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Mind Over (Food) Matter

Mind Over (Food) Matter

There’s an interesting video going around about how mirroring food can trick your mind into eating less.

From ‘hacking food’ to the way in which we perceive things, there’s a tonne of fascinating food related research. Besides the awesome stuff, like, VR-related food augmentation, there’s also basic perception tricks, where using bigger plates makes the food you have feel less than it actually is. So, you end up less full than you would be otherwise. Using smaller plates on the other hand, makes you feel fuller faster.

There’s also a lot of interesting gastronomical quirks that you can manipulate. The signal from your stomach to your brain takes anywhere from five to twenty minutes, so that’s probably why you get hit with feeling bloated after you’ve eaten. You can combat that bloated feeling by taking breaks while eating, and pacing yourself.

Ever wonder why diet foods low in fat or sugar don’t seem to work? First off, most low-fat foods substitute fat with sugar, and that is equally as bad or worse for your body. If they are low-sugar/sugar-free, they’re probably using artificial sweeteners. If they use artificial sweeteners, they prime your mind and body for the food and your body produces more insulin in anticipation of that hit of sugar. You crave more after eating those diet foods, because you just tricked your body and it’s gonna throw a tantrum until you give it what it wants.

Mirror neurons are an interesting and complicated part of your brain, and by observing things they make you react and feel things in the same way (vaguely). So, this is how cravings work by observing it, you start copying it and then your body starts craving it. All food advertisements work on the basis of mirror neurons!

So, what does that mean for you? Use smaller plates, eat smaller meals spread out through the day, eat protein in whatever form you like, and take your time. Avoid looking at other people eating food and food ads. Instead of eating ‘diet’ food, eat foods with naturally low levels of sugar and oil and other things. Remember that having a few small cheat things on the side (like a few pieces of candy, or an absolutely greasy burger) once a week, is totally okay!

Try to avoid thinking of food or looking at pictures of food to avoid setting off mirror neurons. Wait.

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