Friday, December 10, 2010

Mindful Eating

I love reading about mindful eating and find it fascinating that our environment can influence how much we eat.  I really like all of the research that Brian Wansink  has done, and continues to do, on this subject at Cornell University and through his Smarter Lunchrooms program.  It is very interesting, I think, that just about all of the people who have been involved in his research studies are convinced before the study that the environment has no effect on their eating habits.  Dr. Wansink has found the opposite to be true for the majority of people.  He has found that you really can influence how much someone eats by giving them a different size plate, by giving food a more descriptive name, or even by serving a brownie on a napkin instead of a plate. 

So, I read with interest this new article about how imagination can trick the brain into eating less.  Contrary to popular wisdom that if you crave a certain food for a long period of time you will eat more of it, the participants in this study actually ate less of a food after repeatedly imagining eating the food before they actually ate it.

And finally, today on the Fooducate blog, an interesting article on how being aware of the number of times you chew your food can help you eat less.  Taking a moment to slow down and savor our food can be an easy way to have a more enjoyable and satisfying meal.  

If you are interested in mindful eating, be sure to check out Dr. Wansink's websites (by using the links above) or go to your local library and check out his book Mindless Eating.  It is quite a compelling read if you are curious about how changing your meal environment can help you eat less.

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