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Everyday it seems like there is another miracle pill or amazing exercise machine which will most definitely make you look like Beyonce before the week is out. If I have to see one more infomercial promising to help me lose 10 pounds in 10 days, I will throw my TV out of the window. We all know that there is no miracle pill or exercise-free secret to losing weight, rather, weight loss is portion control, healthy eating and, hate to break it to you, exercise.

Get outside this weekend and play some pick-up basketball

However, there are small tricks you can use, which, while not a miracle cure, can help you change your attitude to eating, without making you go into debt to pay off the ridiculously over-priced ab workout machines. We all know the trick of using a smaller serving plate, which gives you the illusion of eating a lot of food when in reality you’re really not, but did you know there are other just as effective small mind tricks which you can use? Shine published 4 great tips you can use to help you with portion control, to ensure you don’t over eat….

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1. Light a vanilla scented candle.

Supposedly, the vanilla scent reduces dessert cravings. In fact, Shine report that one group of 160 volunteers actually lost an average of 4.5 pounds each by wearing vanilla-scented patches. Smells amazing, and you don’t intake useless calories on dessert. How can you beat that?

2. Paint your dining room blue.

Blue rooms help people to eat less, as the blue tinge makes the food look less appealing. In fact research has shown that people eat 33% less in a blue hued room. While no one is actually crazy enough to go all out and paint their walls blue, you can try to achieve the same mood by hanging blue lamp-shades and paintings, or using blue plates and napkins. Conversely, red, yellow and orange colors have been shown to promote appetite, so steer clear of these in your dining rooms if possible. I guess it’s no coincidence so many fast food chains use red and yellow in their color schemes is it?

3. Put on relaxing music.

Soft, slow background music helps you to slow down and relax normally doesn’t it? So logic holds that the same would apply when eating. It has been found that soft tunes playing in the background while eating actually encourage more leisurely chewing. It combats hurry-up, stress-related eating by naturally relaxing you, which means that you eat less, because instead of wolfing down an entire plate before you know it, your body has time to digest and work out that it’s actually full. Genius really!

4. Turn on the lights.

Nobody looks their best under full florescent lighting, and the same applies when eating. It has been found that low lighting seen in restaurants works to lower eating inhibitions, making people feel more comfortable with what they’re eating, which in turn makes them eat more. Turning up the lights works as a sort of “food shaming” by making people feel more self-conscious, which helps them to eat less.I don’t know about you, but sitting in a restaurant, (or even my kitchen) which resembles a hospital, would definitely stop me from lingering over the dessert plate and make me want to just get the hell out of there!

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