How to trick your brain into better eating habits

Ditching the cutlery, scoffing a big first bite and discussing the carrots can help rewire our brains and make us more mindful of our meals

Before diving in at a dinner party, my friend Lizzie always makes a point of asking the host to describe each dish they’ve made. It’s a way of acknowledging their efforts – but, according to food psychology, she could also be helping herself and her fellow diners eat better by making them more mindful of their meal.

Charles Spence is a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, who researches the factors that influence what we choose to eat and what we think about the experience. His research highlights the extent to which those choices are shaped by the ways in which we engage with our food; in short, what our meals look and smell like, whether we eat them with forks or fingers – even the music we’re listening to while eating or food shopping can all play a role in how healthily we eat. The following techniques will help you “trick” your brain into making better decisions for your body.

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