The Psychology Of How Salad Can Make You Fat

Unbelievable, isn’t it? I’m saying that eating salad can make you fat. This goes against every rule in the book, with its redeeming property being that you can now act all smug in front of the health nut that has been ruining your life by calling out on your poor eating habits. But wait, it’s not as simple as you think. In fact, there is some complex psychology at play, which we will discuss here.

Some time ago, a research team from the University of Pennsylvania rigged over a thousand trolleys at a big supermarket with motion-tracking tags in order to do some research. I know – you’re going to ping them about the ethics behind this decision, especially because it is questionable. But let’s put it aside for a second so that I can say what I want to say about the actual research.

One of the findings they stumbled upon was that the more kale one bought, the more likely the shopper is likely to get beer or ice cream as well. Kale, of course, is one of those healthy superfoods that the hippies have been talking about for ages. So yes, the more of these you have, the more unhealthy foods you will have to. It’s like a yin and yang type balance, isn’t it?

While this might be a surprising finding to some, it really is nothing more than simple psychology. I mean, if you think about it, what would be a good reward after a workout? A nice sponge bath? A trip to the museum? Of course not! More likely than not, we will reach for an extra sweet dessert because after all, we deserve it, right?


Such phenomenon is so inherent and natural to us that psychologists even have a name for it. This is called the “licensing effect”, I kid you not! And the worse part is that it is so deeply wired in us that most of us are, in fact, not even aware of it. This might be why some people have tried to lose weight many times, but have failed time and time again – because it goes against nature!

So what is the other problem with this? Well, our western media constantly bombards us with images that shatter our self-esteem, so we are compelled to keep on using one weight loss fad product after another, but do you think they will work in the long-term? This is exactly why the Granite Fitness suite of products are different, because they help you make the change from within, unlike a lot of the other junk out there.

Now lets take a step back and look at the psychology of this “licensing effect”. It is said that we all have an internal self-concept of what “good” and “bad” things are, and in our minds we intrinsically strive towards a balance. Therefore anything that challenges that status quo would be at risk of being resisted. Sort of like how a lot of referendums don’t pass, isn’t it?

We actually see a lot of that being played out in real life. It’s sort of like how someone can order a big unhealthy meal from a fast food joint, only to couple it with a zero-calorie cola, upsized! Or a friend of mine who says that she only drinks full-sugar cola because if she is going to have a cola as a treat anyway, might as well have the real thing.

In fact, fast food restaurants do take full advantage of this. You see, if you order a salad, you are more likely to ask for a side of fries to go along with it, right? The price of the salad and the fries would be more than one of those high-calorie full-fat meal deals.

Interestingly, comparisons do play a part in our perception as well. Another study has shown that when weight-conscious people were asked to guess the calorie content of meals, their guesses would be reduced significantly if the food item was placed beside something that is known to be very healthy, like celery for instance. This kind of thing has also been demonstrated in other studies. For example, people who consume multivitamins are less likely to eat less healthy food because things “balance out” in their heads.

Researchers have proposed a few solutions to such issues. One of which is to focus on changing certain behaviours rather than only focusing on the outcome because after all, when your weight loss starts to taper off, you are more prone to feeling helpless and depressed. What the experts say is what Granite Fitness has been harping on all along!

At the end of the day, what we need to become healthy is already in our minds to a certain extent. We have all heard it before and no one is doubting it. We just need to know a system that can lead you towards that goal, and Granite Fitness is the way to go if you want something that is effective!


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