Accountability is a powerful force, even if it’s to your own reflection. A new study performed by researchers at the University of Central Florida found that watching yourself eat something unhealthy can make that food less enjoyable. In the experiment, a group of 185 students were given fruit salad or chocolate cake and placed either in a room with mirrors or one with bare walls. The students who ate the chocolate cake in front of the mirrors reported enjoying it less than those who ate the cake without their reflection present. (There was no difference in the enjoyment of the two groups eating fruit salad.) The lead scientist hypothesized that when the students saw themselves not living up to healthy standards, it interfered with the pleasure of the indulgence. Next time you find yourself tempted to reach for some French fries instead of that kale salad, look around for a mirror or whip out your phone and take a selfie. It might actually make you eat less.
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