Want to eat better this year? Food psychologists at the University of Central Florida suggest you use one secret, surprising weapon: A mirror.
We know, we know - it sounds crazy, but there is a very logical explanation behind it all.
Imagine you’re sitting at your dining table facing a mirror in which you’re in full view. You’re reaching for a greasy slice of pizza, one that’s dripping with oil from melted mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. As you take that first bite, your mouth is instantly smeared with grease. Some of that grease may even be dribbling down your chin as you start chewing. And the way your T-shirt looks a bit too tight? Urgh.
In comparison, imagine you’re having a big bowl of salad greens or fresh fruit. You’re going through your meal leisurely, spearing a forkful of arugula and cherry tomato, or some fuchsia-hued dragonfruit, and enjoying the freshness of it all.
Looks instantly better, doesn’t it? And it will make you feel better too.
According to researchers, the mirror helps trick your brain into making better food choices as you subconsciously judge and shame yourself while looking into it. The idea is that over time, you’ll feel less inclined to indulge in what you realise are unhealthy foods you usually can’t resist. These unhealthy foods also won’t taste as good to you any more.
So consider putting up a mirror (or two) in your dining room or kitchen, as a first step to a year (and beyond) of healthier eating. And if you’re dining out, well - your iPad and a mirror app should come in handy.