Eat less by using your weak hand

This year I’ve tried to get my diet in hand in order to be as lean as possible for climbing the cols of Europe. Little did I know that all I needed to do was start eating with my left hand. At least that’s according to new research.

The researchers suggest that much of our eating is habitual. For instance the act of eating popcorn at the cinema is habitual. They found that people eat lots of popcorn at the movies, even if the popcorn is stale and they’re not hungry. In other words it’s a habit they’ve formed to do so.

They then asked those same lab rats to eat the popcorn with their weaker hand. Those eating with their weak hand ate significantly less than their peers, using hunger to drive their eating rather than habit.

“Habit change may … require impeding habit activation [by contexts] or interrupting fluid habit execution,” the researchers said. “Although our findings suggest that both avenues are effective, it is not always possible for dieters to avoid or alter the environments in which they typically overeat. More feasible, perhaps, is for dieters to actively disrupt the execution of the activated eating sequence by simple manipulations such as eating with the non-dominant hand and, in so doing, bring their eating under their personal control.”

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