How can we trick our brains into developing healthier eating habits

At mealtime, are you fully aware that you are eating? At a time when it is not uncommon to eat quickly, behind your screen or during a meeting, mindful eating teaches us that no, eating on the go is not good.

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For several years, a trend seems to be taking root more and more in the landscape of well-being. This is mindful eating. We explain what it is and we give you 5 keys to adopt it on a daily basis and reconnect with a more positive relationship with food.

Mindful eating, kesako?

So, mindful eating is eating mindfully. Halfway between meditation and diet, the goal of this practice is to slow down, to take the time to savor each bite. Its goal is absolutely not to lose weight but to find a form of peace with our relationship to food and our own body.

Isabelle Taquin, specialist in Mindful eating spoke on the subject at the microphone of the RTBF : “People are never promised that they will lose weight, even if sometimes this is accompanied by weight loss. Early research shows this. But it is in connection with the practice that must be maintained”

5 Ways to Trick Our Brains – wikiHow

In an interview with the British newspaper, the Guardian, Charles Spence explores and gives 5 tips to reprogram our brain to develop better eating habits. He is a professor of psychology at Oxford University and specializes in researching our eating behaviors. It studies how our food choices and behaviors relate to the way we view food and how the way it looks, smells, how we eat it and more can influence the decisions we make about it.

Use heavier cutlery, or even do without it

If the trick of serving your meals on a smaller plate in order to have the impression of eating more is known, it turns out that cutlery also has its roles to play. Using heavier cutlery, or even doing without it, would make us more aware that we are eating. “With a fork, the act is automatic, whereas with the hands we become much more aware of the actions we are taking.”. This is what the Spanish chef Adoni Aduriz did, where the cutlery has disappeared so that his customers can “think more deeply about their ways of interacting with food.”

Make the meal as sensory as possible

By taking the time to really savor every bite, every smell, by touching food while cooking or even while eating, we become aware of what we are eating. “In addition to playing on our sense of satiety, considering all these details can really improve our relationship with food” explains Professor Spence “Thanks to this, we can improve our feelings and therefore be satisfied with less”.

In addition, it recalls the importance of the sense of smell in taste“75% to 95% of what we taste comes from our sense of smell! Smell is therefore of paramount importance in our relationship to food. But our habits do not take this into account. For example, if we have a coffee to take away, its cap prevents the aromas and smells of coffee from reaching us and we miss a whole part of the experience. ” he laments.

We eat with our eyes

If the sense of smell occupies an important place in our taste experience, sight is not to be outdone! We therefore put everything on the presentation and dressing because the mere sight of a nicely dressed dish will whet our appetite and therefore increase our pleasure at mealtime.

The importance of the first bite

The first bite of our meal turns out to be of paramount importance! It is she who will first excite our taste buds and set the tone. “And even if the following ones are slightly different, our brain will not distinguish significant changes and therefore everything seems similar to us. “ explains the psychologist. In this idea, once again, taking the time between each bite, to savor each ingredient allows you to recreate this feeling of the first bite constantly.

And from a dietary point of view, we can also fill this mouthful with “unhealthy” food as much as possible and thus trap our brain.

A neat sound environment

Finally, as you will have understood, our senses unconsciously guide our meals. Hearing also plays a role in our food choices. ” At the marketing level, it is proven that we can influence consumers with music. “ assures Charles Spencer. We tend to drink up to 30% more if we are exposed to loud music. There is growing evidence that loud noises trigger less healthy eating behaviors” which could be because there’s so much noise, you can’t really taste what you’re eating” suggests Spencer. The genre of music also matters: listening to jazz and classical music would increase people’s preferences for healthy foods where American rock, for example, would lead us more towards a burger and fries.

A change in our purchasing behavior?

In this context, the psychologist wonders if this could also influence the way we do our shopping. In a study conducted by Portuguese researchers, a supermarket played marine sounds (sounds of waves, seagulls etc) near the fish counter and noticed that fish sales increased dramatically. “We know that being exposed to nature is good for mental well-being, and I can’t help but wonder if playing these soundscapes would change the way we shop.” asks Charles Spencer.

And by following his theory and the marketing logic behind it, a store broadcasting atmospheres or sounds of nature would lead its customers to make healthier choices in terms of food. This could therefore solve the problem at the very source. At a time when obesity is a leading cause of death in the world, these solutions could be a game-changer…

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How can we trick our brains into developing healthier eating habits

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