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Low Carb and Diet Goggles

CNN's article on diet goggles takes a swipe at low carb dieting along the way. Just what are diet goggles and why is low carb dieting still the punching bag of the weight loss world?

First, the gist of the article. Takuji Narumi is a researcher at Tokyo University who realized, like many other researchers, that human beings are quite visually oriented when it comes to food. We often feel sad if we see a plate with hardly any food on it. We often feel happy when we see a plate overloaded with food.

Also, we are so trained by society and our parents to eat what's on a plate that often we'll keep eating even if we're full. Studies find that people will keep eating a bag of popcorn even if it's stale. We'll keep eating a bowl of soup even if it is rigged to fill up again while we're not looking. We don't listen to internal cues - instead we are trained to eat what is there.

So Takuji Narumi had an interesting idea. What if the food we ate LOOKED bigger than it was? So we felt like we were getting a huge portion but in reality we were eating until we were full? That way both our emotional self would be happy and our body would be happy. It's not about eating less as much as it is about eating to fullness rather than stuffing ourselves past that point.

The virtual reality headset does just that. If you picked up a cookie, the headset makes that cookie look larger. You feel more satisfaction eating that larger cookie. Like it's more of a treat. When you get full, you listen to that feeling - and you've eaten less cookie too.

They claim you can eat 10% less food by doing this. 10% might not seem like a lot - but that can add up to pounds a week.

Of course, there's only so far you can go with this technology. If the cookie gets too massive looking you won't be able to move it properly to your mouth. It can look a LITTLE bigger - but still within the realm of moving it through space and to your mouth.

Now here's the other side of things, though. In the write-up for the story, journalist Sol Han lead with the phrase:

"Eating raw food. Eat low-carb food. Eating juices instead of food. Losing weight is often an arduous battle against our appetites."

That's a pretty clear swipe at eating low-carb as being something unappealing or troubling. "Arduous" he says. But what is bizarre about this is that, out of pretty much every diet out there, low carb is one of the best diets for feeling full. Fat is one of the key components in satiety and low carb allows balanced amounts of healthy fat. Also, you can eat large quantities of many foods and you can eat regularly throughout the day. This is a diet where one shouldn't feel full. Usually it's those sugar cravings of other diets which cause the full-starving cycle to happen.

So I'll be willing to try diet goggles, just to see how they work and if I end up nibbling on a finger instead of a cookie when the "giant cookie" tries to move near my mouth. But I wish web writers would stop taking swipes at low carb as being arduous. Low carb offers delicious foods which fill you up and it works.

Let me know your thoughts!
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