Eat with the other hand diet?

Don't use both hands!
Don’t use both hands!

ABC World News today reported that there is a new diet craze spreading in 2014 – the “eat with your other hand diet”. It did not take long for a new wacky fad diet to make the news.

So, what is it and does it work? The diet is really based on the principal as the fork diet. By eating only with your other hand you eat slower as it feels awkward. By slowing down eating you naturally eat less and it is more likely that you will feel full before your plate is cleaned. Usually we eat too quickly and scoff down thousands of calories before the body has time to notice that the stomach is full.

Not a new diet for 2014

TABC reported that “tonight a novel idea …” but this is not a new diet for 2014. Huffpost wrote about it in September 2011. The idea was developed first following research by health scientists at the University of Southern California which found that “switching hands could help control overeating“.

The study measured how much popcorn people ate with each hand and also looked at the amount of popcorn eaten when it was stale. It was found that people would eat as much stale popcorn as fresh popcorn under normal circumstances.

“But once we’ve formed an eating habit, we no longer care whether the food tastes good. We’ll eat exactly the same amount, whether it’s fresh or stale.” Wendy Wood, Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at USC.


But when the hands were switched people ate less. But, only 6 per cent less, which could result in six pounds weight loss in a year. If you have a lot of weight to lose you will be looking to lose six pounds in a couple of weeks.

The ABC News report also showed how Google changed the way it displayed treats in its offices. Rather than dispense treats by gravity in easy to pull and clear containers it changed to opaque contains that had to be picked up. The result was that after seven weeks Google employers consumed three million fewer calories just from M&Ms.

Janet Polivy, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, explained that habit plays a huge role in overeating. Many people who are overweight consume the worse calories as snacks in the evening, usually while sat in front of a television or while surfing the web.

So, this is not a new diet, and it is hardly helpful if you have a lot of weight to lose. Most importantly, if you have a lot of weight to lose you should not be eating snacks such as popcorn with any hand. Try the no hands diet, that might be more effective.

Original report: Habit Makes Bad Food Too Easy To Swallow, September 1, 2011. USC.

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