season- and-sauté, but it could leave you hungry. Alan Hirsch, M.D., director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, has found that smelling food during cooking can actually make you more satisfied—and lead you to eat less once your meal hits the table. Still don’t want to cook? At least put your frozen dinner in the oven instead of the microwave.

4 Butter with your bread

If the bread basket comes with butter, you’ll likely eat more—29 percent more, to be exact—than if it’s served with olive oil, research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found. Ask for olive oil instead.

What to look out for… at a restaurant

5 The dessert tray

Remember Wansink’s study: If you see food, you want to eat it. Try to face away, and ask yourself the crucial question: Am I actually still hungry?

6 A big menu

Menus with two or more panels take longer to read, says Gregg Rapp, a California-based “menu engineer” and restaurant consultant. The longer you eye the choices, the more you’re likely to order—and eat, he says. Pick an entreé and put the menu down.

7 Large, chic plates

Even experts can’t gauge healthy portions on the gargantuan dishes commonly used today: When 85 dietitians in one study were given 17-ounce or 34-ounce bowls, those with bigger dishes served themselves 31 percent more ice cream. At home, use smaller plates, and when you eat out, picture your food on them.

8 A neat, tidy table

One study found that people ate 27 percent more when empty plates were cleared quickly. But when you can see how much you’ve actually already eaten, you’re less likely to keep on going, says Wansink.

9 Mammoth silverware

Using bigger utensils that are trendy now can make you chow more too. “People who eat with smaller spoons tend to feel more satisfied after one serving than those who use bigger silverware,” says Illinois food researcher James Painter, Ph.D.

What to look out for… at the grocery store

10 Less-healthy foods right at eye level

Believe it or not, companies pay for prime placement in your supermarket, says Marion Nestle, Ph.D., a nutrition professor at New York University and author of What to Eat. And the products in these line-of-sight spots tend to be high-profit, cheaper-to-produce items like sugary cereals and processed carbohydrates that aren’t always weight-friendly, she says. Nestle’s recommendation: Look up. The healthiest foods are often stocked on the store’s top shelves.

11 End-of-aisle displays

Like eye-level shelf spots, these “end cap” placements are paid for and often stocked with less-healthy items, Nestle says. They’re highly visible, so you’re more likely to buy these foods on impulse—whether you like what you see on the nutrition label or not.

12 Inner aisles

Think about the supermarket as one big square: What’s almost always on the side aisles? The healthiest, most nutrient-rich fresh foods like fruits, veggies, dairy and meats. It’s the center aisles that tend to be loaded with binge-worthy processed snacks and sweets, says Nestle.

13 Muzak

Call it the Stepford Wives effect: The easy-listening tunes many stores pipe in slow you down, says Nestle. And the longer you shop, the more likely you are to fill your cart with junk, she warns. Avoid the trance by taking your healthy shopping list with you. Then stick to it.

Ahh, the butter is my downfall
Just had some this morning with toast, but it was only a thin end slice...

I was just thinking another factor is storing candy and such in clear containers. In the book called Mindless Eating they talked about how secretaries ate a lot more chocolate on their desk just by switching the container to a clear container from an opaque container. By the same method, you might be able to eat more healthy things by putting them in very visible places, or in clear containers.

The cooking thing is soo true. When I cook I always eat less of what I prepare. The smelling and cutting and seasoning make me feel like i am eating.

great advice, thanks for posting!

the cooking thing doesn't work for me though.. LOL I always end up eating so much more when i cook from scratch.. constantly tasting.. and when it starts to smell real good, i can't wait for all the food to be done and i have to "taste" it again..

thats actually a really great post, you always post the most usefull stuff aprill

LOl at matthoth silverware ,how tru!!

Maybe UIll go buy a baby fork and see how that works no seriously I need to loose a few

Originally Posted by MindySue /img/forum/go_quote.gif thats actually a really great post, you always post the most usefull stuff aprill w000t!!! glad I can help

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