“Gastrophysics” by Charles Spence.
I’ve read this fascinating book this week,
“Gastrophysics. The new science of eating.” by Charles Spence, the head of Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford.
“The scientist changing the way we eat”
~ The Guardian
Sounds like a science book?
And it is, but science book about a subject, that we all care about, that we all practice, without too much thinking or self-analysis.
We all do it every day. We must be good at it. And we all must know, what it is, how we do it, how it’s done properly, and what exactly influences our eating habits and behaviors.
But as with many things in life, just because we do something often, doesn’t mean, we are great at it and understand it completely.
The book is all about, how we taste (Your tongue is not the main “tasting tool” in your arsenal of senses!), what affects our taste (like the weight of our fork, for example, or the chair we sit in, or what we hear while eating), what affects our appetite and how full we feel eating certain foods and in certain environments, the music or noise we hear makes a difference — how fast we eat and how much, how much we enjoy our food. It’s not all about the taste, in fact, taste is probably one of the smallest insignificant parts of eating experience, that makes us like or dislike our food. It has to do with what we know about food, the color, who and where made it. And, did you know, that your “food memory” is so unreliable! What defines, whether you remember a certain meal or not, is not at all the taste, but the beginning of your meal, the first bite, the surprise, the novelty, and how your whole experience (greeting at the restaurant, for example) started, and how it ended. The main course between your appetizer and your dessert might actually mean the least, even though it is where the bulk of the calories you consume is, and where chef invests most of his efforts (Unless, of course, the chef knows, what truly memorable “meal experience” is all about)
The book is fascinating! I thought I knew what food is eating is all about!
You might read it, if you are just curious, if you want to improve your eating habits, get healthier and lose weight, hacking your brain and actually knowing, HOW to eat to make your brain your ally, not your enemy.
You might read it to enjoy your meals more and know, why you enjoy certain meals and places to eat.
You might read it out of pure curiosity — after all, you do eat quite often, might as well educate yourself about one of the most essential human behaviors.
For the purpose of adding value to your day without too much reading, I’ll give you a few hacks from the book to help you eat healthier, eating less, enjoying more, losing and maintaining weight easier.
Drink half a liter of water 30 minutes before each meal to eat less.
Studies show, to eat at least 40 calories less each meal. Not a lot, but it all adds up at the end of the day.
If you want to eat less automatically, be less hungry, think about food less — hide your food literally.
Out of sight, out of mind. Make food unavailable or hard to find, hard to reach. Especially junk! Leave junk food at the store, and if you REALLY crave it — go and get it. At least you’ll get some exercise in as well.
Eat whole foods, smell your food, enjoy your food visually, chew your food — it all adds up to your food experience, food enjoyment, and it provides more cues to your brain, that you had enough.
Research shows, that people consume, for example, more calories, drinking apple juice compared to pureed apples, more calories, eating pureed apples compared to whole apples.
And definitely don’t use the straw, drinking your beverages, and definitely forget about ice-cold water, ice-cold sweet beverages. A straw doesn’t allow your tongue to taste fully, leaving you hungrier, since your taste buds taste much less. When it comes to ice-cold anything — it numbs your taste buds, limiting the food experience, leaving less cues to your brain about how much you consumed, what kind of nutrition you got from your food, and you taste sweet less, that makes you want to eat more.
Eat from small plates.
Studies show that full of food small plates trick your brain into thinking you ate more, reducing your hunger, compared to bigger plates with small portions in the middle.
Eat from red plates.
I was surprised to find out, that experiments show, people eat much less from red plates. The theory claims, it’s probably because red is associated with danger in our brain, or maybe it’s too stimulating. Nobody really knows, but all the experiments show, people can’t eat a lot from red plates.
Make your plates red and small and you are golden! J Maybe there will be a “Red Small Plate Diet” soon.
Eat with chopsticks. Or small forks. Or small spoons. Or with you non-dominant hand. Basically, do whatever, that makes you slow down your eating, makes your eating uncomfortable — you’ll eat less.
Eating better and eating healthier, losing and maintaining weight, is all about eating less enjoying your each meal more.
If you never manage to do that — eating less enjoying more — you’ll never master your eating habits. And these are scientific “tools” to help you do just that — master your eating habits — eat less enjoying more.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health
EAT WITH ALL SENSES.