Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Note on Mindful Eating: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Keep your counters clear!

"The researcher Brian Wansink tells the story this way: A man comes into the office on Friday, hungry because he’s had to rush to work with no breakfast. On the way to his cubicle he sees a plate of doughnuts left over from a meeting the previous day. He pokes a doughnut and finds that it is hard and stale. He goes to his cubicle, where the vision of the doughnuts keeps reappearing in his mind. He says “no!” to the impulse to get up and go get a doughnut. He says “no!” ten times. Finally he gets up and heads for the staff room and the stale doughnuts. There he meets a coworker who did not see the doughnuts on his way into the office and has been working all morning without the distracting visions and impulses. Who will eat the most doughnuts? As Wansink notes, the man who has been struggling with the vision and the impulses all morning will always eat more. Because the existence of the doughnuts entered his awareness, because he took in the possibility of eating them and said no ten times, eventually he is likely to say yes."