Eating Habits Rewired

At the beginning of a new year many people resolve to lose weight and improve their diet. If it doesn't work, however, they're often disappointed by their lack of willpower, which can lead to frustration and unhappiness, especially if it becomes a permanent struggle. But it's not about willpower (or lack of it) - it's a hardwired survival instinct that prompts sugar cravings and the desire to eat more calories than needed. A mindful approach can help rewire the appetite.

50 to 70% more food is consumed as the variety of what is available increases. Every time a new taste, texture or flavour is introduced, the appetite is stimulated. many people will have eaten a big lunching said: ' I'm too full for anything else ' then go on to eat a full portion of ice cream.

A varied diet is essential, but the ingredients in each meal should be kept to a handful. A fruit salad of strawberries, raspberries, apples, grapes, pears. melon and pineapple for instance, will encourage you to eat more than one comprising of strawberries, raspberries and apples. In fact, go beyond three flavours and the appetite is being over stimulated. Food companies know this, which is why a burger is no longer just the burger and a bun - it's also lettuce, mayo, ketchup and a pickle. Each of these subsequent flavours is sneakily increasing the appetite. Even with a salad, don't add too many ingredients. The fewer foodstuffs you consume, the less you're likely to overeat. You will still be full and satisfied.

The mind holds the key

To succeed at having a healthy body, a healthy weight and a healthy relationship with food remember these things:

1. Food that can be seen will be eaten. Remove tempting chocolate bars from the fridge. Put crips out of sight.

2. Limit the variety at each meal. This naturally curbs overeating.

3. Don't buy chocolate biscuits, even for others because you will always be the one who eats them.

(I admit this is my biggest downfall!) Out of sight out of mind is the best way.

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