How eating with your eyes can help you lose weight

 In Healthy Habits, Weight Loss

How much do you trust your 5 senses? We tend to think of our senses in terms of their unique functions: seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling, and hearing, but did you know that our senses work in unison much more often than you might be aware?

Two senses that depend on one another quite often are our sense of taste and sight. While many of us would like to believe that we’re not so easily duped, science has shown that our expectations of how food should look directly affects its flavor.

Brain Trained on Color

Taste buds are made up of four basic regions: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Upon contact with food, our taste buds send a signal to the brain for an

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interpretation of the flavor. However, the interpretation begins earlier – before food makes contact with the taste buds – by way of sight.

When we look at food our brains are already making predeterminations as to how something should taste and whether or not it’s appetizing or not. Color is the first element noticed in food. Our brain training begins early on in life when we’re children and conditions us to assume certain colors have particular flavors. We assume yellow foods may have a banana or lemon flavor, or that red will taste like strawberry or cherry.

How vibrant color is also affects our expectation as we subconsciously think that brighter colors mean fresher or riper foods. If the appearance does not match our expectations, we will perceive the taste differently.

How Presentation Can Influence Your Palate

Major food manufacturers and distributors have long known that looks affect appetite greatly. They spend millions of dollars each year tweaking their products’ packaging and appearance. They know that they have to compete with thousands of products inside supermarkets, and they need to be sure to catch your eye.

This may seem manipulative, and in a way, it very much is – by way of science. However, you can also influence yourself to make healthier choices by working on presentation of your own meals at home. For instance, do you have trouble getting excited about getting your daily does of veggies? It may be that when you think of vegetables you only think of the raw fruit itself.

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Which looks more appetizing? The rigid stack of carrots laying atop each other like old logs – or the steaming, tastefully sliced and spiced carrots below?

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Again, does the sight of this solitary apple fill you with ravenous hunger? Probably not as much as the fruit salad and its eye-popping colors. Yum.

The point is we sometimes bore ourselves with how we consume our food. Sure it’s easy to grab a banana or throw some spinach into a bowl, but are you really excited about it? Probably not, but you can become excited about your food in a whole new way if you realize that how your food looks is a very important first step in developing heathier habits.

Be Well 365 Can Help Plan your Meals

At Be Well 365 we’re all about preventive care, and we know that a healthy diet goes a long way in determining your overall health. Meet with our expert dietitian so we can determine your likes/dislikes when it comes to food. We’ll develop a meal plan that will work BEST for you and your lifestyle. You’ll learn how to prepare mouth-watering meals and make right choices when eating out.



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