When you're bored with your food, you eat less. Of course, boredom is hardly a credible strategy. So here are some tips to have fun, get in shape, and let boredom work for you.
The Boring Mac'n'Cheese Study
Researchers gave women - some obese, some healthy-weight - a macaroni and cheese lunch. The women ate while doing a 30-minute computer task, but that was just to take their minds off of their food.
Those who did this on five consecutive days steadily ate less mac-and-cheese; by the fifth day, they ate 100 fewer calories. Another group of women did it once a week for five weeks, and by their fifth session, they were eating about 30 calories more.
The conclusion: we get bored with food, and that may be a useful weight-loss strategy. The one drawback: nutritionists recommend a varied diet. To find a smart balance, try these tips to bore yourself into losing weight while staying healthy and engaged.
Explore the Produce Section.
As one nutrition professor told WebMD, "People don't get fat from eating a variety of fruits and vegetables." Keep your diet interesting by exploring options beyond grapes and carrots (though they're smart choices too, especially if you haven't had them in a while!).
When was the last time you had a nutritious kiwifruit? Or roasted Brussels sprouts with a drizzle of naturally sweet balsamic vinegar? Give a juicy starfruit or snappy dandelion greens a whirl.
Other smart food groups can bring variety too, even some with fats! One long-term study found that adults who ate nuts regularly were the least likely to be overweight. That's because nuts have heart-smart fats plus protein, a combination that keeps you feeling full longer.
Make Junk Food Boring.
Based on this study, narrowing your high-fat, high-calorie options just might , I stress the word might, be an effective weight-loss strategy.
Pick your one favorite junk food - or if you must, one salty and one sweet - and commit to eating better except for that. It'll help you to not feel deprived as you learn to enjoy food options that give you more energy, younger-looking skin, and a brighter outlook.
That's right - food does influence all of those things. You are what you eat. A snickers may make you smile while it's on your tongue, but soon after, it'll leave you feeling sluggish. And 2012 researchers at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands found that people with high blood-sugar levels were judged to look older than those with lower levels.
Find Adventure in Moving More.
With regular exercise, every day can be an adventure. It's a heart-smart, calorie-burning way to keep a smile on your face without resorting to empty calories.
If you think exercise can't be exciting, ask any junkie of CrossFit, the increasingly popular strength and conditioning program famous for its ever-changing "Workout of the Day," or check out Cross Fit VisOne in Cherry Valley right by the mall for your self. Of course, you don't need to push yourself that hard to benefit; but it's a good lesson in how regular exercise needn't be the same old treadmill routine everyday.
Even if you just walk, you can find different routes, different music or podcasts on your MP3 player, and different walking buddies to keep it interesting. Plus, physical activity itself delivers a 'high' - your body releases mood-boosting endorphins that lift your mood! In other words, it lets you be less dependent on food to make you happy.