They say you should watch what you eat, we just never realized they meant it literally.
According to a new study out of the University of Utah, people are less likely to eat unhealthy foods when they have to do so in front of a mirror. Which means you should hang one in your dining room right now.
To come up with those results, researchers asked 185 undergraduate students to choose either a chocolate cake or a fruit salad and then review its flavour. Those who had to take the cake and eat it in a room with a mirror reported it as less tasty than those who scarfed it down in a mirror-less room. The flavor perception of the fruit salad, by comparison, was not affected by a mirror at all.
“…Results of this research suggest that mirror decoration can be used in food consumption settings to decrease unhealthy eating practices as mirrors make the consumption of an unhealthy food less pleasant,” the researchers wrote.
There are also other small changes you can make to your dining experience in order to subconsciously encourage healthy eating. In a separate study, researchers at the University of South Florida found eating foods with a fork is generally better than eating them with a spoon. It might sound strange, but forks actually encourage people to consume smaller mouthfuls of food, thereby limiting the amount of calories they consume overall.
“The results showed that people perceived the same food as lower in calories when they ate the food with a spoon than when they eat with a fork,” the researchers wrote. “Similarly, they desired to eat a greater quantity of the food when eating with a spoon versus a fork.”
So there you have it. If any of your New Year’s resolutions involve slimming down a little, getting a mirror and bringing more forks into your life could go a long way.
Besides, treadmills suck.