How To Eat Healthy: 5 Easy New Tips From Research
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Brian Wansink leads food psychology research at Cornell University and the White House chose him to revise US dietary guidelines.
He has a great website and is author of two smart books on the subject of tricking yourself into eating better:
I posted about his work before but this time I wanted answers straight from the man himself. And, man, did he ever deliver.
What you’re going to learn in this post:
- The easy thing to do while shopping that prevents you from buying junk food.
- How to not fall for the tricks and traps of restaurants.
- The 2 secrets to not snacking too much at the office.
- How to stay disciplined at events and holiday gatherings — without making the host feel bad.
- How superheroes can help you make better food choices.
Chew Sugarless Gum While You Shop
Crazy, right? Believe it or not, a stick of gum in your mouth prevents junk food from entering your shopping cart. Here’s Brian:
We found that when people popped sugarless gum in their mouth it made them less hungry. It soothed cravings and some people even reduced how many snack foods they bought by about 90%.
Navigating The Treacherous World Of Restaurants
Watch where you sit. Did you choose a booth? You’re 80% more likely to order dessert and 80% less likely to order salad.
Sitting by the TV? You’re much more likely to order BBQ. Sitting closer to the bar? Guess who’s going to be drinking more than they thought?
Where are you safe? Head for a window seat. Here’s Brian:
People who sat in booths were about 80% more likely to order dessert than people sitting in a normal table and you’re about 80% less likely to order salad. People sitting near windows were much more likely to order salads. People sitting at tall tables were almost two to three times as likely to order chicken or fish. If you’re sitting within ten feet of a TV set you’re much, much more likely to order barbecue than not. If you are seated at a table close to the bar, on average, your table’s going to be ordering three more beers than the table that’s farther from the bar.
And those menus aren’t haphazardly thrown together. They are often marvels of psychological trickery.
Anything highlighted, in a box or a different font is going to catch your eye and you’ll be more likely to order it.
Be careful when reading the descriptions. Clever names and appealing adjectives make you 28% more likely to pick something. Here’s Brian:
Anything that’s in the corners or in a box or highlighted or in a different font or has an icon next to it has a huge leg up in its likelihood of being chosen. The description of a menu item has a tremendous impact not only on whether we’re going to order the item but also on how much we’re going to like it. In our research we found a real difference between calling something “Succulent Italian Seafood Fillet” instead of just “seafood fillet.” People are about 28% more likely to take it. And they’re also willing to pay about fifteen to twenty percent more for it.
So how do you find something that’s healthy and tasty? Ask the server, “What are three of your lighter items that are most popular?” Here’s Brian:
If you want to get something a little bit healthier ask the server, “What are three of your lighter items that are most popular?” You don’t want to say “What are your healthiest things?” because all she’s going to do is point at salads.
For more of Brian’s advice on how to eat smart at restaurants, clickhere.