Let’s be honest. There are many times when the only reason a diet doesn’t work is because we have failed to follow them. It’s challenging to stare at a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and difficult to deny a cheeseburger and fries. Fortunately, experts have discovered some mind games to help trick yourself into effective weight loss.

Think it over

Next time you’re overwhelmed with a craving for brownies and ice cream, hit the metaphorical pause button. Research suggests that you will be less likely to indulge on junk food if you wait a few minutes before making your final decision to eat or not to eat. The food sitting right in front of you is almost impossible to resist. If you walk away and think it through, you’ll be much more capable of saying no to the sugary snack.

Matt Westenburg

Portion your snacks

Snacking throughout the day can be an effective way to manage your metabolism. The problem most people discover is knowing how much to munch on and when to stop. To avoid eating too much, portion your snacks into little sandwich baggies. This way you won’t be tempted to overeat at snack time.

Cut food into smaller pieces

Cut your food into smaller pieces to trick your mind. Having smaller pieces and eating more of them will make it seem like you’re eating more food. People who practice this will notice that they feel more full after eating less food.

Use smaller plates

Use smaller plates to serve your food. If your plate looks full of food, you will feel more satisfied after you eat it. The same amount of food on a larger plate will leave you hungry because it will feel like you ate less.

Matt Westenburg

Take your time and focus on eating

Chew slowly and focus on your meal. Meals are often a time for multitasking with television, social media or other work. Distracted eating leads to mindless eating. This means you’re not paying attention to when you’re full and how much food you have consumed. Studies show that if you sit down and enjoy your meal it can lead to more effective weight loss.

Set reminders for accountability

Set yourself up for success with motivational reminders. Whether you download an app, set alerts on your phone or have a friend hold you accountable, these reminders will keep your dieting on track. Having these support systems in place can help you resist cravings and keep your dieting goals in mind.

Don’t clean your plate

Retrain your brain to ignore one of the most common childhood dinner rules: finish your plate. When you’re full, don’t continue eating just to finish the food on your plate. Also, don’t be afraid to refuse food when it’s offered. Your grandmother means well but her homemade chocolate chip cookies won’t help you reach your weight loss goals. Politely refuse baked goods and explain why your diet is important to you.