How can you trick your brain into eating less?
To investigate this claim, I've invited these gentlemen for some lunch. I told them to eat until they feel full. Ready, boys? Dig in.
This tomato soup experiment seems a bit basic. But it's all about how perception affects your appetite—that and something a little more...underhanded.
These guys think they're in an experiment about how much we eat; what they don't know is that we rigged one of the bowls of tomato soup to continually refill as they eat. Sorry, Sisyphus. That soup is just gonna keep coming, no matter how much you shovel in. So, how can you trick your brain into eating less?
All right, guys. How are we holding up?
I don't know what's going on here, but...
Well, you were eating out of this, but you—have a little surprise for you—you were eating out of this. Yeah. So, it may sound silly, but tricking your eyes can actually trick your brain and then your stomach. So, it looks like you probably ate about twice as much soup as he did.
I feel like it.
So, what does this experiment have to do with eating less?
When we eat, our intestines release cholecystokinin, or CCK, a hormone that helps in the digestion of fat. Fat cells in turn release the hormone leptin, which is associated with long-term feelings of satiation. Researchers at Harvard University theorize that the CCK amplifies the leptin, which tells our brainstems we are full. The problem is it takes time for this hormonal cocktail to finish mixing, so we tend to keep eating before we realize we're full.
當我們吃東西時，我們的腸道釋放膽囊收縮素，或稱 CCK，一種幫助消化脂肪的荷爾蒙。脂肪細胞接著釋出荷爾蒙瘦體素，那和長時間的飽足感有關。哈佛大學研究員推論，CCK 會增強瘦體素，那告訴我們的腦幹我們吃飽了。問題是，那「荷爾蒙雞尾酒」需要時間來完成調和，所以在我們知道自己吃飽前，我們往往一直吃下去。
That's why we've come to rely on our eyes to tell us when to stop, and why we say things like, "Your eyes are bigger than your stomach"—problem being, of course, that looks can be deceiving. Take these two plates, which one has more food? The answer? Neither. They're the exact same meal. The plate on the right just seems to have more food because it's on a smaller plate. This is called the Delboeuf illusion.
When an object is surrounded by a smaller circle, it looks bigger; when it's surrounded by a bigger circle, it looks smaller. This illusion can be seen right on your dinner plate. The bigger the plate you give a person, the more food they'll put on it, which means the more they'll eat.
One study found that folks who dine from the never-ending soup bowl ate a whopping 73 percent more before feeling full. So how can you trick your brain into eating less? Be careful how your dinner is served.
One way to cut calories that's really simple is just put your food on a smaller plate. I also recommend that the next time I invite you over for tomato soup, you, uh, just say no.