Want to consume fewer calories? If you’re right-handed, try eating with your left hand. If you’re a leftie, switch to the right.
It’s more difficult to eat with the non-dominant hand, so the struggle forces you to eat more slowly, which in turn allows you to savor each bite without overeating or mindless eating. And because your body takes 20 minutes to realize that it’s full, pacing lessens the calories you consume.
Researchers and psychology professors at the University of Southern California tested this theory by conducting food experiments. “When we’ve repeatedly eaten a particular food in a particular environment, our brain comes to associate the food with that environment and makes us keep eating as long as those environmental cues are present,” study researcher David Neal, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, said in a statement.
In one experiment, they gave two kinds of popcorn to 98 moviegoers—some got a fresh bucket of popcorn, while the others got stale popcorn. Because the subjects typically enjoyed eating popcorn in a movie theater environment, they all consumed about the same amount of popcorn whether it was fresh or stale. In a separate experiment, those who ate with their non-dominant hand ate less popcorn than those who ate with their dominant hand. Results of the study were published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 2011.
Try this trick, CGs! Whether snacking or eating your main course, try serving yourself with your non-dominant hand and see if you end up eating in moderation. If you’re ambidextrous, you may need to find other ways to cut down on calories.