• Hanni Berger CEO JOYVIAL

How To Trick Yourself Into Eating Less



Are you worried about gaining weight over the holidays? Many of us enter the holidays with good intentions. But somehow, by the time New Year’s Eve has come and gone, we find ourselves with even more pounds added to our waist line.


The JOYVIAL executive health coaches came up with these 5 tips and tricks to help you eat less but still enJOY what this festive season has to offer.



Tip 1: Consume mindfully


Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know your stomach is full? This delay often leads you to eating more than you truly need. However, this can only happen when we eat mindlessly, meaning we are shoving food down while focusing on conversations or the people around us. Before you know it, the plate is empty and you didn’t even taste most of it.


How our executive health coaches succeed:


  • Eat mindfully: Mindful eating means taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savoring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell and taste. Breathe.


  • Get away from your work desk: Admit it, eating while working doesn’t give you a chance to even taste your meal because you are more focused on the email in front of you. Find a quiet spot in the cafeteria or the park and savor every bit. It’ll slow you down and you may end up eating less.


  • Check in with yourself before eating or drinking more. “Am I even still hungry? Do I even want another cocktail or do I just need something in my hands?” If you feel satisfied but need to keep your hands occupied find a napkin to play with. Fold it, crease it, and refold it :)


  • Remind yourself why you want to stop. Have a holiday “party strategy” (see Tip 2) and remind yourself why not overindulging today will be important to you tomorrow. This vision should excite you so much that going back for seconds is no longer the priority.


Additional resources: What Science Says About Giving Into Temptations?



Tip 2: Have a ‘party strategy’


Have you ever woken up the morning after a party and told yourself you would never drink this much again? With a sense of celebration in the air as the year (and lots of hard work) comes to an end, it’s easy to just want to let loose and not worry. That’s okay as long as you made this your conscious strategy and are okay with the aftermath. But there is a way to celebrate and yet feel good about yourself on January 1st – have a party strategy!


How our executive health coaches succeed:


  • Determine your why: Why is it important to you to wake up on January 1st without having gained weight and feeling sluggish and foggy from the holidays? What’s your vision of your best self during the holidays? Take the quiz to determine your holiday strategy.


  • Check the menu before you go: Most often when you sit down at a restaurant, you are already hungry. Couple that with the need to socialize, you will likely find yourself ordering your favorite, but also least healthy option off the menu. Check out the menu online before you go when you are not hungry and, in peace, select what you find to truly be the best choice for you, keeping your holiday strategy in mind.



  • Start with fiber: Leafy greens, fruits and vegetables are a great way to start any meal because they are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water. Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.


Additional resources: Take the Year End Quiz: What Needs Your Attention Most?



Tip 3: Make plates & utensils work in your favor


So simple, but yet often overlooked is portion size and the fact that we tend to put more food onto bigger plates and pile on more food onto bigger forks and spoons. Make your plates and utensils work in your favor with a couple adjustments. Besides often prolonging your meal experience which will make seconds less likely it will also improve your digestion.


How our executive health coaches succeed:

  • Use smaller plates: – Seeing the picture below, do I need to say more? If you put a cup of food onto a salad plate you feel more satisfied about the amount of food on your plate than if it’s served on a dinner plate. Make your salad plate your new entrée plate and you’ll find yourself eating less.




  • Use smaller forks & spoons: In our busy world we often don’t even pay attention to how much we eat. We pile a large amount of food onto our forks and spoons and shove it down while reading another email. Get smaller cutlery so you eat less food with each bite.


  • Put your fork down after each bite and only pick it back up after you have completely chewed and swallowed your last one. This great habit will slow things down.



Additional resources: Eat These 6 Foods to Feel Lighter



Tip 4: Drink water

When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food, it's too easy to fill up a plate and dive in. But, did you know that most often we confuse the feeling of hunger with that of thirst? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.

Studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food we eat. This super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (yay!). For one, drinking water will start filling up your stomach before you get to the buffet line which leaves less room for the feast.

Plus, staying well hydrated has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism, burning calories faster. That’s two thumbs up for drinking plenty of water!

How our executive health coaches succeed:

  • Coach MJ says: “I just chug it (water). Just do it. I know how my body needs to process alcohol and fatty foods out of my liver so yes, I drink water knowing it’s good for me.”

  • Health coach Liani has a bubble machine at home and swears making sparkling water, helps her enJOY it a lot more.


  • Coach Lisa loves making her water glass look like a cocktail so nobody at a party gives her grief. She adds a slice of lime or lemon, or some mint and has a little straw to make it look like all the other fancy cocktails in the room.


Additional resources: Why do I want to eat all the time?