A Surprising Calorie-Cutting Trick

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who’s the slimmest of them all? It turns out the person who sits in front of a mirror at mealtimes may be the answer.

Eating in front of a mirror may help you cut calories because it can curb the desire to munch on unhealthy foods, finds a new study published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. In the study from the University of Central Florida, the researcher gave 185 undergraduate students the option to dig into chocolate cake or fruit salad while sitting in front of a mirror or in a room with no mirrors. They were then asked to rate the taste of each dish. Those who chose the chocolate cake rated it as less tasty when faced with their own reflection. (There was no taste difference in the fruit salad.)

Nibbling with your reflection in sight may increase your awareness of social standards and correctness, and might subconsciously push you to make healthier choices. Self-awareness is a key part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

If you have a mirror hanging in your dining room or kitchen, try sitting facing it for a few meals to see if it helps curb your intake. Not loving the idea of watching yourself feast? Haha! I wouldn’t either. Instead, try catching an occasional glimpse of yourself while nibbling if you have a mirror nearby. If you’re eating out, choose a seat facing a window so you can check in on yourself from time to time. Double bonus: You’ll be able to see if you have food stuck between your teeth and you may also save yourself some extra calories.
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