How to hack your senses and lose weight
Picture the scene. You’re sitting in a fast food restaurant with bright lighting and upbeat chart music as you gaze expectantly at your burger. It feels pleasantly light in your hand and in less than five minutes you’ve eaten it completely, even though it wasn’t as delicious as the advertising had promised.
Congratulations; you’ve just become a victim of your senses. To a large extent, they determine what we eat and, above all, how much. Food expert Charles Spence, who coined the concept of gastrophysics, has revealed to Men’s Health magazine how can you learn to control your senses. And the kilos will fall off along the way.
No neon colours
Studies have shown that we tend to eat more processed foods that are brightly coloured. Stay away from the pink lemonade and colourful gummy bear sweets.
Don’t rely on the packaging
Curiously, plainer packaging makes it appear that the contents are healthier than a shiny cover. Don’t be fooled by the exterior, and look carefully at the ingredients.
The dish trick
Instead of eating from a large dish, try it with a small bowl. Filled to the brim, it gives the impression of a large portion, while a plate often looks empty. This can cause you to eat more from the plate than the bowl.
Artificial flavours in particular trigger our sense of smell and appetite. Learn to go natural. A plain yoghurt with fresh fruit, for example, is always preferable to the flavoured versions with lots of sugar.
Unfortunately, alcohol has a stimulating effect on our appetite, not least because it activates our sense of smell making food seem irresistible even when we are not hungry. You should avoid drinking anything alcoholic before eating.
Focus on chewing
Take the test: try to eat a fresh, crisp salad without distraction and pay attention to the chewing noise. This alone can provide incredible satisfaction from the dining experience.
Change your playlist
Have you noticed that trendy restaurants and fast-food shops often play peppy chart music in the background? We tend to adapt our chewing to the rhythm of the music. Therefore, you should choose a soundtrack while eating that encourages you to chew slowly and consciously.
Use heavy cutlery
A burger or a handful of fries can be devoured in no time, not least because of their low weight. Heavy cutlery has the opposite effect. We also tend to associate them with high-quality food, which can automatically lead to more conscious eating habits.
It might not be the most subtle way, but you should hold a bowl at dinner and not put it on the table. The additional weight in the hand will give you the feeling that you are eating a particularly rich meal. If you eat from a dish, you can raise it slightly to one side.