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Weight Lifting - One Hundred Days - 071


Your eyes can play tricks on you. What at first glance may look like a picture of the Auckland waterfront has different layers…
Your eyes can play tricks on you. What at first glance may look like a picture of the Auckland waterfront has different layers…

"A scientist and a chef walk into a bar. The scientist turns to the chef…" Well, it's not really a joke when they get together to write an article for the Guardian on how to try & trick your brain into eating healthily. Fascinating actually & I can attest to some of the tricks personally. Have a read, it's short & worth it.

Scale is a relative phenomenon that the brain uses to interpret information it gets through your eyes. So eat with smaller crockery & the brain thinks it is eating more - seriously! I know it seems idiotic because you <i>know</i> the crockery is smaller, but that information is processed differently from the stuff coming in through your eyes. The Delbouef illusion is an established optical illusion theory of relative size perception. It is thought that it is caused by the same visual processes that cause the Ebbinghaus illusion. Essentially, two objects placed side by side will appear to be different sizes depending on what is around them. So, place the same amount of food on a much smaller plate than normal & it will appear to your brain that you are about to eat much more than normal. Similarly, serving food in a bowl instead of on a plate can give a greater sense of volume & depth.

The latest research also shows that the weight of cutlery & crockery has a significant effect on our appreciation for meals we eat, with heavier plates, knives and forks offering greater satisfaction. Equally, if we are forced to eat with a non-dominant hand, we'll generally consume less. A bit like it taking much longer (with much falling over!) if we have to pull our trousers on over the 'other' leg first - try it! So, if you can't use chopsticks, try them - you'll eat less! The good old TV dinner must go too. Messaging, checking social media, watching TV & other similar distractions will ensure you are not focused on your food, so you'll appreciate it less, which will inevitably lead to a reduced sense of fullness & so to overeating. Multisensory tasting also helps appreciation, which can be as simple as taking the time to sniff your food & really appreciate the aromas. Apparently, up to 90% of what we perceive as flavour comes from our sense of smell.

So eat with smaller & heavier crockery & cutlery, experiment with chopsticks, turn off the TV & smell your food. You'll end up appreciating your food more & eating less. Oh yes, and chew properly as your Granny always said. Focusing on the texture of your food because our brains use the amount of sensation we receive from texture as one of the cues to tell us when to stop eating.

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