Opinion: Blind test

Commentary by Dick Wolfsie

After Mary Ellen returned from a recent solo trip, she asked if I had kept to my diet while she was away. I admitted going to three all-you-can-eat buffets and I gorged because everything looked so good. That was the wrong thing to say. She’d just read an article claiming that one way to lose weight is to eat your meals while blindfolded. In several experiments, people who had their eyes covered ingested 22 percent fewer calories. That number was actually much higher, but researchers decided not to count all the food that fell on the floor or dribbled down people’s shirts.

The theory behind this is simple. When you can’t see what’s on your plate, scientists say you’re “more apt to listen to your stomach.” I do listen to my stomach, and so does the entire congregation at the Heartland Church on Sunday mornings.

I tested this theory the next day while my wife was out shopping. When she got home, I told her I had been doing a little experiment to see if this calorie-reduction plan was legit. Mary Ellen looked at the ketchup all over my face and shirt and said: “Okay, now tomorrow see what happens when you eat blindfolded.”

Researchers claimed that cutting off any one of your senses leads to less consumption of unneeded calories. I wondered what effect it would have to wear earplugs.

“This is crazy,” said my wife. “Covering your ears will not make you eat less.”

“It’s worth a try, Mary Ellen. What are we having tonight?”

“I’m making your favorite: oven-fried coconut chicken, twice-baked potatoes and creamed spinach.”

“I wish you had waited until I put in my earplugs to tell me that.”


“Because that sounded really good.”

The bottom line is that I have tried covering my ears, my nose and my eyes and I have not lost any weight. Next week, I’m going to try something I should have thought of before: I’m going to try covering my mouth.


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