Clean eating is something you know you should be doing, but it might be harder than you thought to pull off. When faced with a delicious pizza or a Pinterest-approved mason jar salad, what would you actually choose? Us too. But there might be a neat trick you can do, according to the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, that will help you make healthier choices with a little more ease.


According to Eureka Alert, the journal took 185 subjects and gave them both chocolate cake and fruit salad. Each participant was given the two sweets with and without a mirror in front of them and, interestingly, those that ate the chocolate cake in front of a mirror perceived it to be less tasty than those that ate it without the mirror. Those that ate the fruit salad — the healthy choice — had no perceived change in taste with or without the mirror.


The results show that having a mirror in front of you while eating can reduce the perceived taste of unhealthy food. The mirrors help with self-judgement and can help people take pause and think about the perception of the food they are eating, in turn helping them match socially correct behaviors — in this case, eating healthier. The mirrors proved to be discomfiting, taking a lot of the joy out of eating the cake for those that made the less healthy decision.

Of course, the reason this works with the cake is because the fruit salad is already perceived as being a healthy choice for which there is no negative association. Let’s be serious: This tactic might be a little extreme for your day-to-day, but is an interesting study for sure.

What food are you ready to eat in front of the mirror? Check out our favorite healthy recipes over on Pinterest!