Can Eating with the Wrong Hand Aid Weight Loss?

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has heard absurd advice and nonsense rules. Sometimes, you hear odd advice and wonder if it’s real. We love to investigate those claims.

Richard Wiseman is a psychologist and professor at the Univ. of Hertfordshire. He claims that eating with your non-dominant hand can help you lose weight. Switching the hands in which you hold your utensils forces you to slow down.

It means it actually takes longer and it’s more mindful to eat because you need to sort out coordination issues and so on,” said Prof. Wiseman.

He called it “simple” but effective. And added that slowly eating while paying attention to your food is “one of the most enjoyable ways to make portions smaller.”  

This method of eating comes on the heels of “mirror theory.” Mirror theory is a diet method where a person eats in front of a mirror. Watching themselves makes them more self-conscious. They eat less and make healthier choices. Eating with the opposite hands is as effective, according to Prof. Wiseman. It achieves the goal by slowing people down so they feel more full and consider their choices, not through self-shaming.

A review of 24 studies found that distracted or hurried eating can lead to overeating. Paying attention to your meal makes you more aware of what you eat and helps you enjoy your food more and overeat less. When you eat with the “wrong” hand, you must focus on what you are doing far more than when you can eat mindlessly.  

Doctors who have reviewed this tip agree that it could help you recognize fullness cues and help you slow down. However, it’s essential to note that eating with your non-dominant hand won’t make you lose weight if you don’t change your diet or lifestyle. It can be a helpful tool if it helps you slow down and change your portion size. But, if you eat unhealthy foods quickly, it doesn’t matter which hand you use. This tip is helpful because it slows you down and makes you focus on your plate, not because it makes you burn more calories or makes food more nutritious.

This is a tip that could be a helpful tool for some people. But it’s not a replacement for picking healthier foods and portion control. Making sure you are eating a healthy diet in moderation is the way to manage your weight. Slowing down and paying attention to your food can help you stick to your diet. So, eating with your non-dominant hand can force you to pay more attention to your meal and help you feel more present and enjoy your food more.  

Banner image: Jer Chung via Pexels

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