Food and Optical Illusions

6/18/2014

Do you remember being shown two lines in grade school and being asked to choose which one was longer. Only, to your dismay, you got the answer wrong because the lines are the same size. How did that happen? How could your eyes have tricked you? In case you don’t remember, here’s a picture.
Well, it’s an optical illusion. And here’s another one:
Can you guess which bowl has the most food in it? The answer is none. All of the bowls have exactly 1 cup of vegetables in them. The same 1 cup actually, just to make sure nothing has changed (you can see that lovely piece of fennel hanging out in the different corners if you don’t believe me lol). All the pictures were also taken at the same distance and angle.

I love all my bowls, but the beautiful white bowl on the right was recently gifted to us. When I eat out of that bowl, I feel like I’m at a fancy restaurant. The white bowls are so elegant and I feel so nice eating out of them. But, shortly after I started using them, I realized that I was feeling very full before I finished my meal. So why didn’t I just stop eating when I was full? Great question! I, like many others, have a tendency to eat whatever is in front of me, regardless of portion size.

If you’re trying to lose weight, that’s definitely not the best way to eat. But, this is also important for those of us who are looking to improve our digestion. When we eat to the point where we are stuffed, there is very little room for our digestive juices and stomach acid to do their work. Sometimes it’s helpful to think of your stomach like a bottle. If you fill the bottle all the way to the top with water, and then add some soap and shake it up, it’s very hard to mix together. But, if you only fill it ¾ of the way, it’s easy to shake up. It’s the same thing for your stomach. If you fill it all the way to the top with food, it’s hard for your digestive enzymes to break down the food. It can also contribute to “food comas”, gas and bloating, heartburn and reflux.

So what is there to do about it? Buy small bowls! Buy beautiful small bowls so you feel good when you eat from them. If you are still hungry, you can always serve yourself more food, but it’s way better to start with less than to start with too much. Happy bowl shopping!

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