Food manufacturers and fast food chains have figured out how to fool us into thinking we’re hungrier than we actually are! They do it by manipulating our senses! So, here’s some healthy eating advice from Oxford University psychologist Dr. Charles Spence, who specializes in multisensory perception.

First: We eat with our eyes, in a way. And the color of a food – or its packaging – can prime us to judge it as healthy or unhealthy. For example, studies show people will think a candy bar in a green wrapper is healthier than one in a red wrapper… simply because green is a color associated with nature.

Also, be aware of ads and packaging that focus on aroma. Like a picture of cookies that says: “Is there anything better than the scent of a freshly-baked cookie?” It’s a marketing tactic called “smellizing” – because when people see a product and think of how it smells, they produce more saliva… which increases cravings. So, before you grab a snack, ask yourself: “Am I really hungry – or is imagining how fresh cookies smell weakening my willpower?”

Finally: Are you eating something in a bowl? Hold the bowl in one hand while you eat. Because research shows a meal that feels heavy tells our brain we’re getting extra calories… which helps us feel fuller, faster.

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