People will soon make their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight via diet, but they may be able to lose weight just by watching themselves eat in a mirror, according to a new study.
Ata Jami, a researcher at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, and his team fed 185 students chocolate cake and fruit salad in a room with mirrors and in a room without. The students were then asked to self-evaluate how their food tasted, according to The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, which published Jami's research.
The people who ate fruit salad had no change in the opinion of their meal whether they ate it in front of a mirror or not. However, those who ate chocolate cake in front of a mirror thought their food was less appetizing.
“A glance in the mirror tells people more than just about their physical appearance," Jami told the journal. "It enables them to view themselves objectively and helps them to judge themselves and their behaviors in a same way that they judge others.”
Jami elaborated on these results in the abstract of his study, which was originally released on the Social Science Research Network on Sept. 20.
"After eating unhealthy food in front of a mirror, individuals experience the discomfort of acting against the standards of healthy eating," Jami wrote. "We argue that people attribute this discomfort to the food’s taste since it is difficult to attribute the discomfort to the self while being self-aware."