Living a healthier lifestyle is all about changing habits, replacing bad habits for healthier options. Professor Karen Pine bases her Love Not Smoking Programme on a planned set of exercises designed to break the habit of where and when the smoker lights up, so that the habits are broken and new behaviours learned.
But how easy is it to break habits when it comes to eating? Much of what and how we eat is also habitual. New research published by the British Psychological Society suggests that one way to break the habit could be as simple as eating with your less dominant hand.
Do we eat through need or habit?
When we eat popcorn at the cinema, is it through need, or is through habit? Do we mindlessly dip into the popcorn carton and eat?
A new study by David Neal and his colleagues, found that when given stale popcorn to eat at the cinema, half the group when asked to eat with their less dominant hand (ie left hand for those who were right handed) ate less than those who ate with their dominant hand. David Neal and his team said that changing hands has a similar effect to changing the environment and context – so we think more about what we’re doing. If you change the context that drives a habit such as eating (or smoking) then the power of the habit weakens.
Could changing hands be the key to losing weight? Try it and see!
Photo credit: Stuart Miles